SINGAPORE: The Singapore People’s Party (SPP) has elected Mr Steve Chia as secretary-general and Mr Jose Raymond as chairman, it announced in a Facebook post on Tuesday (Nov 5).
The opposition party’s new central executive committee elected its office bearers at its first meeting on the same day.
Mr Chia, 49, succeeds veteran politician Chiam See Tong, 84, who stepped down as secretary-general last month after 23 years at the post. Mr Chiam remains a member of the party.
“I would like to thank Mr Chiam for his many years of mentorship and guidance in Parliament,” Mr Chia said of his predecessor.
“He has been a beacon in my life, and this is truly an honour for me to be given this task of taking over his appointment in the Singapore People’s Party.”
Mr Chia, previously SPP’s organising secretary, added that the transition for the new team has been “smooth and stable”.
“We are looking forward to working together as a team and in helping to continue the legacy of the SPP.”
Mr Chia was a member of the National Solidarity Party (NSP) from 1995 to 2018, and a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament from 2002 to 2006.
In the 2015 General Elections, he intended to contest in the MacPherson Single-Member Constituency but later dropped out of the race.
Meanwhile, former Singapore Environment Council executive director Jose Raymond will take over from Mrs Lina Chiam as the party’s chairman.
The 47-year-old is the chief strategy officer of communications firm Spin Worldwide and deputy chairman of the Chiam See Tong Sports Foundation, a charity that helps disadvantaged athletes.
The former journalist once served as press secretary to Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.
The appointment was an “emotional moment”, Mr Raymond said in a statement.
“Never in my wildest imagination would I have thought that this day would ever happen.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us, as a collective leadership. It is immaterial what positions we hold within the party, and we must always work together as a team.”
He added that it is their “duty and responsibility to carry on the work of Mr and Mrs Chiam and the values of the SPP – of being loyal to the country, of bringing good policy ideas to the table, to help people in need, to be their voices, and to always be their ray of hope".
Other office bearers include vice-chair Williiamson Lee, assistant secretary-general Ariffin Sha, treasurer Mario Ong and organising secretary Eman Lim.
SPP currently holds no seats in Parliament after losing Potong Pasir SMC to the People's Action Party in 2011.