They hail from a diversity of backgrounds, careers, interests and passions.
But what the PAP’s 27 new candidates have in common in this: A shared love for Singapore and a desire to play a part in shaping its future and uplifting Singaporeans, especially during this generational crisis.
In a historic departure from the usual way in which the PAP’s new candidates are introduced – at constituency-level, face-to-face press conferences – the candidates for the 2020 elections made their debuts online via virtual conferences.
They were introduced in batches of three or four, over seven virtual conferences held at the PAP HQ between 24-26 June.
These were helmed by 1st Assistant Secretary-General (1ASG) Heng Swee Keat, PAP vice-chairman Masagos Zulkifli, PAP Organising Secretary Grace Fu and 2nd Assistant Secretary-General (2ASG) Chan Chun Sing.
Carrying on the Good Work
2ASG Chan explained that the selection of these candidates is critical as they become part of a team, working with older, more experienced colleagues to realize long-term plans and ensure continuity in the PAP’s policies.
Said Mr Chan: “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.”
Ranging in age from 30 to 56, the new candidates hail from a diverse range of working backgrounds including the military, public service, business and social entrepreneurship.
Of the 27 candidates, 10 are women, double the number of female candidates fielded in 2015.
And they have different passions and concerns which they hope to be able to champion, like social cohesion, youths, elderly, community outreach, healthcare, sustainability and entrepreneurship.
Said 1st Assistant Secretary-General (1ASG) Heng Swee Keat: “What we hope to have is a team that is sufficiently diverse for us to reach out to all Singaporeans from different segments of our society, different walks of life, different professions.”
Some have modest upbringings.
But their stories of being able to uplift themselves through hard work and tenacity, to being able to speak out for and help other Singaporeans, is testament to meritocracy in Singapore.
Said Mr Heng: “Singapore’s conditions of education and providing opportunities enabled them to be their best (and) achieve what they set out to do. Creating that condition remains a very critical factor if we want Singapore to continue to progress.”
While they bring diversity to the table, their love for Singapore shines through.
Many spoke of how they benefited from numerous opportunities in Singapore – including choosing unconventional career pathways, and they hope for their children to have the same chances.
Vice-Chairman Masagos Zulkifli said a common trait among the PAP candidates is that they have the desire to give back to society.
In fact, many have been working tirelessly for years in the community as volunteers, or have started community initiatives.
Said Mr Masagos: “Do not just light your own candle – light a thousand candles before your light goes out.”
The PAP will contest all 93 seats in the July 10 General Election, which means that it will field the new candidates among the 17 GRCs and 14 SMCs.
Campaigning starts on Tuesday, 30 June.