Workers’ Party (WP) Yee Jenn Jong took to his Facebook on Wednesday (8 July) to denounce an article by The Straits Times which reported his fellow colleague Tan Chen Chen’s lack of credentials.
In the ST’s article, titled “What WP’s Tan Chen Chen lacks in credentials, she makes up with earnestness”, it said that Ms Tan’s credentials are “nothing to shout about”.
“On paper, Ms Tan, 38, is not exactly the kind of candidate political parties clamour for. Compared with many of the other WP candidates, her credentials are nothing to shout about,” it noted.
It highlighted that Ms Tan, who is WP’s candidate in the newly formed Punggol West SMC for GE2020, attended neighbourhood schools and scored “borderline, just 60 or 70 points” for her degree, which she did at a night school.
It also went on to say that she lacks “sophistication” compared to other candidates and stressed that she lacks proficiency in the English language. “But what she lacks in credentials and polish, she makes up with her earnestness and sincerity,” it added.
In Mr Yee’s post, he wrote, “What sort of headline is this!”, adding that it reminds him of what former prime minister and Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew had to say about former People’s Action Party (PAP) member Mah Bow Tan and the longest-serving opposition Member of Parliament, Chiam See Tong.
Lee Kuan Yew once said, “Mah Bow Tan, age 16, took his ‘O’ Levels – six distinctions, two credits.
Mr Chiam, age 18 – six credits, one pass.”
In the 1984 GE, the residents of Potong Pasir chose Chiam. Chiam won 60.28% of the votes, compared to Mah’s 39.72%. Chiam went on to serve 27 years in parliament.
As such, Mr Yee, who is contesting as part of a team of five in Marine Parade GRC for GE2020, said that he will “pick passion, commitment and resilience over paper qualifications”.