SINGAPORE - Two candidates from the Progress Singapore Party's (PSP) losing team in West Coast GRC team have been declared elected Non-Constituency MPs.
Mr Leong Mun Wai and Ms Hazel Poa were chosen by their party to take up the two seats when the 14th Parliament sits at a date to be announced later.
In a statement on Thursday (July 16), the Elections Department said the PSP had informed Returning Officer Tan Meng Dui of its decision to nominate the two candidates for the NCMP seats.
Mr Tan had written to the party on Monday (July 13), asking it to decide who it would like to put forward, and the PSP gave its decision on Tuesday (July 14), ahead of the July 20 deadline, the statement added.
Mr Leong, 60, is the party's assistant secretary-general, while Ms Poa, 49, is vice-chairman. They were part of the team in West Coast GRC that emerged the top loser in Friday's election, thus becoming eligible for the NCMP seats.
The team, led by PSP chief Tan Cheng Bock, secured 48.31 per cent of the votes against a PAP team led by Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran.
The minimum number of opposition MPs in Parliament was increased from nine to 12 as a result of changes made to the NCMP scheme in 2016. The change also gives NCMPs the same voting rights as elected MPs.
In last Friday's election, the opposition Workers' Party won Aljunied GRC, Sengkang GRC and Hougang SMC - resulting in 10 WP members elected to Parliament.
That left two seats vacant for the opposition to fill as NCMPs.
Ms Poa on Tuesday said that as an NCMP, she will help represent the views of the voters who supported the team in the general election.
She said: "This is an opportunity for us to bring their voices into Parliament. So we will want to, over the next five years, continue to engage West Coast residents to find out in more detail what their issues are, because we actually haven't had much time before this."
Mr Leong said they will be supported by a PSP team made up of younger members who have stood for elections before, and are "quite qualified". The PSP will also tap on professionals and experts from outside the party, he added.
Mr Leong said he and Ms Poa are looking forward to working with WP chief and Aljunied GRC MP Pritam Singh and his party. Mr Singh is set to be appointed Leader Of The Opposition, the first time such a position has been formalised.