SINGAPORE - Workers' Party candidate Daniel Goh, who was part of the team that contested East Coast GRC in last year's Sept 11 general election, was sworn in as a Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) on Monday (Feb 29).
Dr Goh, an associate professor of sociology at the National University of Singapore, joins two other NCMPs, who are also from the WP. They are shipping law firm partner Dennis Tan, who stood in the single-seat ward Fengshan, and consultancy firm chief executive Leon Perera, who contested East Coast GRC.
Dr Goh takes the seat given up by his fellow WP candidate Lee Li Lian, who lost the Punggol East seat last year that she won in a 2013 by-election. Ms Lee said almost immediately after the general election that she would not take up the NCMP seat despite being the best performing losing opposition candidate.
The WP filed a motion at the previous Parliament seating to declare her seat vacant and have it filled.
The motion was passed, but not before Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing, who is the Government Whip, added an amendment saying Parliament "regrets that Ms Lee Li Lian, having stood as a WP candidate and received the highest vote share among all losing opposition candidates, has now decided to give up her NCMP seat to another candidate from her party with a lower vote share, contrary to the expressed will of voters".
It added that "the WP supports this political manoeuvre to take full advantage of the NCMP seat, even as its secretary-general criticises NCMPs as just 'duckweed on the water of a pond'".
The WP abstained from voting on the motion as it objected to the amendment.
In a Facebook post before Dr Goh was sworn in, he said he will be speaking on the Women's Charter (Amendment) Bill and the NEA (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill.