A Retiree Plans to Contest in Pioneer SMC as an Independent Candidate to Raise Issues About Climate Changes


Those voting the Pioneer SMC, watch out for the incoming underdog.

If you hear some bells ringing and you’re living near the Pioneer SMC region, it might not be the ice-cream uncle you are expecting to find.

That man ringing a bell and holding a sunflower is Mr Victor Ronnie Lai, a 65-year-old retired financial accountant running as an independent candidate in Pioneer SMC.

But don’t anyhowly dismiss this uncle as just some random uncle because he has reportedly obtained a political donation certificate and will put his name in the ballot on Nomination Day (30 June).

You read that right.

Which means Pioneer SMC is now at least a four-way fight between People’s Action Party, Progress Singapore Party, Peoples Voice, and one Mr Victor Ronnie Lai. Incumbent PAP MP Cedric Foo is expected to step down before the election.

But let’s hear this Mr Lai out.

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Lest you don’t know, independent candidates not only face the challenge of not having any reputable brand name or assistance, they also have to forfeit their election deposit if their votes fail to get at least 1/8th of the votes in the contested constituency.

Which is why most politicians join a party instead of running as an independent.

Mr Lai felt that a party would have people with different interests and purposes so he chose to run as an independent.

“I believe that any politician should be accountable for his or her own actions, which is why I decided to join as an independent.”

He had decided to run in Pioneer SMC because the name of the constituency represented hope and new beginnings.


Friends would also call him “Mr Sunflower”, as he often carries a sunflower around. To him, it also represents the importance of loving nature and hope for the planet.

And if that wasn’t clue enough, that also seems to be the core issue he is concerned about.

A Champion Of Climate Issues

“Some people may think that climate change is the responsibility of the future generation,” he said. “But I want to try to convince them that the reason we are able to have such a peaceful and enjoyable and prosperous life today is because the Pioneer Generation had worked hard for us.”

If elected, he would call for more funds into research to cut emissions, like technologies that capture and convert carbon emissions into useful substances.

Social And Education Also A Focus

Mr Lai’s political approach is one of unity and not division, he said.

Besides the climate, he is also studying if a fund contributed by residents of the constituency to be disbursed to the needy is feasible.

This fund will be a supplement to other national assistance schemes.

Additionally, he remarked that the education system should be adjusted for students to spend less time on homework and more time with families.

He declined to give details about his family, except that he is married with children as he does not want his decision to affect them.

Although Mr Lai’s name is still basically unknown, the issues he raised are definitely very important, and having more champions for good causes is always a good thing.


He is now seeking a proposer, a seconder and at least four other assentors to support his candidature on Nomination Day. You can email him at [email protected]

We shall watch him with interest. As they say, anything can happen.

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