You might remember Raeesah Khan featured in our CLEO Change Makers campaign.

You’ll now be seeing her more often because the 26-year-old was one of the new faces spotlighted on Workers’ Party (WP) deputy treasurer Lee Li Lian’s Facebook page recently, fuelling talk that she could be one to watch for the upcoming general election.

In the post, Raeesah was pictured distributing WP flyers in the new Sengkang group representation constituency (GRC) along with party member and potential GE candidate Jamus Lim.

Li Lian, the former MP for Punggol East single-member constituency (SMC), which has since been absorbed into Sengkang GRC, has also been introducing Raeesah and Jamus to residents, The Straits Times reported.

Raeesah is the daughter of Farid Khan, the president of the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SMCCI) and an ex-presidential hopeful.

Farid, 64, had applied to run in the last presidential election in 2017 but was eventually deemed ineligible as he did not satisfy the private sector service requirement.

Private-sector candidates must have served as the chief executive of a company with at least $500 million in shareholder equity for three years.

Illustrious family background aside, Raeesah is a changemaker in her own right.

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She founded the non-profit organisation Reyna Movement three years ago, aiming to empower women in Singapore through education and engagement programmes.

The organisation is also active in Kuala Lumpur, where it provides aid to Rohingya refugees.

Raeesah has been involved in activist work since she was 17 and has volunteered with several social organisations including SDI Academy and AIME.

While speculation has been rife about WP’s candidates for the upcoming GE, only a handful of new faces are likely to be fielded, party insiders told The Straits Times.

As for the newly created Sengkang GRC, WP’s candidates are still up in the air.

The four-member GRC is made up of parts of Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, as well as WP’s stomping grounds, Punggol East SMC and parts of Sengkang West SMC.

WP’s Koh Choong Yong was fielded in Sengkang West in the 2015 general election, while Lee narrowly lost the seat in Punggol East to PAP’s Charles Chong in the same election.

But Raeesah and Lim’s presence in the Sengkang area has prompted speculation that they may be part of the team of four that will be contesting the GRC.

Image: Berita Harian
Text: Kimberly Anne Lim / AsiaOne / April 2020