Spotlight on 4 Alternative Party Candidates in GE 2020

With General Elections (GE) slated for 10th July, the [email protected] is delighted to see an excellent lineup of candidates from various alternative parties stepping forward offering to serve.

While most of the candidates are predominantly male, there is no lack of female candidates with the heart to serve, for example, Sylvia Lim and Nicole Seah of Workers Party (WP).

Since Sylvia Lim and Nicole Seah are already household names which require no further introduction, we would like to feature 4 other female candidates from the alternative parties with 2 things in common: they are running for the first time in GE 2020, and have a strong background in volunteer work or social activism.

These candidates are not parachuted into the GE 2020 arena, but have a history of community service, although our first featured candidate was already literally parachuting when she was 17 years old.

Kala Manickam (PSP)

Ms Kala Manickam (click to enlarge)

That’s Kala Manickam, one of the Progress Singapore Party’s (PSP) candidates for Nee Soon GRC. Kala is contesting alongside Damien Tay, Bradley Bowyer, Sri Nallakaruppan, and Taufik Supan for the 147,047-voter-strong constituency.

In May 2020, in a Facebook post, Kala marked her 30th anniversary of joining the Singapore Armed Forces in its pioneer batch of women officers. Kala was 22 years when she entered SAF, and in the first batch of women cadets to undergo the Tri-Service training (army/navy/air force) alongside the guys. Kala spent 7 years in the military and rose to platoon commander.

Not all is regimental with Kala, although she attributes her physical, mental and emotional health to the SAF. A keen sense of compassion started to be fostered in her when she joined the National Heart Centre and the Singapore General Hospital as an adult educator, where she remained for 6 years, working through the very critical SARS outbreak. In her twenty years of experience in training and adult education, Kala encountered many adults who required various forms of assistance, but those issues could only be effectively dealt with at the policy-level. So, naturally, the next step for her, in order to make a difference, is to become a Member of Parliament so that she can walk the talk to “serve the people with all your heart.” Kala entered politics in 2018.

Kala’s determination, conviction and belief in education developed at a young age, which led her to take the challenging path of working part-time to support her family while pursuing her academic studies. As an educator, she advocates for a nurturing education system that is holistic, and which respects the uniqueness of each individual, instead of merely getting caught up in “completing and scoring at worksheets.” This will translate into a competent workforce and a happy society in the long term. We certainly hope to see her raise issues on education and workforce development in Parliament.

Raeesah Khan (WP)

Raeesah Khan is our second featured candidate. Raeesah is running alongside fellow WP members He Tingru, Jamus Lim, and Louis Chua in the Sengkang GRC which has 120,166 voters.

Raeesah Khan

At 26 years of age, Raeesah is the youngest candidate in GE 2020. That is a moot point however as she is keenly familiar with the political and social spaces in our country; her father is the former presidential candidate Farid Khan; her mother has been volunteering in shelters and orphanages. In fact, she had celebrated a few of her own birthdays with children in the orphanage.

Raeesah has already made a space for herself as a social activist and marketing consultant. She founded the non-profit organisation called the Reyna Movement in 2016. The Reyna Movement aims to empower marginalised women through community engagement and upskilling programmes. It operates in Singapore and Malaysia and runs programmes related to psychosocial wellbeing, development, food support, and counselling.

Raeesah graciously admits that she comes from a privileged background. We believe that what makes her stand out amongst her elite peers, is how she directed her privileges to bring about constructive change to the community, and thus making her one of us.

I’ve had all the opportunities afforded to me. That’s why I’m so passionate about this, because I want to use my privilege for good.

According to her Twitter profile she is “passionate about equality and stray cats.” She is a women’s rights activist and young mother. Her reasons for running in GE 2020 are, according to a video and a tweet from 29 June: “I’m running for Parliament to call out the deep-seated inequalities in our current system…” She notes that “vulnerable groups such as low-income families and the disabled are disproportionally affected… There is a need for long-term policy change and the elites should not be the only ones with seats at the table.” Indeed, COVID-19 has made “working from home” a very workable reality especially for the disabled. We look forward to Reeasah taking these issues to Parliament to level the playing field for the socially and physically disadvantaged.

Min Cheong (SDP)

Min Cheong is the third candidate in the spotlight. The Holland-Bukit Timah GRC is being contested this GE by the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and the People’s Action Party (PAP). Min Cheong (35) is running with teammates Alfred Tan, James Gomez, and Tan Jee Say. Min is a writer and marketing communications strategist who joined the party in 2011.

