Singapore

Janil Puthucheary, Sim Ann reappointed as PAP's Whip and deputy Whip

The People's Action Party has reappointed Dr Janil Puthucheary as party Whip and Ms Sim Ann as deputy party Whip.

Dr Janil has served as party Whip since June 6 last year, when he took over from Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, who held the position from September 2015.

He is Senior Minister of State for Health as well as Communications and Information, and MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.

Ms Sim is Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information plus National Development, and an MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC.

The role of a party Whip is to ensure good communication in the party ranks, contribute to the smooth running of its parliamentary machinery and serve as disciplinarian.

The Whip also ensures that the party's MPs vote in Parliament according to the party's position. But at times, this person can "lift the Whip", allowing party members to vote according to their conscience.

Ms Sim told The Straits Times yesterday: "I'm looking forward to get to know our new parliamentary colleagues and am honoured to continue supporting party Whip, Dr Janil Puthucheary, as his deputy."

Separately, the government parliamentary committees (GPCs) have also been formed, the PAP said in a statement.

NEW CHAIRMEN

Almost all 12 of the committees will have new chairmen, with the exception of three: defence and foreign affairs, finance and trade and industry, and social and family development.

These three GPCs will continue to be chaired, in that corresponding order, by Mr Vikram Nair, a Sembawang GRC MP; Mr Liang Eng Hwa, MP for Bukit Panjang SMC; and Mr Seah Kian Peng, an MP for Marine Parade GRC, said the PAP.

Mr Liang, who will head the largest GPC with nine members, told The Straits Times that while Singapore was fortunate to have a strong fiscal position, it needed to engineer new areas of growth.

"We will need to reset certain parts of the economy and pivot into new opportunities," he added.

"I am happy to have GPC members with deep and varying expertise in businesses and the economy. We look forward to frank and constructive engagements with the Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Trade and Industry, as we tackle the severe economic challenges ahead."

Set up by the PAP in 1987, the GPCs - whose members are PAP backbenchers - scrutinise legislation and policy programmes. They also serve as an additional feedback channel on government policies.

Their appointments take effect on Monday, when the 14th Parliament of Singapore opens with an address by President Halimah Yacob.

MacPherson MP Tin Pei Ling, previously deputy chairman of the GPC for Communications and Information, will chair it in place of Mr Cedric Foo, who has retired from politics.

Singapore Politics