Ruling People's Action Party (PAP) has named Xie Yao Quan as a replacement for Ivan Lim for the upcoming July 10 Singapore General Election. Lim, who was supposed to contest from Jurong GRC, withdrew his candidacy following an online controversy.
Quan, who is expected to contest from Jurong, was introduced by Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Monday, June 29 at the PAP's Bukit Batok East Branch. The 35-year-old, who has been tipped to be among PAP's new faces, has been volunteering in Jurong GRC since 2015.
PAP has a strong line-up for Jurong, which was the party's highest-performing constituency with 79.3 percent votes polled in 2015 General Election. Hence, Tharman, the anchor minister will head the constituency with Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Industry and Foreign Affairs Tan Wu Meng, Member of Parliament Rahayu Mazam and the new candidate Shawn Huang Wei Zong in his team besides Quan.
The five-member PAP team will contest against newly formed Red Dot United party, which includes former Progress Singapore Party members Ravi Philemon and Michelle Lee besides Alec Tok Kim Yam, Liyana Dhamirah and Nicholas Tang.
Now that PAP has left Ivan Lim controversy behind, Tharman believes it is an easy decision to bring in Quan as he has been leading the groundwork for some time. "I've always been keen on Yao Quan because he was here, he was leading and he's well-regarded," Tharman told media.
However, he added that it is always a tough decision to take on who will contest as all members are equally important to the party.
"I will say very frankly that Quan is equal to our other candidates. It's always a really tough decision as to who is in that first line-up. We decide on it based on an overall configuration, and those who stay on the sidelines initially are no inferior," the former Deputy Prime Minister said.
Focused on Helping Lower-Income Groups
While Quan is not a newbie in the world of politics, it will be his first time as a candidate. The 35-year-old is currently the head of healthcare redesign at Alexandra Hospital. He has been at the forefront of leading the hospital's COVID-19 operations during the pandemic in Community Care Facility. Before that, Quan spent years in an investment company after he left the Singapore Armed Forces.
A biochemical engineer from Duke University, Quan has helped form many initiatives to support lower-income families in Jurong area apart from helping people with disabilities as a board member of SG Enable.
If elected, Quan's focus will be on strengthening the local community and lower-income groups with affordable healthcare and community support plans.
"The reason why I'm stepping forward today is because I believe in the role of a Member of Parliament in the local community — bringing people together and just making extraordinary things happen for the benefit of residents and creating a better home for everyone," Quan said.