Singapore

Lee Bee Wah, Chia Shi-Lu among PAP MPs retiring this year

They are among slew of PAP MPs stepping down this year, paving the way for younger faces to be fielded on July 10

Nee Soon GRC MP Lee Bee Wah has lit up many a parliamentary sitting with her colourful speeches and relentless advocacy for residents, earning herself the affectionate nickname of "Hua Jie", or "Sister Flower" among her constituents.

Such speeches will be missed when Parliament sits again. Yesterday, the three-term MP announced her retirement from politics, saying it is part of the renewal process of the People's Action Party (PAP).

New face Carrie Tan, 38, the founder of charity Daughters Of Tomorrow, will be taking over from Ms Lee, 59, in her Nee Soon South ward.

"I am glad that a much younger candidate has been fielded," Ms Lee wrote on Facebook.

She is among the MPs retiring this election to make way for 27 new PAP faces who will be fielded at the polls on July 10.

Yesterday, Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Chia Shi-Lu and Radin Mas MP Sam Tan also said they will be stepping down as MPs.

At a virtual press conference, where the new PAP line-up for Tanjong Pagar GRC was unveiled, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing paid tribute to Dr Chia, 48, an orthopaedic surgeon, who has served as MP for two terms.

He said Dr Chia's Queenstown ward is not an easy place to take care of, as it is one of the wards with the highest number of residents in the GRC.

On top of serving as MP, Dr Chia also tends to elderly residents' complaints of aches and pains, and has become a "resident orthopaedic doctor" in the area, Mr Chan quipped.

Mr Eric Chua Swee Leong, 41, a former civil servant, will take over from Dr Chia.

Mr Chan, the PAP's second assistant secretary-general, also thanked Minister of State for Social and Family Development Sam Tan.

Labour MP Melvin Yong, 48, now a Tanjong Pagar GRC MP, will be fielded as a candidate in Mr Tan's Radin Mas single seat.

Mr Chan said Mr Tan, 61, will continue to guide Mr Yong and other MPs.

A new PAP slate was also announced in neighbouring Jalan Besar GRC yesterday. Former communications and information minister Yaacob Ibrahim, 64, and general practitioner Lily Neo, 66, will retire.

Polytechnic lecturer Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah, 41, and Manpower Minister Josephine Teo, 51, will take over from them.

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, 79; Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, 67; Deputy Speaker of Parliament Charles Chong, 67; and Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC MP Ong Teng Koon, 43; announced last week they will be not be contesting this election. Other MPs expected to retire include East Coast GRC MP Lee Yi Shyan, 58; Pioneer MP Cedric Foo,59; and Bukit Panjang MP Teo Ho Pin, 60.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING: IRSHATH MOHAMED, DANSON CHEONG, OLIVIA HO

GENERAL ELECTION 2020