SINGAPORE: The Special Select Committee responsible for the appointment of Nominated Members of Parliament announced on Monday (Sep 17) its nine nominations to fill the vacancies in Parliament.
The nine people proposed to President Halimah Yacob are:
- Mr Arasu Duraisamy
General secretary of the Singapore Port Workers Union (SPWU) and an elected member of the NTUC Central Committee.
- Mr Foo Peow Yong Douglas
Executive chairman of Sakae Holdings and the president of the Singapore Manufacturing Federation.
- Mr Ho Wee San
Managing director of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO).
- Professor Lim Sun Sun
Head of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, and member of the Media Literacy Council.
- Mr Abbas Ali Mohamed Irshad
Founder and director of Roses of Peace (ROP), a non-profit organisation with the aim of promoting inter-faith understanding and dialogue.
- Ms Ong Lay Theng Anthea
Social entrepreneur and founder/CEO of Anagami, a corporate social responsibility consultancy.
- Ms Quay Siew Ching Irene
Certified pharmacist and assistant director in the Allied Health Office at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, as well as president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore.
- Associate Professor Walter Edgar Theseira
Transport economist at the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and a member of the Ministry of Social and Family Development's research advisory panel.
- Ms Yip Pin Xiu
Paralympian swimmer who won Singapore's first gold medal in the 50m backstroke at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games in a world record time, before bettering the feat at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
Mr Arasu said he was "apprehensive" when first approached by a few union leaders to consider the post, according to an article on the NTUC website.
"But they worked their magic on me. My main aim as a unionist is to better the lives of our workers and members and so if there is another platform for me to air the members’ views, why not. So, I said I will take up the challenge,” he was cited as saying.
The article also stated that Mr Arasu plans to focus on "entrenching tripartism in Singapore", which he "described ... as a burning issue".
"According to Mr Arasu, while the top management in companies and at the national level amongst government leaders and the top echelon in the ministries and statutory boards recognise the importance of tripartism, the same cannot be said of those at the middle management level.
"He said more needed to be done to emphasise the importance of tripartism and he hoped this could start at the schools by making the topic as part of the curriculum. He intends to talk about this in Parliament," the article added.
According to the press release by the Office of the Clerk of Parliament, a total of 48 proposals were received by closing time on Jul 6.
Speaker of Parliament and chairman of the committee Tan Chuan-Jin said in the release the committee is "confident that these passionate and committed individuals will ably represent the views within and across their communities, thus expanding and deepening perspectives shared at Parliamentary debates”.
Leader of the House and committee member Grace Fu added that the nine come with "good credentials in their respective fields and have keen interest in a broad range of issues".
"As a group, they add to the diversity of expertise and experience in the House," Ms Fu, who is also Minister of Culture, Community and Youth, said.
"Among them, we will have a pharmacist, a para-athlete, a leader of the traditional arts sector and an activist for inter-religious harmony. Two of the NMPs are below the age of 30, and I am sure they will enrich debate by bringing the voices of the youth to the House.
"The Government looks forward to working with the NMPs for the betterment of Singapore, and the lives of Singaporeans.”
President Halimah will present the Instruments of Appointment to the NMPs at the Istana on Sep 26, and the nine will take their oath at the next sitting of Parliament, the release said.