The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) has announced its full support for Mr Ng Chee Meng as its secretary-general. This came after speculation and doubt surrounding Mr Ng’s future in NTUC after his team lost to the Workers’ Party team in the newly-formed Sengkang GRC.
For the past 40 years, NTUC’s secretary-general post has been held by a Cabinet minister.
However, NTUC’s president Mary Liew clarified that Mr Ng’s position was “independent of political appointments”. The members of the NTUC Central Committee thus “stand in unanimous support” for Mr Ng to remain as secretary-general as he had been elected by the committee members for a four year term, spanning from 2019 to 2023.
In response to the announcement of NTUC’s support for Mr Ng, some netizens saw that the loss at Sengkang did not have much bearing for the former Member of Parliament as he would be retaining his title as labour chief.
Many netizens also pointed out that the NTUC secretary-general position had almost always been filled by a Cabinet Minister. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also said in 2018 that “the symbiotic relationship between the NTUC and the PAP has served us well since Singapore’s founding, and that we should continue to strengthen both the leadership of the labour movement and this relationship”.
However, other netizens remained supportive of Mr Ng.
Some netizens also reiterated that it was NTUC’s Central Committee that had elected him, and not the Parliament.
To the support he has received from NTUC, Mr Ng has responded that he is “humbled and honoured by the strong support and encouragement from my sisters and brothers in the Labour Movement, in particular that of the NTUC Central Committee.”