SINGAPORE - The Singapore People's Party, long helmed by opposition veteran Chiam See Tong, has a new leader for the first time since 1996.
Mr Steve Chia, 48, was elected secretary-general when the SPP's top decision-making body met for the first time on Tuesday (Nov 5), three weeks after Mr Chiam stepped down from the post.
"I would personally like to thank Mr Chiam for his many years of mentorship and guidance in Parliament. And for guiding me into Parliament as a Non-Constituency MP when we were under the Singapore Democratic Alliance," said Mr Chia, who was formerly from the National Solidarity Party, in a statement.
"He has been a beacon in my life, and this is truly an honour for me to be given this task of taking over his appointment in the Singapore People's Party," he added.
The party had held its biennial internal election on Oct 16, during which it elected a new 12-member Central Executive Committee (CEC). The committee elected its office-bearers on Tuesday.
Mr Jose Raymond, 47, who heads a communications firm, was elected chairman, taking over from Mrs Lina Chiam, 70, who used to hold the post. Mrs Chiam, who is Mr Chiam's wife, continues to be a member of the CEC.
The post of vice-chairman went to Mr Williamson Lee, while the post of assistant secretary-general went to Mr Ariffin Sha.
On the leadership transition, Mr Chia said the process had been smooth and pledged to work together with his team to continue the legacy of the SPP.
Added Mr Raymond: "We have a lot of work ahead of us, as a collective leadership. It is immaterial what positions we hold within the party, and we must always work together as a team."
Mrs Chiam said: "On behalf of Mr Chiam, I would like to thank everyone who has supported us and hope that they will continue to support the new leadership team, as we continue to serve - for the nation, for the people."
The other CEC members are: treasurer Mario Ong Ming Hui, assistant treasurer Shah Shafie, organising secretary Eman Lim, assistant organising secretary Ng Theng Lim and members Kathleen Cheong, Yong Seng Fatt and Jalil Wari.