Singapore

Leong Mun Wai and Hazel Poa will take up NCMP slots, says PSP

This article is more than 12 months old

The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) has chosen assistant secretary-general Leong Mun Wai, 60, and vice-chairman Hazel Poa, 49, to fill the two Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) positions it secured at the general election.

Party chief Tan Cheng Bock, 80, announced the choice of the two NCMPs at a press conference yesterday, in what is a likely signal of who the party has chosen to lead its renewal.

Dr Tan had previously ruled himself out of the seat, saying that he has been an MP before and would rather have his teammates gain some parliamentary experience.

Mr Leong and Ms Poa were on the party's West Coast GRC slate that secured 48.31 per cent of the vote against the PAP team led by Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran, emerging as the best losers in the July 10 polls.

Both NCMP nominees had indicated they had reservations about the scheme, but said yesterday that they understood the decision made by the party.

On the campaign trail a week earlier, Mr Leong said he would not be keen on taking up an NCMP position if he was offered it, adding: "If you use the NCMP (position), you are regarded as a loser MP, and you have no access to the people. The people are the ones we want to serve."

Addressing those remarks yesterday, Mr Leong said: "I had some personal objections to the scheme. Nevertheless, I'm humbled by the trust the party has placed in me to take up this NCMP (position). And very importantly, the party needs to... represent the 48.5 per cent of voters who voted for us, and also all the Singaporeans that cheered us in this election."

Ms Poa similarly said becoming NCMPs would help them represent the views of voters who supported them in the election.

"I feel that this is an opportunity for us to bring their voices into Parliament, so we will want to, over the next five years, continue to engage West Coast residents to find out (their views) in more detail, because we actually haven't had much time before this," she said.

Dr Tan said the decision was made after an internal discussion by its West Coast GRC team, before being confirmed by the party's central executive committee.

He said the considerations included how the candidates performed during the party's webinars and its outreach on the ground. He added that they are both bilingual, which helps the party bring its message across to those who do not speak English.

GENERAL ELECTION 2020