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No arts NMP selected; arts community disappointed but mulling the starting of an advocacy group

Published on Aug 12, 2014 5:38 PM
 
The arts community's candidate for Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP), theatre veteran Kok Heng Leun, failed to be selected. -- PHOTO: DRAMA BOX

Down but not out. That has been the mood in the arts community after its candidate for Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP), theatre veteran Kok Heng Leun, failed to be selected.

Since the NMP scheme began in 1990 to provide more alternative voices in Parliament, the arts sector has had two NMPs. Former arts administrator Audrey Wong, who now teaches arts management at Lasalle College of the Arts, was the arts NMP from 2009 to 2011. She was succeeded by actress Janice Koh, whose 2 1/2-year term ended last Friday.

The arts is not the only sector without representation among the new slate of nine NMPs announced on Monday. Also missing is an advocate for nature and environmental issues, in the vein of outgoing NMP Faizah Jamal, a polytechnic lecturer and Nature Society member.

The new NMPs were selected by a parliamentary committee, chaired by Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob and comprising two ministers and five other MPs, including Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang.

 
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