Two formerly incarcerated mothers have thanked former Member of Parliament (MP) Amrin Amin for personally helping them, in the wake of the 2020 General Election that saw the beloved grassroots MP unseated from Parliament.
A lawyer by trade, Mr Amrin became a prominent grassroots activist in Sembawang GRC soon after the 2011 General Election. He was fielded as a new ruling party candidate in the ward in the 2015 election and was elected into Parliament.
Mr Amrin was appointed as a political office-holder and served as Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Health during his five-year tenure as an elected politician. He was also 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.
The result was momentous – it was only the second instance in Singapore’s history in which the PAP behemoth lost a multi-member ward to the opposition. The outcome was also significant since it unseated three political office-holders. 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.
While the WP’s victory at Sengkang GRC was welcomed by many and was even seen as a new dawn for opposition politics, Singaporeans on both sides of the political divide have said that they were sad to see ruling party politician Amrin Amin ousted from Parliament.
Although Mr Amrin was only an MP for one term, he won hearts across the political spectrum for his kindness and compassion towards ordinary Singaporeans. He especially had a heart for ex-convicts and went above and beyond to uplift needy families.
New Life Stories – a non-profit organisation that advocates for incarcerated parents – and two of its beneficiaries have since thanked Mr Amrin for helping them. Expressing heartfelt gratitude to the ex-MP, New Life Stories wrote on Facebook:
“You have been a strong advocate for the rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-offenders into our society. You even went one step further – championing the prevention of intergenerational incarceration! We are incredibly grateful to have your unwavering support for our programmes throughout the years.
“We remember all the times you went beyond your call of duty to help our mothers when they were struggling to find their footing in society.”
One of New Life Stories’ beneficiaries who thanked Mr Amrin is Siti, a single mother of four. Siti was rejected a whopping 20 times when she applied for a rental flat until Mr Amrin kindly stepped in to help. After the ex-MP personally wrote in to the housing board, Mdm Siti’s rental flat application was approved within a month.
New Life Stories shared: “One of our beneficiaries, Siti, a single mother with four children, fondly recalls a time when you personally wrote in to HDB with regards to her application for a rental flat.
“She shared that she had approached HDB and applied for a rental flat 20 different times but got rejected for every one of them. When you wrote in to HDB after we spoke to you about her situation, her application was approved within a month!”
Another formerly incarcerated mother thanked Mr Amrin for keeping her motivated during her time in prison. Mr Amrin had visited the young mother, Jessica, during one of his prison visits at a time when she was disappointed with herself for relapsing. Mr Amrin took the time to encourage Jessica to believe in herself and work hard – words of wisdom that propelled her to excel in prison school and find happiness.
Sharing Jessica’s story, New Life Stories wrote: “Another beneficiary, a young mother, Jessica, also shared about how you motivated her to stay the course during her time in prison. After she was imprisoned for the second time, she felt extremely disappointed in herself for relapsing.
“When you met her during one of your visits to prison, you encouraged her to have faith and to always believe in herself. Your words really stuck to her, giving her the motivation to work hard. Jessica topped her class in prison school and is now living happily with her family!”
New Life Stories also shared that Mr Amrin was gracious with his time and took part in storytelling sessions, on top of encouraging mothers who were feeling low to believe in themselves. Thanking the beloved ex-parliamentarian, the charity wrote:
“From engaging our beneficiaries during lively storytelling sessions, to being so gracious with your time when encouraging our mothers to believe in themselves, we are blessed to have worked with a compassionate and dedicated leader such as yourself.
“Thank you, Mr Amrin Amin, for all the work that you have done for organisations such as us, and we wish you the very best!”
New Life Stories’ co-founder, noted activist Saleemah Ismail, also thanked Mr Amrin on her personal Facebook page. She wrote: “Amrin Amin, you’ve helped and gone the extra mile for many incarcerated and formerly incarcerated mothers, fathers and their children and families. On behalf of all of us, we want to say a big Thank You. You have our eternal gratitude.”
Thank you, Mr Amrin Amin.You have been a strong advocate for the rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-offenders into…