Singapore

Gurmit's running! No, not that one

WP introduces four new candidates

Four more potential Workers' Party (WP) candidates were introduced at its party headquarters yesterday.

They are shipping lawyer Dennis Tan Lip Fong, 45; Singapore Cancer Society manager Kenneth Foo Seck Guan, 38; former librarian Mohamed Fairoz Shariff, 36, and legal counsel Gurmit Singh, 55.

Each spoke about their reasons for joining WP and the issues they will champion in the General Election.

Of note was Mr Tan, who answered the majority of the questions fielded to the potential candidates by the media.

Along with National University of Singapore sociologist Daniel Goh, Mr Tan rose quickly within the party after first volunteering with WP in 2011.

"(The 2011 General Election) was the watershed point that I felt going forward with a one-party system was not the way for Singapore. We need a better contest of ideas to let the people dictate the way we should go and not a top-down party telling it to us," said Mr Tan.

He joined WP in 2012 and was co-opted with Dr Goh into the party's central executive council (CEC) that year. Both were re-elected into the council last year.

Asked to comment on his meteoric rise within a party that usually takes time to observe its members, Mr Tan told The New Paper: "They needed more hands in the CEC so I was asked to help. It is as simple as that, it is actually to do work.

"There is no honour in it. The party is in a phase (where) it is trying to grow, trying to recruit more people, trying to do bigger things, but we are still a very small party. So it is all hands on deck."

Mr Singh, who bears no relation to the comedian of the same name, spoke about his wishes to help bottom-end wage earners and contribute back to society.

He laughed when TNP pointed out that his unusual name had received plenty of attention on social media and online forums by the end of the press conference.

"It is something that I've been quite used to for a while now, not just for politics.

"I've learnt how to live with it and it helps to break the ice and is a talking point," he said.


Name: Kenneth Foo Seck Guan

Age: 38

Occupation: Manager of public education, Singapore Cancer Society

Quote: "(Working) with the less fortunate and less privileged... allows me to make sense of how society is evolving and in the midst of economic progress, where these people are at now."


Name: Mohamed Fairoz Shariff

Age: 36

Occupation: Former associate librarian at National Library Board

Quote: "When I look at my (three) children, I ask myself, what kind of Singapore am I going to give to them? Am I going to give them a Singapore that is dominated by one voice?"


Name: Gurmit Singh

Age: 55

Occupation: Legal counsel at a real estate agency

Quote: "We should guard Singaporeans' right to jobs as jealously as what some other countries do."


Name: Dennis Tan Lip Fong

Age: 45

Occupation: Partner at shipping law firm DennisMathiew

Quote: "In the longer term, we should look to have a two-party system whereby another party must be ready to form the government as the ruling party declines."

Singapore ElectionsWorkers' PartyGurmit SinghUncategorisedDennis Tan Lip Fong