GE2020 will be an election unlike any other.
While every year since 2011 has been dubbed the “social media election”, the term has never rung more true than the one coming up next month.
In a political climate where a pandemic is brewing the background, how will this election play out? Walkabouts are limited to five candidates while physical rallies are dissolved in light of safe distancing.
Candidates for each constituency will be allowed several minutes of air time on national television and radio channels alongside existing Party political broadcasts.
It’s hard to make sense of a candidate without knowing what they’ve done, what they stand for, and who they’re trying to represent within a couple of minutes.
Enter social media: the new battleground for the “COVID elections”. Unlike previous years of scheduled live rallies on mainstream television, candidates this year are allowed to host online “e-rally” live streams.
While this might seem unintuitive given the normalcy of the rallies in the past, this initiative offers a gateway for more comprehensive coverage of the election.
We’ve rounded up a list on some notable new political candidates to follow on social media for a more in-depth insight to their candidature as well as the political parties they stand for.
Carrie Tan, People’s Action Party, Nee Soon GRC
Following “Sister Flower” Lee Bee Wah’s retirement from politics, Ms Carrie Tan will be taking over as one of the nominated candidates for Nee Soon GRC. Tan currently holds the position as founding executive director of Daughters of Tomorrow, a non-profit enterprise that provides aid to underprivileged women in Singapore by providing opportunities for skill training and employment.
Dr Jamus Jerome Lim Chee Wui, Worker’s Party, Seng Kang GRC
Dr Jamus Jerome Lim Chee Wui will be contesting in Seng Kang GRC as his first election. After two decades abroad, the 44-year-old Associate Professor of Economics at Essec Business School hopes to offer alternative perspectives relating to Singapore’s “pressure cooker” of an education system, which he stated has not produced the opportunities and wages it promised.
Liyana Dhamirah, Red Dot United, Jurong GRC
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I am honored to be amongst Pastor Andrew Khoo from New Hope Community Services, Ms Jaslyn Goh from Ministry of Social and Family Development and Dr Harry Tan from National University of Singapore as speakers for earlier today's #RafflesPolicyDialogue2019 – revolving around the topic of Homelessness in Singapore. Discussions were made and a better understanding achieved for the policy realities faced by Singapore. It was also such a privilege to be able to experience the spanking new Raffles Girls' School campus and witnessing the amazing girls in action for this event. #singlit #singaporebooks #nonfiction #epigrambooks #memoir #homelessnessinsingapore
Entrepreneur and author Liyana Dhamirah is part of a new political party, Red Dot United, and will be contesting in Jurong GRC. She brings with her experiences of being homeless at aged 22, living in a tent by the beach while pregnant with her third child. It then comes as no surprise that the 33-year-old aims to champion the needs of marginalised families and entrepreneurs if elected, hoping to help “them live with dignity, respect and motivation”.
Min Cheong, Singapore Democratic Party, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC
Marketing and communications professional, Ms Min Cheong will be fielded in the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC under the Singapore Democratic Party. Cheong started volunteering with the party in 2011, and joined the party’s women’s wing earlier this year. She aims to focus on Workforce Wellness, an overarching approach to reforming how we live and work. This includes issues ranging from socio-economic sustainability, job creation and innovation, career empowerment, organisational culture, and personal wellbeing.
Mohd Fahmi Aliman, People’s Action Party, Marine Parade GRC
Mr Mohd Fahmi Aliman, former Islamic Religious Council of Singapore deputy chief and current NTUC Administration and Research Unit director is a new face in politics who will be contesting in Marine Parade GRC. Last year, he formed M³@Bedok, an initiative that seeks to help the Malay/Muslim community in Bedok Town. The 48-year-old also champions the welfare of low-wage workers in essential services, and hopes to see to the application of the progressive wage model to every service industry with low-wage and essential workers.
Nadia Ahmad Samdin, People’s Action Party, Ang Mo Kio GRC
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Dear residents of Cheng San – Seletar, over the last few months, I’ve been able to get to know you a little better. Whether online for Zoom chats, in passing in our kopitiams, or during grocery distributions – it has been a privilege to meet the residents who call this home. There was once when it rained suddenly during our distribution of home based learning kits – not one or two, but three different residents offered us umbrellas to ensure that we could continue our distribution. I am especially touched when I’m able to chat with grandparents who take the time to introduce their grand children to me by name. Thank you for being so welcoming. My team and I look forward to meeting more of you in the next few days. I hope you will give me a chance to work with you in the years to come! #angmokio [Published by and at the direction of Nadia Ahmad Samdin.]
Ms Nadia Ahmad Samdin will be contesting in the Ang Mo Kio GRC. The 30-year-old Associate Director of TSMP Law Corporation and SMU alumni hopes to champion climate change and the natural environment. She also initiated the Lembaga Biasiswa Kenangan Maulud Top-up Fund, an organisation that aims to benefit underprivileged children in Singapore.
Raeesah Begum Farid Khan, Worker’s Party, Seng Kang GRC
Ms Raeesah Begum Farid Khan, Worker’s Party’s youngest candidate will be contesting in the Seng Kang GRC. The 26-year-old social activist is also the founder and chief executive of the Reyna Movement, an organisation operating in Singapore and Johor Bahru to empower marginalised women and children through upskilling programmes and community engagement. The daughter of former presidential candidate, Farid Khan, she will be running to empower marginalised groups.
Terence Soon, Progress Singapore Party, Tanjong Pagar GRC
Singapore Airlines’ pilot Mr Terence Soon will be contesting in Tanjong Pagar GRC as the second-youngest candidate in the Progress Singapore Party. The 29-year-old father is campaigning to ensure job security for “people of his generation” during the current “COVID economic downturn”. Before he took to the skies, Soon held his own business venture while in university, and is a firm believer that youths should be enabled to start their own businesses too.
Xie Yao Quan, People’s Action Party, Jurong GRC
Mr Xie Yao Quan was last-minute candidate nominated by the People’s Action Party. He replaced would-be candidate Ivan Lim, who withdrew his candidacy on 27 June 2020 after allegations over his behaviour. Currently the Head of healthcare redesign at Alexandra Hospital, the 35-year-old champions keeping healthcare accessible, affordable and of quality for Singaporeans, as well as support the lower-income families and vulnerable individuals holistically. He will be contesting in Jurong GRC.
Yeo Wan Ling, People’s Action Party, Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC
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I’m Wan Ling. As a social entrepreneur, I have worked with thousands of families in the community, and I have a deep and empathetic understanding of the difficulties and issues families in Singapore have in caring for their elderly loved ones. I want to champion in-community programs for residents to care for one another through training, through support groups, and ultimately to create opportunities for careers in community care. One of my guiding principles in life, and that is to be of assistance and value to people in the community. Now as a candidate, I am humbled by the opportunity to extend my work deeper into the community. I promise I will wholeheartedly and sincerely give you my best. Thank you and I look forward working together with you. @papsingapore
Ms Yeo Wan Ling will be contesting in the Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC under the People’s Action Party. She currently holds the position as Chief Executive of social enterprise Caregiver Asia, a social enterprise that connects those in need of care with freelance caregivers in Singapore. She aims “to be able to influence not just day-to-day operations of helping people, but also to bring it up to a larger platform such that I can (have an impact on) national policies.”
This story was first published on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.
(Main and featured photo: Christian Chen on Unsplash)