Singapore

Tan Chuan-Jin has 6km farewell run with staff

Outgoing Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin received an exuberant and unusual farewell yesterday.

About 150 employees of his ministry, the National Council of Social Service and SG Enable joined him for a warm-up session before he led some of them on a 6km run at MacRitchie Reservoir.

Mr Tan, 48, is set to take up the role of Speaker of Parliament next week.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong nominated him to be Singapore's 10th Speaker, which requires him to step down from the Cabinet.

Netizens, surprised by the nomination of a core member of the fourth-generation political leadership as Speaker, had seized on Mr Tan's Facebook for clues on its significance.

In one of the posts, he said: "May God continue to grant me wisdom, courage and love in all that I do. However inadequate as I may be, I hope that I can fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith."

On Wednesday evening, he urged people not to read too much into it, saying he noticed "some doing serious practical criticism of every word and punctuation... It's an affirmation of what I believe and cherish, as best as I can manage.

"I've shared these sentiments before so relax... no need to over-interpret LOL," he added, using the acronym for "laughing out loud". - THE STRAITS TIMES

tan chuan-jinMacRitchieHalimah Yacob