GE2020: PAP announces Tanjong Pagar, Radin Mas line-up; no Chia Shi-Lu, Sam Tan

SINGAPORE: The People’s Action Party (PAP) has announced its line-up for Tanjong Pagar GRC and Radin Mas SMC for the upcoming General Election.

The Tanjong Pagar slate will be helmed by Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah, one-term backbencher Joan Pereira and new candidates former civil servant Eric Chua and LinkedIn senior executive Alvin Tan.

Tanjong Pagar’s Melvin Yong, assistant secretary-general at the National Trades Union Congress, will run in the Radin Mas single seat.

Absent from PAP’s Tanjong Pagar and Radin Mas 2015 slate respectively are two-term backbencher Chia Shi-Lu and Minister of State for Social and Family Development and Foreign Affairs Sam Tan.

READ: GE2020: Possible changing of the guard in GRCs as newer ministers could step up to lead, observers say

Dr Chia, who is in his late 40s, was drafted in from the PAP’s reserve list at the eleventh hour for the 2011 election, after potential Tampines candidate Steve Tan withdrew and had to be replaced by now Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Culture, Community and Youth Baey Yam Keng. The PAP won in Tanjong Pagar with a walkover that year.

In 2015, the PAP ran against the Singaporeans First party in Tanjong Pagar and won with 78 per cent of the vote.

Mr Sam Tan, 61, also started his political career in Tanjong Pagar with a walkover in 2006. In 2011, his ward was carved out as Radin Mas SMC. Mr Tan ran against the National Solidarity Party in 2011 and the Reform Party as well as an independent candidate in 2015, winning both times with 67 per cent and 77 per cent of the vote, respectively.

Dr Chia’s replacement Eric Chua, 41, was a director of the SGSecure Programme Office. He has been a community volunteer for 15 years, and was previously chairman of the People’s Association Youth Movement’s Central Youth Council and chairman of grassroots committees. 

Mr Chua said during his candidate introduction that he wanted to ensure youths, especially those from humble family backgrounds, have a “fair chance” to succeed in life.

Mr Yong’s replacement is Mr Alvin Tan, 39, head of public policy and economics at technology firm LinkedIn. Mr Tan started volunteering at Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng in 2005 and at Moulmein-Cairnhill since 2019.

His focus areas include digitisation, “preserving and protecting” racial and religious harmony in Singapore, and green and sustainability issues.

Tanjong Pagar is considered a PAP stronghold, with former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew running there in every election from 1955 to 2011.

This year, former PAP Member of Parliament Tan Cheng Bock’s Progress Singapore Party is expected to contest Tanjong Pagar, with rumours that it could field Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s brother Lee Hsien Yang there. The party has not said if Mr Lee Hsien Yang will stand in the election.

Mr Chan Chun Sing said on Friday that the PAP welcomes “other people to come and stand”, when asked about the possibility of Mr Lee Hsien Yang running in Tanjong Pagar.

“It offers Tanjong Pagar residents a choice,” he added.

“So, we are not particularly focused on who is coming or going. From the PAP team’s perspective, we are focused on serving our residents day in, day out, and we have been doing that for the last many years.”

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