Low wages, sustainability and youth among issues NMP candidates hope to raise in parliament

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SINGAPORE: Low-wage workers will be among the priority issues raised in parliament, several candidates from the new cohort of appointed MPs (NMPs) have promised.

The Office of the Clerk of Parliament announced the names of the nine new PMNs on Thursday, January 14. All nine are first-time PMNs, including union representative Abdul Samad Abdul Wahab, former national swimmer Mark Chay and conservation scientist Professor Koh Lian Pin.

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House leader Indranee Rajah said the selected candidates stood out for their contribution to society or in their respective fields, adding that she hoped their specialist knowledge “would add to the depth and breadth debates in Parliament “.

National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) vice president Abdul Samad Abdul Wahab told TBEN that as a worker himself, he hoped to speak out on behalf of the issues, concerns and aspirations of ‘other people like him.

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Mr. Abdul Samad, who is also general secretary of the Union of Electricity and Gas Employees, added that he also hopes to champion the expansion of the progressive salary model – which is currently limited to security, landscape and cleaning industries – to all sectors.

More needs to be done to appreciate the contributions of older workers, he said, adding that he will ask how the government can help ensure they stay employed.

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In a statement, the NTUC noted that Mr. Abdul Samad will also focus on key topics, such as strengthening the Singaporean core within the workforce, as well as providing middle-income workers support in employment and training, and help them meet the costs of living.

The vice-president of the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC), Abdul Samad Abdul Wahab, wants to talk about the problems, concerns and aspirations of workers. (Photo: Abdul Samad Abdul Wahab)

Echoing similar sentiments, chief executive of security firm TwinRock Global Raj Joshua Thomas said he would also highlight the needs of low-wage workers in parliament.

“I hope to raise questions about the impact of industry transformation on low-wage workers and how we can ensure that as we transform and grow, these workers get a fair share of the pie,” said Thomas, who is also chairman of security. Singapore Association.

The lawyer also added that he wanted to raise the profile and reputation of these jobs and redesign them to encourage more Singaporeans to take them.

READ: Nine new MPs appointed to be appointed

One issue that economist Professor Hoon Hian Teck hopes to address is that of unemployment insurance.

Professor Hoon, who is dean of the School of Economics at Singapore University of Management, previously said that there was little need to take this into account, as the jobs lost due to structural changes were “more than compensated ”by new openings.

“However, with slower growth and a higher churn in the labor market, it might be appropriate to take a holistic look at whether a national unemployment insurance scheme is an integral part of an optimal system. social insurance, “he said, outlining this questionable unemployment benefit.”

Hoon Hian Teak

Professor Hoon Hian Teck, dean of the Singapore University of Management School of Economics, says unemployment insurance is “an issue worth discussing.” (Photo: Hoon Hian Teck)

SUSTAINABILITY, YOUNG PEOPLE AND SMEs

Other NPMs highlighted issues such as sustainability, youth, sports, supporting local small and medium-sized businesses, and maintaining public confidence in the criminal justice system.

Guocoland Group Managing Director Cheng Hsing Yao said his priority would be “to gather feedback and formulate ways to constructively contribute to Singapore’s future policies and efforts.”

He hopes to tackle issues of sustainability and quality of life in Singapore and would like to see closer collaboration between the public and private sectors.

Cheng Hsing Yao NMP

Guocoland Group Managing Director Mr. Cheng Hsing Yao hopes to tackle issues of sustainability and quality of life in Singapore, and would like closer collaboration between the public and private sectors. (Photo: Cheng Hsing Yao)

Upon his appointment, he said: “I feel very honored and also a strong sense of mission. Especially when Singapore and the world are still facing the challenges of COVID-19, there is a lot of work and ingenuity that society needs to put together to make Singapore stronger.

READ: For appointed MPs, it’s not just about speaking in Parliament

Conservation scientist Professor Koh Lian Pin said he wanted to promote a “determined and constructive” civil society for nature conservation, climate solutions and sustainability efforts in Singapore.

“I believe I can contribute by providing science-based perspectives to help inform discussions and decisions,” he said.

Advocating for young people will be a priority for Khoo Teck Puat Hospital Orthodontic Registrar Dr Shahira Abdullah as she cited her work with the Mendaki Club, Singapore Youth Action Plan and the Council. National Youth Council as examples.

“What I realized is that young people are very curious and have a lot to say. With easy access to information and social media, they tend to tackle the causes they care about and want to talk about.

“As a young person, who spoke to them, I hope to be able to raise these issues in parliament and hopefully offer them an additional way to be heard and hopefully spark constructive conversations and actions”, she said, adding that she wished to see more inclusiveness and diversity in the community.

Shahira Abdullah

Orthodontist Shahira Abdullah, member of the National Youth Council, hopes to represent the views and opinions of young people and the Malaysian-Muslim community in Parliament. (Photo: Shahira Abdullah)

SISTIC President Janet Ang, who is part of the Board’s Diversity Council, said she was “very honored and honored” to be named NPM, adding that she felt a “weight of responsibility. “.

The vice president of the Singapore Business Federation Foundation hopes to become a voice for small and medium-sized businesses and the business community in general. She added that she would like to help them weather the economic crisis caused by the pandemic and support them in their transformation efforts.

Janet Ang NMP

SISTIC President Janet Ang wants to be a voice for the business world. (Photo: Janet Ang)

Besides low-paid workers, Thomas added that it is “essential” to maintain Singaporeans’ “confidence and trust” in the criminal justice system, which includes ensuring wide access to legal representation. legal for people of “lesser means”.

Global Esports Federation secretariat director Mark Chay, who was previously a national swimmer, said he felt “happy” and “excited” to be named.

“I am happy to be able to contribute and raise issues that may be important to the sports and fitness industry,” he said, adding that his main priority as an NMP would be to use the sport as a vehicle for social change and support. Singaporeans are becoming more resilient thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first nine NMP are:

  • Senior Technical Manager of the SP Group Mr. Abdul Samad Abdul Wahab
  • President of SISTIC Ms. Janet Ang
  • Director of the Global Esports Federation Secretariat Mr. Mark Chay
  • General Manager of Guocoland Group Mr. Cheng Hsing Yao
  • Singapore University of Management School of Economics, Dean, Professor Hoon Hian Teck
  • Professor Koh Lian Pin, Conservation Scientist at the National University of Singapore
  • Lawyer Mr. Joshua Thomas Raj
  • Registrar of Orthodontics at Khoo Teck Puat Dr Shahira Abdullah Hospital
  • Dr Tan Yia Swam, Thomson Breast Center surgeon

The nine elected will be sworn in at the next sitting of Parliament in February.

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