Min Cheong

In her own words, she hopes to nurture “a real appetite and aptitude for critical thinking and meaningful debate, empathy, as well as an unwavering desire to fight the good fight for people who need support alongside causes worth championing.” One of her other passions is what she calls “workforce wellness,” which encompasses an overarching approach to reform how people in Singapore live and work, covering areas ranging from “socio-economic sustainability, job creation, and innovation, career empowerment, organizational culture, and personal wellbeing.”

A confessed “tech junkie,” Min has worked in startups, non-profit organisations, and MNCs in the areas of consumer technologies, telecommunications, and education. We think she will be excellent in the area of how digital technologies interact and shape the workforce and employment landscape. This issue is especially critical amongst members of the older workforce. We hope to see her propose policies in this area.

To Min, as she likes to be called, the love and support from people from all walks of life including those she and her running mates met at Ghim Moh during a walkabout – “keeps us going and gives us the courage and conviction to continue fighting for all of you.” She hopes for “a Singapore we can all be happy in and proud of.”

Interestingly, Min is accomplished in Krav Maga, or “contact combat” which is a military self-defense and fighting system derived from a combination of techniques sourced from martial arts such as Aikido, Boxing, and Wrestling Judo and Karate. Min trains with the local chapter of the International Federation of Krav Maga.

Wendy Low (PSP)

Wendy Low is the fourth, but by no means last in our featured group for this piece. Wendy is an Intellectual Property lawyer specialising in copyright, patent law, and confidentiality-related disputes. This is just one side of her. Wendy has shared openly and with passion, strength, and emotion about how strongly she feels about the inequality and lack of opportunities in our country.

Wendy Low (center)

Currently 43 years of age, Wendy is with the Progress Singapore Party. She is running in the Tanjong Pagar GRC which has 134,642 voters along with teammates Terence Soon, Abas Kasmani, Michael Chua, and Harish Pillay. Refreshingly, she has shared in Cantonese while on walkabouts and speaking about the election. She was drawn to the party when she heard Dr. Tan Cheng Bock.

Wendy has lived in several parts of Singapore splitting her time between Tiong Bahru and Clementi during her primary school days. She jokes about being “a Tiong Bahru kid with a lot of pride.” She shares some personable and close-to-home anecdotes about how she got into law despite difficulties with the timing of the exam. Her nickname at home was ‘big cat eyes’ in dialect. It is truly heartening to see her interview in the PSP online portal in which she does not hold back on many aspects of her life the likes of which enable one to truly feel like they have had a privileged peek into her world.

She speaks about how as a Singaporean she/we tend to believe that the homeless are taken care of in contrast to her actual encounters with homeless folks on the ground. She quotes the number of homeless Singaporeans as around a thousand according to a survey and says it is “the situation of them being there when we should have the resources,” noting that the majority are the working poor.

She is also concerned about food waste; she compares food shop owners who dispose of their surplus unsold and therefore wasted stocks of food juxtaposed with the groups of people searching the bins for food for sustenance. Other groups she highlights are the cardboard collectors and those who rely on leftovers or items that have been deemed unsellable.

Wendy has been interested in the lives of regular people since her childhood. Her empathy for others, in particular, the less privileged and the have-nots is truly an inspiration.

The female candidates highlighted above are truly inspiring and have stay grounded on the needs of the community. Their years of experience within the community have given them an intuitive grasp of the problems and challenges that Singapore is facing. Together with their strength of character and professional background, they are ready to serve Singaporeans.

Should we send them to Parliament to effect real structural and policy changes for a more fair and just Singapore?

 

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11 Responses to “Spotlight on 4 Alternative Party Candidates in GE 2020”

  • trublu:

    giving the PAP a BLANK CHEQUE IS PLAIN DAFT.
    SGS MUST PROVE TO PAP WHO CALL SGS DAFT THAT THEY ARE NOT DAFT LIKE PAP THINKS SO N TREATS us so.

    SHOW PAP YOU ARE NOT DAFT BY DENYING THEM A CLEAN SWEEP N A BLANK CHEQUE SO THAT THEY CANNOT ANYHOW ERECT ELECTED PRESIDENTS NOR LOOT OUR RESERVES AS AND WHEN THEY LIKE AND SUKA SUKA DISH OUR MONEY TO OUTSIDERS IN THE NAME OF SAVING ‘JOBS’,when ,in the first palce,THE PAP robs our jobs n hand them to FOREIGNERS???

    VOTE ALTERNATIVE FOR TRANSPARENCY,FOR CHECKS N BALANCE,FOR SECURING BACK OUR CPF,FOR ABOLISHING CPF ON BASIC NECCESSITIES,FOR RESTRAINT ON FT DUMPING,FOR UPHOLDING OUR DIGNITY N RIGHTS AS CITIZENS ,AS VOTERS.

