Written by: Lim Wei Jie
Edited by: Sarah Cheng
Close to midnight last Wednesday, an email blast came in from our JCRC HonGenSec, announcing the nomination of Gan Ghim Joo and Choo Kok Liang as the candidates of the 59th JCRC Elections. We join the two candidates on a Friday evening to learn more about them and their plans for their elections campaign and beyond.
Could you introduce yourselves please?
GJ: I’m Ghim Joo, full name Gan Ghim Joo. Some of you may think I may sound Korean but I’m not Korean (lol). I’m a year 2 statistics student. Currently F block head, and previously I’ve also done KEWOC as the head as well. That’s all, I think.
KL: I’m Kok Liang, year 1 student, studying Economics, from F block. I’ve been the Malaysia Night Head and also the Chingay Head this year. Besides these two roles, I’ve also participated in other CCAs like KEnsemble, and also sports teams, mainly tennis.
Why did you decide to run for election?
GJ: I think most of you all know that we missed the first nomination deadline. After that, they reopened it. At that point, I reconsidered running again, as it’ll be very bad for our hall if we don’t have a JCRC to manage and support the hall. What’s more, as most of you all heard, this hall is having a new master. If there’s a new master without a JCRC, it’s a bit… not good for our hall. Other than that, there’s a 100th year anniversary which is a very big thing for all KEVIIANS. So, I reconsidered it for a long time. During that two week window, I heard from some people that, “eh, Kok Liang is running also”. That’s where I found a partner to run with me as we both need to be interested in running and leading the hall.
I’ve been the F Block Head, and I’ve been KEWOC Head. These roles I currently play won’t benefit everybody. For example, the things I do as F block head will only benefit the block, and for orientation camp, the freshmen la. So, I thought, why not just do it for the whole hall when I have ideas that can benefit them?
That’s why I want to run.
KL: Actually, when I just entered hall, I never imagined that I will be doing these sort of things or running for president. The reason I thought so was because I wasn’t sure where my ability lay. After I finished Chingay, I believe that I’ve some ability to do this role, and I quite enjoy working in a leadership role as I’m someone who likes to create something instead of just doing something. I like to try things and initiate new ideas instead of just doing the things that have been done before. Also, the satisfaction of leading people in the same direction, and bringing happiness to them is one of the pleasures that I had felt during Chingay.
After Chingay, I slowly considered whether I wanted to run for presidency. At that point, I was quite excited for next year’s 100th anniversary and wanted to be the leader for this event. Later on, when I talked to seniors and current JCRC members, I slowly had more ideas on how to do more things for the hall. If given the chance, I would do my best to benefit this hall.
In the midst of all this preparation, what are you guys planning for the next year?
KL: We noticed issues occurring in the midst of everyday hall life. Like succession issues. Every year, hall leaders will be worried about choosing people to take up their positions the next year, sometimes because no one is willing to take up the role or, in the worst case, they might not be able to take up the role. During IHG, we might see only those responsible or on duty going down for the games. Also, KEVIIans’ day. It’s a huge celebration for our hall, but not many make it down. I guess this mentality is (in Chinese), “If it’s none of my business, I shouldn’t be involved”. So we’re thinking that the root of this problem is that our hall residents may not have a strong sense of identity as a KEVIIan.
GJ: Our plans for next year include strengthening hall spirit to make everyone feel more like a KEVIIan la. To achieve this, we have to start right at the beginning of the year. The first event for all freshmen and some seniors will be KEWOC, the orientation camp. We will make some improvements to the orientation camp so that residents will be more bonded, and not just during the camp. Some events throughout the semester will be related to our 100th anniversary. We will be using them to promote our goal of getting residents to come down and bond. Of course, we‘re not going to make it so busy such that there’s one activity every week. I think it will tire everyone out. We have thought about and brainstormed many activities. We’re still in the process of planning, but by the dinner rally and debate, you’ll be able to see our plans so watch out for it.
We gather that you two did not partner up from the start. Will this impede your team dynamics?
KL: On my part, I initially thought of running for presidency but later, I found out that Ghim Joo was also running. Since both of us were looking for vice-presidents, we seemed to come out with no result. Ghim Joo actually came to me to ask if we could run together. I was okay with it because 一山不能藏二虎 (on clarification, I learnt this Chinese expression literally meant “a mountain cannot hold two tigers”).
So we sat down, talked about our plans, and we found similarities in our ideas. I thought that if we cooperated, we could carry them out more effectively than if we were running individually. It would be better to create a stronger team
GJ: What we are trying to do is to benefit the hall with our similar goals and similar plans.
Have you found your JCRC committee yet?
GJ: We have asked some capable KEVIIANS whether they are able and they are considering. We are still looking for more people.
KL: If there is anyone willing, we gladly welcome them.
GJ: Do join the 59th JCRC.
Any final words to the residents?
GJ: Even though it’s just the two of us running for election, we are one KE Hall and we need everyone to help and be involved in all the activities that will be coming up. That’s what we need from the seniors. If spirit is shown at the start of the year, I’m sure the freshmen will be influenced. That’s all the support we need from everyone.
KL: Like what Ghim Joo said, we need the support from seniors. We can’t do anything without residents, and residents are important to make things happen. Next year, according to our plan, we will need the cooperation from the seniors.
GJ: See all of you during the Dinner Rally, and on Wednesday’s Debate!
Keep up with the election season by liking the KEVII Hall JCRC Presidential Elections Facebook page!