Singapore — New People’s Action Party (PAP) MP Gan Siow Huang could be the latest parliamentarian to organise free legal clinic sessions for her constituents.
On Wednesday (Sept 23), the PAP politician announced that lawyers will provide pro bono consultations to residents in Marymount SMC twice a week as part of a new community legal clinic initiative.
Residents will be able to seek free legal advice on personal matters like making a Lasting Power of Attorney, probate matters, neighbour disputes, divorce matters, employment disputes, small claims, criminal matters and advice on applications under the Mental Capacity Act.
Both elected and non-elected politicians have arranged free legal services for the people for a number of years now. Singapore’s only elected opposition party, the Workers’ Party, regularly offers pro bono legal services to its constituents, who also benefit from free legal services offered by the non-elected PAP branch chairman in the WP’s Aljunied ward.
The legal clinic initiative at Marymount SMC comes about two-and-a-half months after Ms Gan was elected to Parliament.
Ms Gan was among the new candidates fielded by the PAP in this year’s elections. She drew considerable interest because she was referred to as having been the country’s first woman general. She was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General in the Singapore Armed Forces in 2015.
The mother of three was appointed Chief of Staff–Air Staff of the Republic of Singapore Air Force in 2019 but resigned from her post and retired from a long military career in March 2020.
In same month, she was seen with Defence Minister and Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC MP Ng Eng Hen at a walkabout in Bishan, fuelling speculation that she could be fielded as a PAP candidate in the impending elections. Only four days before Nomination Day, Ms Gan was confirmed as the PAP candidate for the new Marymount SMC.
It was a close fight against opposition heavyweight Dr Ang Yong Guan of the Progress Singapore Party but the political novice won Marymount SMC with 55 per cent of the vote. Two weeks after the elections, Ms Gan was appointed Minister of State for Education and Manpower.
Ms Gan drew praise on social media after she announced plans to hold biweekly legal clinic sessions for Marymount residents. They can take advantage of free legal services by visiting the legal clinic on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at Block 231, Bishan Street 23.
Free legal clinic for Marymount residents. #Marymount