Singapore to appoint Olympics swimmer, scientist and 7 others as new nominated MPs from Jan 21

SINGAPORE, Jan 15 (The Straits Times/ANN): An Olympic swimmer, a conservation scientist and an economics professor are among the nine new Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs).

Mr Mark Chay, 38; Professor Koh Lian Pin, 44; and Professor Hoon Hian Teck, 61, like the rest, are all first-time NMPs, and will be appointed by President Halimah Yacob for a 2½ year term. Their names were announced by Parliament on Thursday (Jan 14).

The others are: NTUC vice-president Abdul Samad Abdul Wahab, 48; security industry association head Raj Joshua Thomas, 41; Sistic chairman Janet Ang, 61; GuocoLand group managing director Cheng Hsing Yao, 49; dental surgeon and National Youth Council member Shahira Abdullah, 33; and Singapore Medical Association president Tan Yia Swam, 40.

The nine were selected by a Special Select Committee of Parliament, chaired by Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin.

They were selected from a total of 61 names, 46 of whom applied on their own. The remaining 15 names were submitted by the seven functional groups representing business and industry; labour; the professions; tertiary education institutions; social service organisations; the civic and people sector; and the media, arts and sports organisations.

As most of the candidates were qualified and of good calibre, it was a challenge to select just nine from the list, the committee said in its report released on Thursday.

In announcing the list, Mr Tan said: "With many high-calibre candidates stepping forward for consideration, it was not an easy task for the Select Committee to nominate the maximum of nine NMPs."

"After careful deliberation, we have determined that the nine nominees have fulfilled all constitutional criteria and are eligible for appointment," he added. "Collectively, they also 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."

Among the key criteria the committee looked out for in assessing each candidate, as set out in the Constitution on the selection of NMPs, was whether he or she had rendered distinguished public service, brought honour to the Republic and would be able to reflect as wide a range of independent and non-partisan views as possible.

The committee said it had also considered factors such as whether the person was willing to commit the time to take part in parliamentary proceedings, and understood the current issues and challenges facing Singapore.

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