The People’s Action Party (PAP) has unveiled a new General Election (GE) potential candidate on Monday (29 June), Xie Yao Quan, for its Jurong Group Representation Constituency (GRC) team.
The 35-year-old candidate was introduced by PAP member Tharman Shanmugaratnam at the PAP’s Bukit Batok East branch office earlier today.
Mr Xie will be replacing PAP’s former candidate Ivan Lim, who has withdrawn from the GE on Saturday (27 June) amid the various allegations that have been made against him on social media.
“It was a very easy decision to bring (Mr Xie) into Jurong, because Yao Quan has been here working very hard for the last five years,” said Mr Tharman.
“I will say very frankly that Yao Quan is equal to our other candidates. It’s always a really tough decision as to who is in that first line-up … We decide on it based on an overall configuration, and those who stay on the sidelines initially are no inferior,” he added.
Although Mr Tharman noted that Mr Xie had to step in at short notice, he assured that “short notice doesn’t mean unprepared” given that Mr Xie has been preparing for five years.
Mr Xie is the Head of Healthcare Redesign at Alexandra Hospital and has been leading the hospital’s COVID-19 operations in a major community care facility and other frontline areas. He was previously with the Singapore Armed Forces in regular service and had also worked in an investment company.
“The reason why I’m stepping forward today is because I believe in the role of a Member of Parliament in the local community – bringing people together and just making extraordinary things happen for the benefit of residents and creating a better home for everyone,” he said.
Meanwhile, when Mr Tharman was asked on whether Mr Xie is replacing Mr Lim, he noted that he respected Mr Lim’s decision to withdraw from the GE.
“As you know, we had intended to field Ivan Lim in Jurong. In fact, Ivan was working very well on the ground, (and was) very well received by residents. He made a tough decision to prevent the allegations against him from eclipsing the core issues that are facing us in this election,” he said.
The PAP will review Mr Lim’s case after the GE, Mr Tharman added.