Lawyer Tan Lam Siong elected new secretary-general of National Solidarity Party

(From left) Tan Lam Siong, Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss, Nicole Seah and Elson Soh at a NSP goodie bag distribution in May 2013. -- PHOTO: JEANNETTE CHONG-ARULDOSS/FACEBOOK
(From left) Tan Lam Siong, Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss, Nicole Seah and Elson Soh at a NSP goodie bag distribution in May 2013. -- PHOTO: JEANNETTE CHONG-ARULDOSS/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Lawyer Tan Lam Siong has been elected secretary-general of the National Solidarity Party (NSP), replacing lawyer Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss.

Mr Tan, 53, was elected at the party's bi-annual Central Executive Committee (CEC) elections on Jan 25.

Business consultant Sebastian Teo, 66, was re-elected to his sixth consecutive term as party president.

Mrs Chong-Aruldoss, 51, had been secretary-general since October 2013. She contested the Mountbatten single-seat ward in the 2011 General Election and lost to Mr Lim Biow Chuan of the People's Action Party (PAP), garnering 41.4 per cent of the vote.

When contacted, she did not want to comment on the CEC results. It is understood she did not contest the position of secretary-general.

Mr Teo told The Straits Times that about 40 members voted. The party will only officially reveal the names of the other members of the 16th CEC on Feb 3, a day after the committee holds its first meeting, he said.

When asked if the change in secretary-general will have implications for the party's strategy for the next GE, Mr Teo said: "We will continue to work hard on previous ground." He added that the new committee will discuss "how we want to run the whole show".

It is understood that the others elected into the new CEC are former Nee Soon Central MP Cheo Chai Chen, former Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Steve Chia, accountant Nazryn Azhar Samat, Mr Abdul Rasheed, Mr William Tan, Mr Kwan Yue Keng, Mr Yip Yew Weng, Mr Yadzeth Hairis, Ms Nor Lella Mardhiiiah, Mr Syafarin Sarif, Mr Mohamed Fazli Talip, Mr Dexter Wong and Mr Reno Fong.

Mr Tan, who is believed to have joined the party after the 2011 General Election, told Lianhe Zaobao that he was surprised to be elected and added: "Since I have taken up this heavy responsibility, I will give it my all."

The father of three has been active in social and counselling work and is also a museum docent.

The NSP fielded candidates in 24 seats in the 2011 GE, including four single-ward seats and four Group Representation Constituencies (GRC). It was the third best performing party in the election, after the PAP and the Workers' Party, but did not win any seats in Parliament.

Several high-profile members who contested then have since left or stepped down from the CEC. Former government scholarship holder Hazel Poa stepped down as secretary-general in September 2013, while Ms Nicole Seah, who contested in Marine Parade GRC, left the party in August 2014.

The party recently spoke out against the the authorities' handling of a proposed temple and columbarium at Fernvale Lea estate in Sengkang.

Mrs Chong-Aruldoss criticised the HDB for not disclosing information to the buyers in their sales brochure in a statement issued on Jan 11.

chuimin@sph.com.sg