    VOTE OPPO PARTIES AND MAKE THEMINTO THE REAL ALTERNATIVE VIS-A-VIS THE PAP.

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    Please be informed that TRE has enabled Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) support for its website, which should give our readers web experiences that are consistently fast, beautiful and high-performing, especially for mobile users.

    Kindly feedback any errors or glitches if you are experiencing any. Thank you.

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  • PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN.GE2020:

    So low class. TRE had low taste to feature such low class candidate.

    Singaporeans be warned.

    If you vote in opposition, the opposition will legalize poke ass policy.

    Do you want that ?

    GE2020.PAP.Guarantee.Win.All
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$
    Singaporeans must be Cheaper, Better, Faster.
    Workers must accept wage sacrifices to keep businesses going.

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  • REGIME CHANGE is the solution:

    Straits Times: Parties should focus on solutions to help Singapore through crisis, says Chan Chun Sing

    TRUE. What is also true is that PAP IS THE PROBLEM. It is a “spent force”. Singaporeans are worse off since LHL became PM is proof.

    THE SOLUTION is to throw PAP out of Parliament. Bury PAP with LKY.

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  • Citizens are victims:

    One party is a dengue carrying blood sucking mosquito.
    Other parties are birds and frogs going after the mosquito.

    It will be totally weird if voters complain about frogs too small, too ugly or too slow and then vote for the dengue carrying blood sucking mosquito.

    Now, citizens, do you want to vote for the dengue carrying blood sucking mosquito?

    Save yourselves from the PAP.

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  • Quanxi:

    Yes we can made it .Amongst the opposition female talent we can surface another Jacinda Arden the present PM of New Zealand with yearly salary of only NZ 471,049.
    So much lower than Josephine Teo and Grace Fu.

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  • Realistically:

    The only problem with this [email protected] article is that NONE of those featured really know, understand and have solutions for the ROOT CAUSE of the problems facing Singapore which has led to the mass importation of so-called FT; and why a large of our population feels deprived.

    Oh, I would include almost all, except for Kenneth Jeyaretnam, the rest of the so-called oppos not knowing about the ROOT CAUSE either.

    I have over the years commented countless times about the short comings of the so-called oppos……….even as I feel I have been censored with some of my comments not appearing.

    As for the mention of Sylvia Lim, her FAILINGS as an MP and her betrayal of the people who had fought for justice and an independent judiciary when Sylvia Lim defended the emperor without clothes regime at the International Bar Association meeting held in Singapore.

    TRE’s credibility or the lack thereof must be obvious………..just another of the rah rah rah narrative devoid of the reality.

    GD Star Rating
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  • Opposition also need quality:

    Agreed..we need more opposition MPs to vigorously debate and propose options so that our Policy are better and effective to meet the Citizen needs.
    However they should also be of quality and have empathy for the ordinary man.
    Hope these woman have the quality and heart to serve the Citizen well….and make a difference.

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  • Quanxi:

    Yes no blank cheque

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  • About you:

    Found someone complaining about birds and frogs and willing to vote for dengue carrying blood sucking mosquito.

    Citizens are victims:
    One party is a dengue carrying blood sucking mosquito.
    Other parties are birds and frogs going after the mosquito.

    It will be totally weird if voters complain about frogs too small, too ugly or too slow and then vote for the dengue carrying blood sucking mosquito.

    Now, citizens, do you want to vote for the dengue carrying blood sucking mosquito?

    Save yourselves from the PAP.

    Realistically:
    The only problem with this [email protected] article is that NONE of those featured really know, understand and have solutions for the ROOT CAUSE of the problems facing Singapore which has led to the mass importation of so-called FT; and why a large of our population feels deprived.

    Oh, I would include almost all, except for Kenneth Jeyaretnam, the rest of the so-called oppos not knowing about the ROOT CAUSE either.

    I have over the years commented countless times about the short comings of the so-called oppos……….even as I feel I have been censored with some of my comments not appearing.

    As for the mention of Sylvia Lim, her FAILINGS as an MP and her betrayal of the people who had fought for justice and an independent judiciary when Sylvia Lim defended the emperor without clothes regime at the International Bar Association meeting held in Singapore.

    TRE’s credibility or the lack thereof must be obvious………..just another of the rah rah rah narrative devoid of the reality.

    GD Star Rating
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  • Steven:

    Hi Singaporeans,

    Read this.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dakhdZxhHVo

    GD Star Rating
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