Translated by Donaldson Tan
This is a non-verbatim translation of Zaobao report 《人民党可能“老少配” 挑战碧山大巴窑》 dated 7 April 2011.
(2011-04-07)● 游润恬 报道
23-yr-old may join SPP’s TP-Bishan Team
7 April 2011. Yew Lun Tian reports.
It is likely that the oldest and youngest candidates this coming General Election will emerge from the Singapore People’s Party (SPP) Toapayoh-Bishan (TP-Bishan) GRC Team.
Zaobao understands that the 23-year-old Alex Tan may join the TP-Bishan GRC Team led by 76-year-old SPP Secretary-General Chiam See Tong. If he were to contest, Alex Tan would be the youngest candidate this coming General Election. Yesterday, Alex Tan carried out a walkabout with supporters at Bishan Street 24.
Alex Tan is currently a financial advisor at an insurance firm. He graduated from Temasek Polytechnic with a diploma in naval engineering. He joined SPP in March 2010 and was co-opted into its Central Executive Committee (CEC) last week. He participates in online political discussion regularly and will be giving a speech on foreign immigration at Speaker’s Corner this Saturday.
TP-Bishan is a 5-member GRC. SPP intends to ‘borrow’ members from the National Solidarity Party (NSP) to form the TP-Bishan GRC Team. Sources informed Zaobao that the NSP offered 2 names: 63-year-old Ivan Yeo and and 35-year-old Dexter Wong. As Chiam See Tong places a lot of emphasis on the overall team formation, he may decide to accept one or both of them.
Both Ivan Yeo and Dexter Wong had accompanied Mr Chiam during his recent walkabouts in TP-Bishan GRC. Sources told Zaobao the SPP is particularly interested in Ivan Yeo due to his background, while felt lukewarm towards Dexter Wong.
Ivan Yeo is the organising secretary of the NSP. He is Chinese-educated and was a highly ranked civil servant. He became a businessman in 1994. On the other hand, Dexter Wong joined the NSP in October 2010 and runs an IT business.
What’s loaned out must be returned
Upon confronted with the story that he would be loaned to the SPP, Ivan Yeo was unwilling to confirm or reject its authenticity. “Nothing is finalised,” he said.
However, he admitted that the NSP and SPP signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU)in 2000 for inter-party sharing of resources and exchanging of GE candidates. If the NSP were to loan out 2 candidates to the SPP, these 2 candidates have to quit the NSP and become SPP members, contesting under the SPP banner.
If the 2 candidates were to loose the election, what would happen? Ivan Yeo said, “This is unlike the case of Liubei’s loan of the Jing Province [a reference to The Romance of the 3 Kingdom]. What is loaned out must be returned. The candidates would return to the NSP.”
He further added, “If Chiam See Tong wants to borrow NSP members, we don’t mind to help as there is a good history of cooperation between our parties. Despite his old age and medical condition, Chiam See Tong still wants to fight for the people. His fighting spirit is very admirable.”
Zaobao understands that the MOU is still in effect despite both the NSP and SPP have quit the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA).
Dexter Wong told Zaobao in an interview that his interest in politics was sparked by the 2006 General Election. “If I were to be elected, I would be a full-time Member of Parliament,” he said.
When asked whether he has confidence to capture Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng’s ward, Dexter Wong said, “This is like football, whereby sometimes a weak team can defeat a strong team. We don’t know how the ball will spin because it is round. What’s most important is which team will win the electorate’s heart.”
Election regulation stipulates that there must be at least 1 member of the Malay race in each GRC team running for TP-Bishan GRC. It is very likely that SPP CEC member Hamim Mohd (48 year-old) will contest there.