The independent candidate Samir Salim Neji, a foreigner-turned-citizen who appeared out of nowhere to create a multi-corner fight in Bukit Batok Single Member Constituency (SMC), says that he is contesting to “reduce stress” for Singaporeans and to “stand up for more happiness”.

After noticing that stress levels in Singapore were increasing, the 45 year-old managing director of Anaplan Asia Pacific says he wants to promote more time with family. “I want to reduce the stress so that there is more time with family. How many hours does a Singaporean work? We don’t have any private time for ourselves.”

He added: “If you were to put a caption on me, it’ll be that I stand for more happiness and less stress,”

His solution? Promoting more entrepreneurship and start-ups.

“I want Singapore to have in the next five years probably 10 Facebooks, Ubers — those kind of companies. We have more Government-linked companies here. I think we need a change in industry structure,” said Mr Neji.

He will face the People’s Action Party’s David Ong, 54, and Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) candidate Sadasivam Veriyah, 63.

Mr Salim Neji, who is married with two daughters aged 11 and 13, moved from India to Singapore about two decades ago and became a citizen around 15 years ago. He says his wife, who is 40 years old, is “very supportive” of his decision to contest the Sept 11 poll. He has been discussing his political ambitions with her for the past two to three years, and decided it was time to “take it to the next level” this election.

“Why I picked Bukit Batok is because the cost of living is low here. This can be a start-up village for Singapore. The vision is build this place as a start-up entrepreneur (place) so that we drive more jobs and employment.”

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