Singapore—House Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin announced on Thursday (Jan 14) that the nine new Nominated Members of Parliament (NMP) are to be appointed on Jan 21.
The NMP scheme, introduced in Singapore in 1990, was put in place to ensure that there would be broad representation in the country’s highest legislative body.
The nine are national athlete Mark Chay, 38; conservation scientist Professor Koh Lian Pin, 44, economics professor Hoon Hian Teck, 61, NTUC vice-president Abdul Samad Abdul Wahab, 48; security industry association head Raj Joshua Thomas, 41; Sistic chairman Janet Ang, 61; GuocoLand group managing director Cheng Hsing Yao, 49; dental surgeon and National Youth Council member Shahira Abdullah, 33; and Singapore Medical Association president Tan Yia Swam, 40.
All of them are first-time NMPs.
They will be presented with the instruments of appointment at the Istana on Thursday by President Halimah Yacob.
In February, they will take their oath in the next parliamentary sitting, and will serve a term lasting two and a half years.
Mr Tan headed a Special Select Committee of Parliament which chose the nine new NMPs out of a pool of 61 candidates.
A majority of the candidates (46) put their own names forward, while the others were nominated by various groups and sectors.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah, ministers Chan Chun Sing, Gan Kim Yong, Maliki Osman, and Vivian Balakrishnan; Minister of State Gan Siow Huang; and Workers’ Party MP for Aljunied GRC Leon Perera were the other members of the committee.
The straitstimes.com quotes the Speaker as saying, “With many high-calibre candidates stepping forward for consideration, it was not an easy task for the Select Committee to nominate the maximum of nine NMPs.”
He cited that the nine new NMPs’ had “creditable accomplishments in their individual fields and a good grasp of issues they are passionate about,” and added that he is looking forward to “the rich diversity of insights and experiences they can bring to the House when we debate matters concerning Singapore and Singaporeans.”
In a separate article, ST reported on the issues that the new NMPs intend to raise in Parliament:
For NTUC’s Abdul Samad, among the issues he will raise are the expansion of the Progresive Wage Model and those concerning Singapore’s older workers.
SISTIC’s Ms Ang plans on bringing up the challenges that both small and big firms are facing in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ex-Olympic athlete Mr Chay, who is also the director of Global Esports Federation, will focus on making sports more available to young people.
GuocoLand’s Mr Cheng wants to contribute to deeper ties and cooperation between public and private sectors in formulating policies.
Prof Hoon, the Dean of SMU’s School of Economics, told ST of his intent to design policy that would bring about economic inclusion.
NUS Prof Koh, a lauded conservation scientist, will be bringing topics around nature conservation, climate change, and sustainability to the table.
Lawyer Raj Joshua Thomas, who is the president of the Security Association Singapore, will focus on the criminal justice system as well as uplifting lower-wage employees.
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital’s Dr Abdullah will be raising issues that affect young people, such as inclusivity, diversity, and the openness to addressing sensitive issues such as race.
And finally, Dr Tan, the clinical director at Thomson Breast Centre, and the first woman president of the Singapore Medical Association, wants to speak on mental wellness issues as well as the challenges that less-represented groups face.