PAP new face Melvin Yong to contest Moulmein

New PAP candidate Melvin Yong shaking hands and Mr Lui Tuck Yew talking to a resident during the walkabout at Pek Kio Market and Food Centre yesterday.
New PAP candidate Melvin Yong shaking hands and Mr Lui Tuck Yew talking to a resident during the walkabout at Pek Kio Market and Food Centre yesterday.ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew yesterday introduced senior police officer Melvin Yong as the People's Action Party (PAP) candidate who will be fielded in his place in Moulmein at the next general election.

Mr Lui has been MP for the ward - under Moulmein-Kallang GRC - since 2006. He said in a surprise announcement last week that he was leaving politics after what is only his second term in Parliament.

Mr Yong, 43, is expected to join the PAP team contesting Tanjong Pagar GRC, which takes in Moulmein when the electoral boundary changes kick in at the next polls.

The other members of the GRC team are labour chief Chan Chun Sing, Senior Minister of State for

Education and Law Indranee Rajah, backbencher Chia Shi-Lu and ex-public servant Joan Pereira - another new face.

Aside from Dr Chia, who was at another grassroots event, all were at Pek Kio Market and Food Centre where Mr Yong was introduced to residents yesterday. It was the Assistant Commissioner of Police's last day of work in the force after he put in his papers for early retirement.

Mr Chan said Mr Yong is no stranger to Tanjong Pagar GRC because parts of the constituency were under his watch when he was commander of Clementi Police Division from 2010 to 2014. "So we are happy that (Mr Yong) is here to join us and re-acquaint himself with Tanjong Pagar issues," he added.

Yesterday was Mr Lui's 54th birthday, and PAP activists at the market surprised him with a cake. He said he felt like he was 108, "because the last nine years, you got to multiply it by seven".

Ms Indranee said she and her colleagues will miss Mr Lui, but told him: "We will build on the good work you have done."

Despite his upcoming retirement, Mr Lui said he will continue to visit residents as a private citizen. "Every time before I go for events, I would pray that I continue to see them, that they remain in good health," he said. "I will continue to do the same after I leave."

Longtime Pek Kio residents like Madam Koh Kwee Soh, however, will miss him. "Mr Lui is the best minister and MP," said the 85-year-old retiree. "I am very sad he is leaving, he has done so much for me."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2015, with the headline 'PAP new face Melvin Yong to contest Moulmein'. Print Edition | Subscribe