SINGAPORE: The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) on Friday (Jun 29) announced that it has nominated long-time union leader Arasu Duraisamy to be the next Labour Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP), as current NMP K Thanaletchimi prepares to step down in September.
In a press release, NTUC said Mr Arasu, 50, is an elected member of its Central Committee as well as general secretary of the Singapore Port Workers’ Union (SPWU). He first joined SPWU as a member in 1993 and elected to his current position in October 2014.
Mr Arasu was also in the National Wages Council and represented the workers’ perspective in terms of formulating wage guidelines. He also represents NTUC in the Public Transport Council and provides perspectives as both a commuter and worker, it added.
On the global front, Mr Arasu is a member of the International Transport Workers’ Federation, Dockers Section, and is a “proud advocate” of Singapore’s tripartism, according to the press release.
“In my view, a Nominated Member of Parliament should be passionate about serving the people,” Mr Arasu said in the press release. “As a Labour NMP, it is also about bringing across feedback and concerns from our workers to the Parliament so that pertinent issues can be resolved and changes can be made for the good our workers and economy.
“The NMP must be able to engage the ground and be trusted upon by our workers to place their interests as top priority,” he added.
Commenting on the nomination, NTUC president Mary Liew said the union is confident Mr Arasu will bring value by speaking up for workers’ interests and welfare in Parliament.
“Coming from a union that has very strong labour-management relation with the management, he understands the true benefits of how such a foundation can be a win-win for both the company and its workers,” she said.
If his nomination is successful, Mr Arasu will take over from current NMP K Thanaletchimi, who will be stepping down once her term ends in September. He will be the 12th union representative since 1992 to be nominated, the press release said.
Last week, the arts community put up two names – School of the Arts lecturer Felicia Low and visual artist Woon Tien Wei – as potential candidates to replace incumbent Kok Heng Leun.
The Office of the Clerk of Parliament had said that public submissions for the next batch of NMPs opened on Jun 4 and will close on Jul 6 at 4.30pm.
The NMP scheme was first introduced in 1990 and provided for up to six members, but this was increased to nine members in July 1997.