Singapore GE: Former SAF engineer only independent candidate

Independent candidate Cheang Peng Wah (pic) says his next course of action will be to release his manifesto and to decide on a logo, so that residents can better identify him. — TODAY pic
Independent candidate Cheang Peng Wah (pic) says his next course of action will be to release his manifesto and to decide on a logo, so that residents can better identify him. — TODAY pic

SINGAPORE, July 1 — Of the four men who tried to run in the General Election (GE) as independent candidates, only one was successful.

Cheang Peng Wah, a former Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) engineer who declined to reveal his age, will be contesting in a three-cornered fight at Pioneer Single Member Constituency (SMC) against Patrick Tay from the People’s Action Party (PAP) and Lim Cher Hong from the Progress Singapore Party (PSP). 

Yesterday, he arrived at the nomination centre in Jurong Pioneer Junior College at about 11am wearing a black polo tee with a white collar, with at least two of his supporters in similar attire. 

In his speech after his nomination papers were accepted, Cheang thanked his supporters who were “willing and dared to stand up and make a difference for Singapore,” and for residents in the Pioneer ward to look out for him in the coming days before the polls. 

His next course of action will be to release his manifesto and to decide on a logo, so that residents can better identify him. 

Speaking to TODAY, Cheang said that he used to work as a chief logistics engineer in Sembawang Air Base, though he did not say when he worked there. He left the force in 1996 to work in the Ministry of Defence, under what is now known as the Defence Science and Technology Agency.

In 2000, he moved on to aviation firm Eurocopter — now known as Airbus Helicopters — where he worked until 2005. 

He then taught mathematics at Singapore Polytechnic for four years and then in 2009, he decided to venture to China with a friend to conduct courses for small- and medium-sized enterprises. He was there “for a while,” but did not elaborate on whether he is still working overseas now. 

While his work may have taken him away from Singapore, running as an independent candidate in a GE has been on his mind since at least 2011. 

During the elections that year, he had collected the candidate forms for Pioneer SMC and had prepared a red polo tee with a white collar. However, he had work in Brunei that prevented him from running for the elections then. 

In 2015, he again planned to contest and prepared a copy of his manifesto, but was persuaded not to do so.

This time, Cheang is confident that he is ready. “I have been preparing for 10 years, more or less,” he said. “I think I can win here, so that’s why I'm here.” 

When asked what he could deliver to the residents at Pioneer, Cheang said that he would focus on issues such as the environment, maintenance of amenities, lower cost of conservancy charges and the “intimacy between new citizens and old citizens”.

As to why he is running in Pioneer SMC, he said that he had stayed in a hostel around the area during his time studying at the Nanyang Technological University.

He also said that the SMC covers a small area, so it will be “well managed” by a “resource-scarce person.”

On why he did not join a political party, he said that “the opposition is not fierce and strong enough” and they are “rather weak and disunited.”

“I cannot agree with the opposition,” he said. “They can collect a group of party-hoppers and become a party.

“How can you have a political ideology that keeps changing every other year? I cannot agree with such a group of people.” 

Apart from Cheang, three other men — Victor Ronnie Lai, Shirwin Eu and Ooi Boon Ewe — who turned up on Nomination Day to file papers were rejected. — TODAY

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