Translated by Donaldson Tan
This is a non-verbatim translation of Wanbao report 《记者问候选人：潘群勤（国民团结党）》 dated 26 March 2011.
Wanbao interviews Candidate: Hazel Poa (NSP)
There are many new faces this coming General Election. Why do they want to stand as candidates? What do they want to achieve for the people? Do they have any outstanding characteristics? Whether the candidates originate from the ruling party or the Opposition camp, they are certainly the centre of attention. Wanbao introduces a new section call “Wanbao interviews Candidates” so readers like you can find out more about these new faces.
1. What preparation have you done for contesting at General Election?
I am currently preparing my election speech as well contributing to the formulation of public policies under the National Solidarity Party. There will be both English and Chinese versions. The Chinese version cannot be a direct translation because the grammatical structure of both languages are different. My command of the Chinese language is not bad as I used to study Higher Chinese.
2. What do you think is your biggest strength as a GE candidate?
My biggest strength is my communication skills. I am an avid listener and an articulate speaker. I can transmit ideas effectively. If someone were to approach me with a problem, I usually can find the root of the problem and come up with multiple solutions.
3. Why did you join the Opposition and not the People’s Action Party?
The PAP government often resorts to monetary or materialistic incentives to solve problems, such as Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) to alleviate road traffic congestion and Baby Bonus to boost the low Total Fertility Rate (TFR). These measures are fundamentally incorrect and I would like to see a shift in public policy from economics incentive to a more humane / compassionate approach.
4. If there is one public policy you can change, what would it be?
The education system overtly emphasises on mathematics, the natural sciences and examination results while the curriculum is standardised for every student. I prefer a more tailored student-centric approach towards education because the objective of education is to identify a student’s needs, interests and talent, develop his potential and boost his self-esteem.
5. How does being a former civil servant affect your candidacy?
My experience as a former civil servant gives me insight on how various government agencies operate and coordinate with each other. As such, I can factor these considerations in the formulation of public policies.
6. What adjustment your family have to make since both you and your husband are contesting GE?
Although we spend less time with our kids now, the adjustment isn’t too big. This is because being self-employed, we operate our office from home, so we actually see our children everyday. The main difference now is there are less family outings with the children now.
7. Have you ever considered to let your husband take up public office while you take care of the family?
It did cross my mind but considering we are a four-generation household, there are plenty of family members around, so our children would not feel neglected or lonely.