On the ground: PAP

Raymond Lim gives strongest hint he is retiring

Raymond Lim gives a speech at the Fengshan National Day Dinner, held at Fengshan Community Club on Sunday, Aug 2, 2015.
Raymond Lim gives a speech at the Fengshan National Day Dinner, held at Fengshan Community Club on Sunday, Aug 2, 2015. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Former transport minister Raymond Lim thanked grassroots volunteers and residents in Fengshan ward of East Coast GRC for their support, in the strongest hint that he could be retiring from politics.

Speaking at a National Day dinner at Fengshan Community Club, Mr Lim, 56, said: "It has been a great privilege and honour for me to have served as your MP these past 14 years."

It gave him "happiness and fulfilment" to be able to work with them to serve residents, he added.

Mr Lim is tipped to call time on politics and the talk among activists is that his potential replacement is Ms Cheryl Chan, 38, a grassroots volunteer for 10 years.

In comments indicating she is a possible candidate, he said: "As you all know, Cheryl's life has become even more exciting lately with intense media speculation that, if I were to retire, she is likely to succeed me. I will only say this - if so, Fengshan is in very good hands."

He also announced that the Government had approved the remaining HDB blocks in Fengshan to undergo the Home Improvement Programme, which will benefit close to 2,500 households. This means all eligible blocks in Fengshan will be upgraded, thus fulfilling a promise he made at the 2011 election, he said.

He also reflected on Singapore's success on its 50th birthday, saying it was down to "effective government" - one that was able to implement policies and was willing to take on difficult arguments that serve the common good.

Elections, he said, are not just about a verdict on a government, but also about choosing people "who can engage and lead public opinion for the common good rather than those who merely echo and pander to it for their own good".

Fengshan has been carved out of East Coast GRC as a single-seat ward and the PAP is likely to face the Workers' Party in both.

Last Saturday, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, who helms the PAP team in East Coast GRC, confirmed he will remain in the GRC.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2015, with the headline 'Raymond Lim gives strongest hint he is retiring'. Print Edition | Subscribe