The Workers’ Party (WP)’s team of candidates for this year’s Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency (GRC) distributed their brochures during house visits at Serangoon Avenue 1 on Wednesday (1 July), barely a day after Nomination Day took place.
Ron Tan Jun Yen, who leads the WP Marine Parade GRC team for the coming election, said in a Facebook post that the team “will be popping by every individual HDB unit in the coming days” to deliver more of its brochures to residents.
They set off as early as 7am, as seen in another Facebook post by Mr Tan.
Mr Tan also highlighted the efforts of WP’s “hardworking volunteers” who “have been out and about putting up the posters and banners since yesterday afternoon and through the night”.
He sought residents’ understanding in case they do not see WP posters and other materials on lamp posts at this time.
Last Saturday (27 June), Mr Tan distributed flyers and the party’s newsletter The Hammer with volunteers.
“Jalan-jalan on a cool Saturday morning with our volunteers. #makeyourvotecount,” wrote Mr Tan in a Facebook post.
Get to know the WP Marine Parade GRC candidates for GE 2020
Ron Tan Jun Yen
Mr Tan, 34, is a Senior Assistant Manager at the NUHS Research Office. He previously contested in Nee Soon GRC in 2015.
A graduate of law and commerce from the University of Western Australia, Mr Tan has had nine years of experience in WP’s grassroots efforts and being the legislative assistant to former Party secretary-general Low Thia Khiang.
Responding to a question on the most important lesson he had learnt during his experience as a legislative assistant to Mr Low, Mr Tan said in his introductory press conference that it is recognising the magnitude of the responsibility of taking care of residents in a constituency.
Mr Low, he said, “will personally follow up” with any issue raised by residents, even if such an issue appeared to be as small as “the light not working” in a particular area of a housing block, for example.
Mr Tan in his introduction also called on young Singaporeans step up to take on more responsibilities and to speak up for their seniors, their cohort, and their children.
Yee Jenn Jong
Mr Yee, 55, is an education entrepreneur. He contested as a WP candidate in Marine Parade GRC in the previous GE. He had narrowly lost in Joo Chiat SMC in GE 2011. The constituency was since merged with Marine Parade GRC in GE 2015.
Mr Yee previously served as a non-constituency Member of Parliament in the 12th Parliament.
Responding to a question on his return to politics as a candidate in this year’s GE, Mr Yee quipped in his introductory press conference: “I don’t think I ever left”, highlighting his discussions on policies with party members who are MPs and documenting his outreach efforts — including community projects he initiated in Marine Parade such as food distribution to the needy during the circuit breaker period — on his blog.
Speaking on the need for a strong and credible alternative in Parliament, Mr Yee said: “In business, we need anti-monopoly laws to prevent companies from taking advantage of consumers and to keep on innovating.”
“The same goes for politics,” he added, stressing that WP aims to be the “rational” alternative to the People’s Action Party, the latter of which he said awaits “a blank cheque” from Singaporeans to govern the nation and to wholly “dominate” Parliament.
Muhammad Fadli Mohammed Fawzi
Mr Fadli, 39, has served as a town councillor in the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC).
He said he has always had a “soft spot for the underdog”, and felt moved to attend alternative parties’ election rallies from when he was younger.
Previously serving as a senior policy development officer with statutory board Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS), Mr Fadli said that he went for a mid-career switch as he wanted to be more involved in facilitating change.
Studying sociology at university, he said, opened his eyes to how politics underlies many existing structures and who truly holds power in societies.
For that reason, he pursued Law at SMU, throughout which he relied on study loans and earning money through tutoring to finance his studies.
He wishes to advocate for and facilitate processes for working professionals to embark on a mid-career switch via policies such as converting loans to grants for those wanting to obtain further academic qualifications.
Mr Fadli also wishes to reframe the notion that the problems faced by the Malay community are a result of inherent deficiencies within the community or its culture.
He opined that problems faced by the Malay community in Singapore, in reality, largely stem from systemic and structural issues along class and socioeconomic lines, and seeks to solve problems from such a perspective rather than resorting to “narrow, community-specific solutions”.
Nathaniel Koh Kim Kui
Mr Koh, 36, is an IT professional specialising in digital product management.
He is a first-time candidate. In GE 2015, he was an election agent and led a team of volunteers in Sengkang West single-member constituency (SMC).
Mr Koh was in WP’s Youth Wing executive committee, and has assisted Aljunied GRC candidate Faisal Manap in Meet-the-People sessions during the latter’s previous terms in Parliament.
An Information Systems graduate with a second major in Political Science from the Singapore Management University (SMU), Mr Koh said that he has been a part of WP since his university days on top of being heavily involved in student leadership activities at the time.
He views politics as a “continuation” of his journey “to serve Singapore and Singaporeans” and to help the country forge a “clearer path to navigate challenges ahead”.
Touching on issues he plans to advocate if elected, Mr Koh said that he will strive to push for policies to remove roadblocks in the way of Singaporeans building their own families.
What Singaporeans need in such a context are not just “monetary incentives” but also social ones, and he hopes to help mothers return to the workforce “without much obstacles”.
Muhammad Azhar Abdul Latip
Mr Azhar, 34, has been heavily involved in WP’s grassroots work such as food distribution and community outreach in the party’s stronghold Aljunied GRC.
A graduate of Political Science from the National University of Singapore, Mr Azhar spent the first few years of his career in the marine insurance industry. A few years later, however, he met with a nearly fatal road traffic accident that resulted in him losing his left leg.
He noted that disabled persons such as himself are often sidelined in the national discourse on inclusivity, and when they are included, disabled persons are often paid “lip service”.
More needs to be done to support disabled persons in Singapore as one of the most vulnerable communities in the nation — and Mr Azhar intends to elevate the voices of the disabled in Parliament, and to do more for them especially in terms of securing employment.
“The upcoming general election is the perfect opportunity for Singaporeans to correct what has gone wrong,” he said.