This week in SG politics: Notable new faces and the titan leaders who are stepping down so far

It’s been a busy flurry of political activity since Singapore prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, dissolved Parliament on Monday. There was a mid-week bang for the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) when the PM’s brother, Lee Hsien Yang, made an appearance with Tan Cheng Bock at Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre on Wednesday:

So, it is clear he is a member of PSP, but the big question really is whether the younger Lee is running. If he isn’t, then I’d say this move is merely a publicity stunt, or as PN Balji termed it: a smoke bomb.

New and some not so new faces

New political candidates Choo Shaun Ming (left), Ivan Lim (top right), and Nicole Seah (bottom right)

Among the new faces introduced, PSP’s Choo Shaun Ming is noteworthy for being the youngest at 23 years old:

Another candidate who became famous for running at the very young age of 24, back in the 2011 GE is Nicole Seah. She has since switched parties and is with the Workers’ Party (WP). She was first seen in the teaser video for WP’s slate of new candidates; the full video is worth a watch and has been drawn Hollywood/Avenger-like comparisons. Check it out for yourselves:

People’s Action Party’s Ivan Lim Shaw Chuan is making it into the news for the wrong reasons. The comments first surfaced on Temasek Daily Review. Basically, a couple of people whom he worked with throughout his life (army/ poly/ Keppel) came out to publicly criticise his ‘elitist’ behaviour. I don’t want to judge so far, since I’ve never met him in person. And given that he is likely to be voted in anyway, I can only hope he will do a good job for Singapore.

DPM Heng has come up to say that Ivan should address this allegations, as well as for the people who complained about Ivan to clarify what they said:

Mr Heng ended by saying that the most important qualification is having the heart to serve all Singaporeans.

In the latest development, Ivan himself has issued a statement:

The end of an era

GE2020 also marks the end of the tenure of top Singaporean politicians. Here is a round up of those who have been reported so far:

1. ESM Goh Chok Tong – the most senior of Singapore’s leaders who is stepping down. Mr Goh served Marine Parade as a Member of Parliament for 44 years, beginning at the age of 35. He did his Master’s degree in economic development at the super-prestigious, Williams College in the United States, before embarking on a career in shipping company, Neptune Orient Lines. The man stands somewhere over 1.9m tall and it was a refreshing sight to see an Asian and Singapore leader towering over other world leaders.

2. Low Thia Khiang – Mr Low is a long-time opposition elder statesman, revered among the likes of Chiam See Tong, a man known for his sincerity. I have often heard how popular he is among Hougang residents. His recent fall and hospitalisation may have accelerated his decision to step down. Here’s Speaker of Parliament, Tan Chuan Jin, paying tribute to Low:

3. Khaw Boon Wan – the man credited for fixing Singapore’s public housing and transport. He’s also quite the personality. I’ve heard people calling him the original Trump – a man who was putting out acerbic statements on social media before the US President came to power. I think that this is a very talented man who is stepping down, so it is a loss for the country.

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung shared this video message paying tribute to Mr Khaw:

4. Former communications and information minister Yaacob Ibrahim

Other key people who are leaving political office are PAP’s Charles Chong, and WP’s Chen Show Mao and Png Eng Huat.

There will be a lot more folks confirming their departure from political office in the coming days.

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