Singapore GE2020: PAP unveils first slate of candidates for July 10 general election


Video of Singapore GE2020: PAP unveils first slate of candidates for July 10 general election (intro)

DPM Heng Swee Keat (centre) and new candidates (from left) Ivan Lim, Nadia Ahmad Samdin, Edward Chia and Desmond Tan at the PAP’s New Upper Changi Road headquarters on June 24, 2020.

SINGAPORE – Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat unveiled the ruling People’s Action Party’s first slate of new candidates for the upcoming election on Wednesday (June 24).

Mr Heng, who is the party’s first assistant secretary-general, said Covid-19 has placed incredible stresses on societies, shocking economies deeply and accelerating structural changes and Singapore needed to build its adaptive capacities in order to emerge stronger.

There are many critical decisions to be made, and the coming months will profoundly shape Singapore’s future, he said at the press conference unveiling the party’s first slate of four candidates.

The PAP is bringing in “more new faces from different segments of our society, so that they can represent different segments of society and can bring different interests for discussion”, he added, describing the coming slate of candidates as “very interesting and diverse”.

Among the first slate of candidates are:

– Former brigadier-general Desmond Tan Kok Ming, 50, who left his post as People’s Association chief executive director earlier this month.

Mr Heng said Mr Tan’s experience in the Singapore Armed Forces would give him a “good appreciation of the external threats and challenges” that Singapore faces.

In his 28 years with the SAF, Mr Tan held key posts including Chief Guards Officer and Director of Joint Operations.

He was appointed to lead the PA in January 2017.

Said Mr Heng: “At the same time, I think his years in the People’s Association also helped him to have a deeper understanding of what it takes for us to build unity in our society.”

Mr Tan said he decided to join politics “to do my part to shape a society that we truly want”.

“I hope that I can contribute to preserve the social mobility that is so crucial in our growing society. And I want to do my part to ensure that every child, every youth in Singapore and continue to succeed in life,” he added.



– Mr Edward Chia Bing Hui, 36, the co-founder and managing director of lifestyle company Timbre Group.

Mr Heng said he had first met Mr Chia at a lunch function of National Youth Achievement Advisory Council, where the latter was making a presentation.

He had been so “intrigued by what (Mr Chia) said, I invited over to speak to our Ministry of Education officials.

Mr Chia said that he hopes to be an effective voice for small and medium-sized enterprises in Parliament.

“We must redouble our efforts to support our SMEs, not just to survive, but to emerge stronger. In essence, stronger SMEs means better jobs for Singaporeans.”

Singapore GE2020: PAP unveils first slate of candidates for July 10 general election

(Clockwise from top left) Mr Ivan Lim Shaw Chuan, 42; Mr Desmond Tan Kok Ming, 50; Mr Edward Chia Bing Hui , 36; and Ms Nadia Ahmad Samdin, 30. PHOTOS: PAP

– Ms Nadia Ahmad Samdin, 30, associate director at TSMP Law Corporation.

Mr Heng said Ms Nadia has been volunteering with various organisations since she was 15.

“She has had many years of interactions with people in different parts of our society, and with many people who are working hard to improve the lives of our people,” he said.

Ms Nadia said she hopes to be a voice for her generation.

She added: “We value sustainability, and not just sustainability in the traditional sense, but also thinking about sustainable economic growth, that is, equitable, first and foremost, while preserving the environment and upholding the values of Singapore.”




– Mr Ivan Lim Shaw Chuan, 42, general manager (Specialised Vessels) of Keppel Offshore & Marine.

Mr Heng said Mr Lim has had a very unusual journey, having started work at the age of 16 at Keppel Shipyard.

Mr Lim was awarded a scholarship by Keppel to pursue a diploma at Singapore Polytechnic, after which he continued to pursue his degree in Marine Engineering, graduating with first class honours at University of Newcastle Upon Tyne.

“We are an island state, we are surrounded by the sea, but to see what Keppel O&M and Ivan and his team are doing in the Artic, was quite fascinating for me,” said Mr Heng.

Mr Lim said he wants to pay it forward to others who are in need of assistance, having benefited from a scholarship for his diploma when he was younger.

“I’m concerned about elderly residents and children who require social assistance, especially those with special needs.”

Singapore GE2020: PAP unveils first slate of candidates for July 10 general election

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