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New Nominated Members of Parliament sworn in

SINGAPORE: Nine new Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs) were sworn in on Monday (Feb 1).

The nine individuals, all first-time NMPs, are:

  • SP Group principal technical officer Mr Abdul Samad Abdul Wahab
  • SISTIC chairman Ms Janet Ang
  • Global Esports Federation secretariat director Mr Mark Chay
  • Guocoland group managing director Mr Cheng Hsing Yao
  • Singapore Management University school of economics dean Professor Hoon Hian Teck
  • National University of Singapore conservation scientist Professor Koh Lian Pin
  • Lawyer Mr Raj Joshua Thomas
  • Khoo Teck Puat Hospital orthodontic registrar Dr Shahira Abdullah
  • Thomson Breast Centre surgeon Dr Tan Yia Swam

Their two-and-a-half-year term began on Jan 21.

The nine had been picked by a special committee of MPs chaired by Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, out of 61 names that had been thrown in the hat for nomination.

READ: The Big Read: 30 years of NMP scheme - are non-partisan, unelected voices still needed in Parliament?

In announcing the list last month, Mr Tan noted that the selected NMPs have “creditable accomplishments in their individual fields and a good grasp of issues they are passionate about”.

“I thus look forward to the rich diversity of insights and experiences they can bring to the House when we debate matters concerning Singapore and Singaporeans,” he said.

Some of the NMPs wasted no time joining parliamentary discussions. Professor Koh Lian Pin, for instance, spoke up in support of a motion calling on the House to accelerate and deepen efforts against climate change.

In his maiden speech, Prof Koh emphasised the importance of partnerships between the Government, corporates and the public in achieving these goals.

He added that furthering these ties may require the authorities to be more active in communicating their policy rationales.

“Nurturing such partnerships may also require the Government to be even more receptive to feedback from the public on the changing needs and priorities of society, especially with regards to climate change, nature conservation and sustainable development," said Prof Koh.

“Importantly, as Singapore embraces sustainability in a less certain and more polarising world, it becomes ever more pressing for the government, the corporate sector and the wider public to work together to tackle new challenges and to capitalize on emerging opportunities on the horizon."

READ: For Nominated Members of Parliament, it's not just about talking in Parliament

SISTIC chairman Janet Ang also spoke up on a Bill proposing amendments to a law that governs electronic transactions.

She called the Bill “timely” as the outlook for digital trade and digital services is rapidly growing.

But Ms Ang also highlighted that many small- and medium-sized enterprises are still grappling with the barriers of investment costs and skills needed for digitalisation.

“One suggestion is for the government to consider seconding some of their tech scholars to work in SMEs on digital transformation efforts,” she added.

Several of the NMPs, including labour union representative Mr Abdul Samad and lawyer Mr Thomas, told CNA last month that they would focus on issues faced by low-wage workers. Others had pledged to champion sustainability, for example.

The NMP scheme was introduced in 1990 to ensure a wide representation of community views in Parliament.

Under the scheme, up to nine NMPs can be appointed in each Parliament.

Source: CNA/cl


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