Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said yesterday that the two Malay MPs who are stepping down at the general election can still contribute their know-how to the community, and he looks forward to continuing to work with them.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary Hawazi Daipi, 61, a four-term MP for Sembawang GRC, and Mr Zainudin Nordin, 52, a three-term MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, announced they were stepping down earlier this month.
Dr Yaacob, who is Minister-in- charge of Muslim Affairs, hoped that having been an integral part of the team, they could continue to mentor some of the younger newcomers, given their wealth of experience. He was speaking to reporters at Mendaki Club's annual graduates' tea.
The People's Action Party (PAP) formally introduced two new Malay candidates last week - economist Saktiandi Supaat, 41, and lawyer Amrin Amin, 36.
Asked for his assessment of them, Dr Yaacob said both were professionals and can raise the level of discussion in Parliament.
More importantly, they can "help the team in understanding the Malay community and offering ideas and solutions" if they get elected.
He also said that Mr Saktiandi had served as a volunteer in his Kolam Ayer PAP branch, before moving to Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.
"He has his heart in the right place," he added, citing Mr Saktiandi's active involvement in the community, including in the Association of Muslim Professionals and the Malay/Muslim Community Leaders' Forum (CLF) Labs Steering Committee, which focuses on seed funding for youth-driven community-related social enterprise activities.
As for Mr Amrin, he said he was "capable in terms of his attachment with the ground".