A historian, a former opposition politician and an arts activist are among those seeking to be Nominated MPs (NMPs), who are meant to provide alternative voices in Parliament.
At least 11 people were seen submitting applications at Parliament House from 10.30am to 5pm yesterday, a day before the closing date. Several of the applicants did so in person, while others sent proxies.
One of the earliest to do so was history academic Liew Kai Khiun, 43, who is applying again after an unsuccessful bid in 2014. He said his application is backed by the Nature Society.
Assistant Professor Liew said he decided to submit his name last week, after green groups weighed in on a recently released report on the environmental impact of site investigation works for the Cross Island Line (CRL) around the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
The CRL is a 50km MRT line that will run from Jurong in the west to Changi in the east.
The groups have been lobbying hard for it to be built around the reserve, instead of through it.
Prof Liew added: "If selected, I'd like to help shape what sort of spaces we value - not just our natural ones, but also the public ones."
The NMP scheme, introduced in 1990, allows for up to nine people to be chosen for Parliament.
After nominations close today, a special committee of eight MPs chaired by Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob will consider the applications as well as other MPs' views of those who applied.
They will interview shortlisted candidates, agree on the final nominees and recommend them to the President, who appoints the NMPs.
Other contenders include former opposition politician Eric Tan, 61, arts activist Felicia Low, 39, and business owner Mohamed Nawaz, 36.
Mr Tan, an adjunct lecturer, is keen on active ageing and wants to "facilitate employment opportunities for professionals aged above 60".
Dr Low, who is a lecturer and runs a non-profit organisation that produces arts programmes for the community, said she would raise "issues that represent my sector".
The focus of Mr Nawaz, director of personal development company Bodypulse, is on education, youth and entrepreneurship.
"Sometimes the Government overlooks groups such as freelancers, who are a small but important part of our workforce," he said.
Also spotted were dispatchers handing in forms for coordinators of the seven functional groups asked to submit names for the NMP position.
Among the dispatchers was the courier for National University of Singapore president Tan Chorh Chuan, the coordinator for tertiary education institutions; a dispatch rider for Academy of Medicine master Lim Shih Hui, who coordinates nominations for the professions; and a courier for the Singapore Business Federation, which coordinates business and industry nominations. All three groups declined to disclose their nominees.
The National Council of Social Service, the coordinator for social service organisations, confirmed yesterday that it had submitted two names. It declined to say who they were.
Earlier yesterday, Drama Box artistic director Kok Heng Leun said he would cast his name into the ring for a second time, in his bid to represent the arts community. "I believe that the arts and culture should have a place in the national conversation."
Last week, the labour movement put forth veteran unionist K. Thanaletchimi, 50, as a potential NMP.
As for the last batch of NMPs, entrepreneur Kuik Shiao-Yin had confirmed she was seeking a second term, while businessman Thomas Chua said he felt he had more to offer. Four had said they would not seek another term: Yale-NUS College executive vice-president of academic affairs Tan Tai Yong, veteran unionist K. Karthikeyan, Maybank vice-president Ismail Hussein and Changi General Hospital sports medicine chief Benedict Tan.
Corporate lawyer Chia Yong Yong, a wheelchair user, said she would leave the re-nomination decision to the social service sector coordinator, while labour economist Randolph Tan and architect Rita Soh could not be reached for comment.