41 vying for maximum of nine NMP seats

(From left) Alex Siow, Jeremy Tan and David lee.
(From left) Alex Siow, Jeremy Tan and David lee.PHOTOS: LIM SIN THAI, THE BUSINESS TIMES, CHEW SENG KIM

Forty-one people have applied to be Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs) this year, more than the 36 who threw their hats into the ring at the last round in 2014.

Parliament gave the final tally yesterday, the closing day of a three-week-long call for people to apply for the maximum nine NMP seats in Parliament.

More than half of the NMP hopefuls handed in their forms in the past two days. Yesterday, 15 people turned up at Parliament House to hand in the forms, some for themselves, and some on behalf of others.


Among those vying for an NMP seat is National University of Singapore IT management professor Alex Siow, 61. His form was submitted by a representative of the Singapore Computer Society, which backs him.

Those who applied in person included events management firm boss David Lee, 50, security guard M.P. Kathiresan Raj, 59, and former private tutor Ooi Boon Ewe, 74.

The day before, former opposition politician Eric Tan, history academic Liew Kai Khiun and Drama Box artistic director Kok Heng Leun were among the 11 or so who applied. Veteran unionist K. Thanaletchimi, 50, was put forward by the labour movement last week.

The 41 hopefuls are from varied backgrounds and with a range of interests, from nature to workers' rights to the arts.

Altogether, there are seven functional groups, with arts, media and sport grouped as one. But unlike previous years, the group did not submit any candidate from the sport community. Two names were given for the group, National Arts Council chairman Chan Heng Chee, who is the group's coordinator, told The Straits Times. She said one name was from the media sector, and the other from the arts.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by a committee of eight MPs chaired by Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2016, with the headline '41 vying for maximum of nine NMP seats'. Print Edition | Subscribe