SINGAPORE – The PAP has introduced a new candidate, Mr Xie Yao Quan, 35, as part of its slate for Jurong GRC for the general election.
Mr Xie, the head of healthcare redesign at Alexandra Hospital, replaces Mr Ivan Lim, 42, who withdrew his candidacy in the face of online allegations that he said had eclipsed the core issues of this election.
Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who introduced Mr Xie to reporters on Monday (June 29), noted that at every election, the People’s Action Party has more candidates than are necessary for the seats it is going to contest.
He added that this is not the first time the party has made a late change to its line-up.
“Those who are waiting – part of the first team but on the sidelines and waiting, they’re not in the second team, they’re part of the first team… fully suitable to be fielded,” he said.
Mr Xie has been a community volunteer since 2015, and is currently vice-chairman of the Jurong Spring Citizens’ Consultative Committee.
Before moving into public healthcare, he worked for five years in the private sector with an investment company, and earlier spent six years in the Singapore Armed Forces.
Mr Tharman said it was a very easy decision to field Mr Xie in Jurong, as he has “been here working very hard” for the past five years, and is known to residents and grassroots volunteers.
He added that while Mr Xie had to step in at short notice, “short notice doesn’t mean unprepared – he’s been preparing for five years”.
Joining Mr Tharman and Mr Xie on the Jurong GRC slate is another PAP new face: Mr Shawn Huang, 37, a director for enterprise development at Temasek International.
The five-member team also includes Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Industry and Foreign Affairs Tan Wu Meng, and Ms Rahayu Mahzam.
This means Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee will be moving out of the GRC. He is expected to be fielded in West Coast GRC, to shore up the PAP team there.
Incumbent MP Ang Wei Neng will be leaving the group representation constituency as well.
The People’s Action Party team in Jurong GRC had secured the best result for the party in the 2015 General Election, winning more than 79 per cent of the vote against the Singaporeans First party.
The PAP team looks set to compete for the ward against a team from Singapore’s newest political party, Red Dot United (RDU).
The party, founded by former Progress Singapore Party members Ravi Philemon and Michelle Lee, introduced its slate of candidates last week, which includes two newcomers to politics.