SINGAPORE – As he unveiled the final batch of the ruling People Action Party’s (PAP) new faces contesting in the upcoming general election, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing pinpointed a key ingredient in Singapore’s success.
Each new batch of leaders works with its predecessors so that the PAP Government can plan long-term and ensure continuity in its policies, said Mr Chan, who is also the party’s second assistant secretary-general.
“There is a certain consistency and a certain coherence, and it is not done by just any single batch of people or any individual. That’s how we perform as a team for the good of Singapore,” he said.
In all, the PAP is fielding 27 new candidates across the 93 seats it is contesting in the July 10 polls. The party has touted the diversity of its line-up of new faces, 18 of whom are from the private or non-profit sector.
Each and every one of them has a personality that deserves to be known better, he said. They should not be pigeonholed into any particular profession or character, just because they are from a certain background.
On Friday (June 26), the party unveiled its final eight candidates to round off three days of candidate introductions. Today (June 27), the party will release its election manifesto, three days before Nomination Day on June 30.
The latest candidates include Ms Gan Siow Huang, 46, Singapore’s first woman brigadier-general, who is expected to be part of the PAP’s slate in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, as well as charity founder Carrie Tan, 38.
Analysts say that a number of them – such as former brigadier-general Desmond Tan, 50; Ms Gan; and former Infocomm Media Development Authority chief executive Tan Kiat How, 43 – are among those who appear marked for higher office.
The PAP has said that leadership transition is an important theme at the coming polls, with the party’s 4G leadership expected to take over the reins in the next term of government.
Said Mr Chan: “We hope that this election will give Singaporeans a chance to look at the different parties, the different candidates, (and see) which parties can come forward to serve the people with good, workable ideas that can take Singapore forward.”
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will make it known which MPs would be stepping down to make way for new blood, said Mr Chan, who was speaking via video link from the PAP headquarters in Bedok.
One political veteran who is bowing out is Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, who has made a name for himself as the Cabinet’s “Mr Fix-it”.
Announcing Mr Khaw’s retirement, PM Lee paid tribute to him on Friday in a letter. Over a political career that has spanned nearly two decades, Mr Khaw has handled thorny issues including healthcare, housing and transport.
Mr Khaw himself wrote on Facebook: “It’s time to say farewell and disembark at the next station, confident that the next crew will take Singapore to newer heights.”
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