SINGAPORE – People’s Action Party (PAP) candidate and former Republic of Singapore Air Force brigadier-general Gan Siow Huang has earned her wings after winning her first electoral contest in newly formed Marymount SMC.
Ms Gan, 45, defeated her opponent Dr Ang Yong Guan, 65, of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) with 55.04 per cent of the votes in a close contest.
A trailblazer in the SAF – where she became the first woman general in 2015 – she will now be the Member of Parliament for Marymount SMC, which was carved out of Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC this year.
The ward, with 23,444 voters, comprises the Housing Board blocks in Bishan Streets 22 to 25, Shunfu and parts of Sin Ming, and amenities such as Marymount MRT station, schools like Catholic High School, Eunoia Junior College and the adjoining Marymount Community Club.
In her constituency political broadcast on Monday (July 6), ahead of the polls, she said the new Marymount single seat would be managed by the same town council as that for nearby Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, to ensure cost-effectiveness and high maintenance standards.
A large part of her manifesto also centred around jobs. With a recession looming, as well as her recent appointment as deputy chief executive officer of the labour movement’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i), she said: “My first priority will be to help residents who are searching for job opportunities and protect their livelihoods and families.”
In a separate e-rally streamed on her Facebook page on Wednesday, she said residents can also look forward to neighbourhood renewal programmes, upgrading of the Thomson Community Club, new cycling tracks and a covered walkway from Bishan MRT to Bishan North Shopping Mall, as well as a new polyclinic in Bishan.
The mother of three girls aged 17, 13 and eight, is married to Mr Lee Jek Suen, 46, a former naval officer who now holds a corporate job at Jurong Port.
After over 20 years in the Republic of Singapore Air Force, she resigned from her role as Chief of Staff-Air Staff in March, and joined e2i in April.
One of the 10 new female candidates fielded by the PAP for this general election, Ms Gan has already been touted as among those slated for higher political office.
She is only the party’s second woman political rookie to be fielded in a single seat since Ms Cheryl Chan stood in Fengshan in 2015.
As for Ms Gan’s opponent, this was Dr Ang’s third run for elected office since 2011.
The psychiatrist and former army colonel stood as a Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) candidate in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC in 2011, and in Tanjong Pagar GRC in 2015 with the now-defunct Singaporeans First party (SingFirst).
He spent 23 years in the Singapore Armed Forces, where he headed the psychological medicine branch, after which he left in 2003 to start his own private practice.
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