SINGAPORE: Parliament has received 48 Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) proposal forms, the Office of the Clerk of Parliament said on Friday (Jul 6). Submissions closed at 4.30pm.
This is more than the 41 forms received in 2016, and the 36 submissions in 2014.
Members of the public and seven functional groups - business and industry, labour, the professions, social service organisations, the civic and people sector, tertiary education institutions, and media, arts and sports organisations - are able to make submissions for the role.
Only names of people who qualify for appointment will be submitted to the eight-member Special Select Committee of Parliament for consideration, after which the recommendation will be submitted to the President for appointment.
The committee is chaired by Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin and comprises MPs Chee Hong Tat, Grace Fu, Koh Poh Koon, Sylvia Lim, Josephine Teo, Vikram Nair and Lawrence Wong.
But apart from the Labour Movement, who announced its nomination of veteran union leader Arasu Duraisamy for the position on Jun 29, coordinators of the other six functional groups did not reveal the names of their nominees.
According to information from the Parliament website, each functional group can propose up to two people for the role.
The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) has recommended two NMP candidates for the business and industry functional group, SBF chairman SS Teo told Channel NewsAsia. “The nominees are selected based on their notable contributions to the field of business and industry, and that they qualify for appointment under the Constitution.”
As for the professions functional group, nominations were coordinated by the Academy of Medicine, Singapore (AMS). AMS master S R E Sayampanathan said it received a total of nine nominations, two of which were shortlisted and subsequently submitted to Parliament.
The People’s Association said there are a total of four nominees for the civic and people sector. “They are established in their professional fields, have distinguished themselves in their social and community services and would ensure a greater diversity of voices in the House as they contribute independent and non-partisan views in Parliament,” it said.
WHO ELSE HAS LIKELY SUBMITTED THEIR NAME?
At an open town hall last month, the arts community introduced two potential candidates to become their NMP: School of the Arts lecturer Felicia Low, and Woon Tien Wei, a visual artist who founded social enterprise Post-Museum.
Channel NewsAsia understands that both parties submitted their applications to the National Arts Council (NAC) on Thursday. In a statement, NAC said it has submitted all eligible applications to Parliament, and it looks forward to working with the appointed arts NMP, if one is selected.
Popular blogger Wendy Cheng, also known as Xiaxue, has also publicly declared her interest in the role. She first declared her intentions in a Facebook post on Apr 1 and, in a subsequent interview with 8 Days magazine, said the qualities that make her suitable for the role include being “very well connected to what the youth thinks” as they often communicate with her via social media channels.
Current NMPs Azmoon Ahmad and Kuik Shiao-Yin had earlier indicated that they would step down from their roles. Current Labour NMP K Thanaletchimi is also preparing to step down in September.
The NMP scheme was introduced in 1990 to provide alternative voices in Parliament. The Office of the Clerk of Parliament said nominees should have rendered distinguished public service, brought honour to Singapore, or have distinguished themselves in their respective field.