PAP unveils 3 new faces in Sengkang GRC, replacing Ng Chee Meng, Amrin Amin and Raymond Lye
- The People's Action Party (PAP) introduced three new faces to its Sengkang Group Representation Constituency branch on Sunday
- They are NUS Assoc Prof Elmie Nekmat; Ms Theodora Lai Xi Yi, chief strategy officer of food website Burpple; and Mr Ling Weihong, a lawyer
- Dr Lam Pin Min will remain and lead the PAP Sengkang GRC team
- The changes to the team follow PAP's loss to WP in the 2020 General Election
SINGAPORE — The People's Action Party (PAP) unveiled three new faces in Sengkang Group Representation Constituency (GRC) on Sunday (March 27).
They are National University of Singapore (NUS) Associate Professor Elmie Nekmat, 40; Ms Theodora Lai Xi Yi, 36, chief strategy officer of food website Burpple; and Mr Ling Weihong, 41, a private practice lawyer.
They will be the PAP branch chairs of Sengkang Central, Sengkang North and Sengkang East respectively.
They will replace labour chief Ng Chee Meng, 53; Mr Amrin Amin, 43; and Mr Raymond Lye, 56.
Dr Lam Pin Min, 53, will remain in the PAP Sengkang GRC team and lead it. He will serve as the branch chair of Sengkang West.
Asked by TODAY whether the new team was akin to a "suicide squad", Dr Lam said: "Well, I won't say it's a suicide squad. I'm no longer in Parliament. I'm no longer a political office holder. All of us are in this together.
"I think with our passion and enthusiasm to serve residents, I hope residents can see that we are sincere in serving them and that they will give us their trust and support."
In comparison, the PAP's Sengkang GRC team which contested the last General Election (GE) in 2020 included several political office holders.
Prior to the elections, Dr Lam was the Senior Minister of State for Health and Transport. Mr Ng was a Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and labour chief (a portfolio that he still retains), while Mr Amrin was the Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and Health.
BACKGROUND OF NEW APPOINTEES
Assoc Prof Elmie
He has been a PAP party activist since 2016, including with the Young PAP and Malay Affairs Bureau.
He is an Assoc Prof of Communications and New Media, and Assistant Dean of Research in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the National University of Singapore.
He is also a Research Coordinator in the Sunlight Alliance for Action Against Online Harms, which aims to protect women and girls from different types of online harms and harassment, and a board member of Sport Singapore.
Ms Theodora Lai
She is a PAP party activist since 2009 and the chief strategy officer of Burpple, a food blog.
She also founded Prep Junior, a mobile app which helps to teach Chinese to preschoolers through interactive stories around Singapore.
She volunteers as district councillor in Northeast Community Development Council.
Mr Ling Weihong
Mr Ling is a party activist since 2015 and a lawyer in private practice.
He has been the branch secretary of Sengkang Central Branch since April 2021 and assistant branch secretary of Woodlands Branch from 2016 to 2018.
He helped to launch the Woodlands Mentoring programme, which paired children from low-income families with youth mentors in the community.
NEW FACES SINCE PAP'S LOSS TO WP IN SENGKANG GRC
The appointment of the new branch chairmen follows the PAP's loss to the opposition Workers' Party (WP) in the GRC in the 2020 GE.
At the time, the PAP team consisting of Dr Lam, Mr Ng, Mr Amrin and Mr Lye had lost to WP with a vote share of 47.87 per cent.
WP's team was led by lawyer He Ting Ru, 39, alongside economics professor Jamus Lim, 46, social enterprise founder Raeesah Khan, 28, and equity research analyst Louis Chua Kheng Wee, 35.
Last November, Ms Khan resigned from the party as well as her position as Member of Parliament (MP) for Sengkang GRC after she admitted to lying in Parliament on a sexual assault case.
Her Compassvale ward which she oversaw as MP was subsequently split into three divisions, with each served by one of Sengkang GRC’s remaining MPs.
In a press release on Sunday, the PAP said that Mr Ng will be the advisor to the PAP Sengkang GRC team while Mr Amrin and Mr Lye will help to see through the transition for the PAP Sengkang team.
Speaking to reporters during a grocery distribution to residents by the PAP Sengkang GRC team at Block 350 Anchorvale Road, Dr Lam said that the latest additions to the branch are "not new" to Sengkang residents and have served the constituency "for a while".
"The appointment of them as the new branch chairs for the various branches will enable them to lead our activists to better serve residents," said Dr Lam.
Dr Lam said PAP was announcing the line up on Sunday to give the new branch chairs a "longer runway" to serve residents before the next GE, which is due by 2025.
"I believe over these two to three years, we will have enough time to interact with the residents and assist them in whatever capacity we can so they can continue to support us," he said.
Mr Ling pointed out that the new branch chairs are "not completely fresh", having walked the ground since the previous GE.
Dr Lam said that one of the main feedback from constituents following the last election was to have "more diverse representation" in PAP's Sengkang team.
He added that the refreshed team is diverse in terms of the areas that they want to support.
He pointed out that Ms Lai was a female representative and young mother who can understand the needs of young families.
Assoc Prof Elmie is passionate in the areas of digital literacy and cyber wellness, added Dr Lam.
Mr Ling said that residents are concerned about the rising cost of living and he wants to address the concerns of the sandwiched class.
"So that's something we want to try and address as well," he added.
Dr Lam said that since losing the last election, he had remained active in the branch.
"One thing that is very encouraging is that many residents that I've met encouraged me to continue to serve in Sengkang.
"So I think it is really a privilege that residents are still showing their support to me and I am willing to continue to do so for the residents."
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article's headline said that Mr Ng Chee Meng and Mr Amrin Amin are out of PAP's Sengkang GRC team. PAP has said that they, along with Mr Raymond Lye, remain part of the team in an official capacity. We are sorry for the error.