Newly minted MPs gear up for President's Address in Parliament

Ms Sun Xueling dropping by an indoor playground in Marine Parade to visit her two-year-old daughter.
Ms Sun Xueling dropping by an indoor playground in Marine Parade to visit her two-year-old daughter.ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Ms Sun Xueling with her two-year-old daughter.
Ms Sun Xueling with her two-year-old daughter.ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Mr Amrin Amin visiting the Civil Defence Academy.
Mr Amrin Amin visiting the Civil Defence Academy.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
Mr Amrin Amin preparing his speech before attending his first Parliament session.
Mr Amrin Amin preparing his speech before attending his first Parliament session.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

SINGAPORE - The first session of Parliament on Friday (Jan 15) was a momentous event for first-time Members of Parliament Amrin Amin and Sun Xueling.

They were sworn in along with 89 other MPs - among them 21 new faces and two Non-Constituency MPs - at the opening of the 13th Parliament on Friday afternoon.

But the day had started out as any other for Mr Amrin, Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs, and Ms Sun, chief executive of Business China, who had to work and attend meetings. 

There might have been an "extraordinary event" planned, said Mr Amrin, 37, but "work goes on, business as usual... we have meetings scheduled and we go for visits, we meet people".

The MP for Sembawang GRC had spent the early part of his day travelling across the island to visit and encourage firefighters and first responders at the Civil Defence Academy before returning to his office at Novena to prepare for the opening of Parliament.

It was also business as usual for Ms Sun, 36, who was in her Business China office to run through with her team the events that their non-profit organisation has lined up for the next three months.

But to prepare for their maiden Parliamentary sitting, Mr Amrin and Ms Sun had separately read the President's address from previous years to get a better idea of what the evening's proceedings will be like.

Said Mr Amrin: "Reading the speeches of the Presidents has inspired me greatly because we see that continuation of the story, continuation of the Singapore story and there's the unity of purpose."

Ms Sun, who is an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, has also been familiarising herself with the order of proceedings in Parliament, "such as how to file parliamentary questions, and how early in advance to file them". 

From Jan 25 to 29, MPs will debate the President’s address that will be delivered on Friday (Jan 15), 8.30pm. The address will outline the Government’s goals and policies for the new, five-year term.

Said Ms Sun: “I’ll probably speak about the need for a caring society in Singapore."

Mr Amrin too has settled on the areas he will champion: social mobility as well as safety and security. 

"There's going to be many pressures that may pull us apart if we are not careful. So the way forward is for us to make sure that while we have differences, we have a core and the core remains and we strengthen that core," he said.

Mr Amrin, who has been looking forward to the opening of Parliament, added that he hopes it will be a "very interesting journey" for him and his fellow MPs.

Ms Sun too was excited about her first Parliament sitting. Asked if she was nervous she said: "Not really. The swearing-in ceremony is quite straightforward."