Former ruling party MP Amrin Amin is set to join two technology firms, about two months after he was unseated from parliament in the 2020 general election.
Mr Amrin was elected to Parliament in the 2015 general election and represented Sembawang GRC from 2015 to 2020. Making a name for himself as a grassroots MP, Mr Amrin also served as Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Health.
Well-liked by Singaporeans on both sides of the political divide, Mr Amrin was widely seen as one of the PAP’s rising stars and was tipped to be the establishment’s pick to take over the Malay Affairs portfolio among the fourth-generation (4G) cohort of People’s Action Party (PAP) leaders.
During the latest election, Mr Amrin was moved from Sembawang GRC to the four-member Sengkang GRC – which was newly carved out ahead of the election. In a stunning upset, the PAP team was defeated by the Worker’s Party team which won the election with over 52 per cent of votes.
Three political office-holders were unseated due to the unexpected outcome. Mr Amrin, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Ng Chee Meng and Senior Minister of State Lam Pin Min were all denied the chance to return to Parliament.
After their defeat at the polls, Dr Lam returned to his medical practice while Mr Ng was allowed to continue serving as the secretary-general of the Government-backed labour movement.
While he is a lawyer by training, Mr Amrin has now decided to join the tech sector instead of going back to law. He is set to officially join Platform for Bots and Automation (PBA) as strategic director and ADERA Global as non-executive adviser on 14 Sept.
PBA is a robotics and automation firm while ADERA global focuses on data security, artificial intelligence, as well as automation. Mr Amrin has apparently been attending meetings and getting familiarised with both companies, before his official start date.
Revealing that he began thinking about job-hunting the day after the election, which took place on 10 July, Mr Amrin told the Straits Times that returning to the legal field would have been the “easy way” and that he has already “checked that box” when it came to the legal sector.
Sharing that he wanted to try something new and that the tech sector interested him, Mr Amrin told the publication: “And I was looking ahead, what’s hot right now, and what is going to add value to my life experience. And the answer must be to venture into new areas, to stretch my potential beyond legal and government.”
Mr Amrin is set to focus on PBA’s Robotics Automation Centre of Excellence training academy and help both PBA and ADERA expand locally and abroad. The ex-MP said that the work both firms do enlarges Singapore’s economic footprint and provides more jobs for locals.
The former politician also told the national broadsheet that he does not regret contesting Sengkang GRC. He said:
“Do I regret contesting in Sengkang? Definitely not. No regrets because it’s a great honour. A great honour to fight one of the toughest battles for the party and stand up for what I believe in.”
Although Mr Amrin lost Sengkang GRC, he and the other PAP candidates who contested the ward remain active as PAP branch chairmen in Sengkang. Asserting that the “work continues” for him and his running mates, Mr Amrin said: “We’ll just have to do our best as party activists, not as elected officials of course, having lost the elections. But we do our best as party activists in that constituency.”
While Mr Amrin now gets more time to spend with his family, he also promised to keep his ears “close to the ground,” adding: “You don’t quit from feeling for the people you deeply care about, and for the country that you dearly love in just one election cycle. It’s in my blood.”
When asked about the possibility of a political comeback, Mr Amrin laughed and said that he has a “never say never” approach. He said, “We cannot be living in our past, neither do we want to get too ahead of ourselves.”