SINGAPORE VOTES 2006
By Farah Abdul Rahim
Yaw Shin Leong, Sylvia Lim, Eric Tan
SINGAPORE: The Workers’ Party has begun the official introduction of its candidates for the 2006 General Election.
All three opposition candidates presented at a news conference on Friday are taking part in their first electoral battle.
30-year-old Yaw Shin Leong is an e-business consultant and corporate trainer.
The former student activist, who is married, also sits on the Executive Committee of the party’s Youth Wing.
Before joining the Workers’ Party, he had helped out at various grassroots activities in Potong Pasir, and was also involved in the civil group, The Think Centre.
He majored in political science and sociology at the National University of Singapore, and has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Sydney.
Described as an idealist by his party’s secretary-general, Mr Yaw has been working the ground in Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency.
He said: “I represent a younger cohort of Singaporeans, the so-called, the post-65ers, post-independence cohort, I guess, for fellow peers like myself.”
Party Chairman Sylvia Lim was the second candidate presented.
The 41-year-old, who is single, lectures at Temasek Polytechnic and is also the Manager of Continuing Education and Training at its Business School.
She was a police inspector and practising lawyer before joining the polytechnic.
Ms Lim graduated with a law degree from the National University of Singapore and has a Master of Law from the University of London.
Meeting the media, Ms Lim, who is expected to be part of the Opposition team contesting the Aljunied group constituency, spoke about how she expects her party to fare and the need for opposition MPs.
She said: “If there are opposition MPs in Parliament, we can vote against policies we don’t agree with and that will put pressure on the PAP government to refine their policies.”
The third candidate, 50-year-old Eric Tan, is the general manager in charge of client services at RBC Dexia Investor Services Global, a joint venture of the Royal Bank of Canada.
Before joining the Canadian bank, he was with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation for 12 years serving in various positions.
Mr Tan is married with three children.
He is an electrical engineering graduate from the National University of Singapore and has a Master in Business Administration from the University of Michigan.
Mr Tan, who became a member of The Workers’ Party two years ago, may be fielded in the East Coast GRC.
He revealed that it took him about eight years to decide to join the opposition party.
Mr Tan said: “The mother of all fears is to join the opposition and when we join the opposition and sort of tell the people, send a signal to the people that it’s okay to be different.”
The Workers’ Party is expected to introduce more candidates over the next few days. – CNA/ch