Lions icons shocked to learn they're featured as SDP 'poster boys'

SINGAPORE - When the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) wanted to promote its political policies, it decided to make two of Singapore's most famous footballing sons - Fandi Ahmad, 50, and Terry Pathmanathan, 57 - its poster boys.

After all, even the most apathetic of Singaporeans would know a thing or two about the Lions icons - and they had recently spoken out strongly about being bypassed by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) in favour of foreign talent.

So the SDP featured the grievances of Mr Fandi and Mr Pathmanathan in an article titled "How SDP's policies can help: The case of Fandi Ahmad", on its website on Monday.

Citing how the former footballers had been passed over by FAS in favour of foreigners, the article said that "such discrimination will not be allowed under the SDP's alternative immigration policy".

It also highlighted how both men were unhappy with the FAS, which they had spoken about in interviews with The New Paper.

Mr Jufri Salim, a member of the Young Democrats, the SDP's youth wing, came up with the idea to feature the football icons. He said it was because their cases had been "widely reported and commented on in the print and new media".

Asked about reactions to the article, he said: "(The) comments generally echoed the fact that the current government foreign-worker policy is unfair towards Singaporeans. Some commented on the sports authorities paying large sums of money to former Chinese nationals to represent Singapore on the international stage."

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