Singapore

Independent Han Hui Hui: I don’t mind losing my deposit

Independent candidate Han Hui Hui draws curious spectators at maiden rally

Warehouse assistant Irvin Tan, 45, travelled from the eastern part of the island to the Delta Hockey Pitch at Tiong Bahru Road, just to listen to Ms Han Hui Hui speak at her maiden rally.

"(I came here) to give the independent candidate some support even though I don't live in Radin Mas... as it's been quite a while since we had some independent candidates," he said.

Undergraduate Justin Kor, 23, also admitted there was a "novelty factor", saying: "We don't expect much from independent candidates but I came down because I want to see what she has to say."

This curiosity factor was apparent last night among the mixed bag of hundreds of spectators, some of whom told The New Paper they know of her only from her Central Provident Fund-related protests.

A group of three men even showed up with posters of the wrestler Triple H - a pun on her initials.

There were also a few hecklers in the crowd as the youngest candidate in GE 2015 spoke about various issues including CPF, housing and the lack of opposition voices in Parliament.

Ms Han, a blogger who just turned 24, had piqued interest when she collected the election paperwork at the Elections Department after the writ was announced.

She refused to speak to the media but later announced her intention to run as an independent in Radin Mas single member constituency.

She faces a three-cornered fight against Minister of State Sam Tan, 56, and the Reform Party's Kumar Appavoo, 46.

Ms Han made headlines last year after she and fellow blogger Roy Ngerng were among six people charged with public nuisance. They allegedly disrupted a charity event for special needs children at Hong Lim Park with the Return Our CPF rally co-organised by them on Sept 27 last year.

Last night, she switched between English, Mandarin and Hokkien in a speech that touched on affordable housing, affordable healthcare and her pet topic, the CPF.

Ms Han, who said she is seeing someone, added that she would like to become a mother after the election but childbirth would be too expensive because a woman her size would need to have a caesarean-section delivery, and that could not be paid for with Medisave.

Political watcher Mustafa Izzuddin said that having a relative unknown will work against the Reform Party's Kumar Appavoo.

"On one hand, you've got the Reform Party, which has fought an election before. So people know the party but not the candidate well. On the other hand, you've got an independent who doesn't have a party, but people might know about her," the research fellow at Iseas-Yusof Ishak Institute said.

When the rally ended after about 1½ hours, Ms Han called an impromptu press conference over dinner at a hawker centre about 2.5km away.While refusing to elaborate on the source of her campaign funds, she said that she was "supported by Singaporeans".

Asked about her chances, she said she did not mind losing her electorial deposit as she wanted to "raise issues" for the residents of Radin Mas.

"I don't think losing the deposit is an important issue at all. But I want the residents of Radin Mas to have their issues raised in Parliament," she said.

- Additional reporting by Hariz 
Baharuddin


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