Ng Chee Meng and Mary Liew re-elected to central committee

NTUC secretary-general Ng Chee Meng (in white) at a media briefing yesterday with the new NTUC central committee members. They are (from left) vice-presidents Abdul Samad Abdul Wahab, K. Thanaletchimi and Ong Hwee Liang; president Mary Liew; deputy s
NTUC secretary-general Ng Chee Meng (in white) at a media briefing yesterday with the new NTUC central committee members. They are (from left) vice-presidents Abdul Samad Abdul Wahab, K. Thanaletchimi and Ong Hwee Liang; president Mary Liew; deputy secretary-general Koh Poh Koon; secretary for financial affairs Arasu Duraisamy; and assistant secretary-general Patrick Tay.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

The labour movement re-elected Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Ng Chee Meng as its secretary-general yesterday.

Former Nominated MP Mary Liew was also re-elected as president of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).

Ms Liew was first elected in 2015, becoming the second woman president of NTUC. She took over from Ms Diana Chia.

The 56-year-old general secretary of the Singapore Maritime Officers' Union was elected during a closed-door meeting by the 21-member central committee.

More than 400 delegates from NTUC's 59 affiliated unions elected the new central committee by secret ballot for a four-year term up until 2023.

The central committee is the planning, policy and executive organ of NTUC.

Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon, 47, was elected as deputy secretary-general.

Mr Patrick Tay, 47, and Ms Cham Hui Fong, 51, were elected as assistant secretaries-general.

Mr Ng said they are in the midst of perhaps appointing more deputy and assistant secretaries-general.

"We have appointed one deputy secretary-general into the central committee, and we will be lining up the rest of them to be appoin-ted in the next committee meeting," he said.

Mr Arasu Duraisamy, 51, an NMP and general secretary of the Singapore Port Workers Union, was elected as secretary for financial affairs.

 

Three vice-presidents were elected to the committee: former NMP K. Thanaletchimi, 53; Mr Ong Hwee Liang, 54; and Mr Abdul Samad Abdul Wahab, 47.

The members in the new committee range from 34 to 58 years old.

Veteran deputy secretary-general Heng Chee How, 58, was absent from the new committee.

He said that he did not seek re-election because of his age.

The committee welcomed six new members: Mr Raymond Chin, 37; Mr Lim Teck Chuan, 47; Mr Lim Wen Sheng, 34; Mr Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari, 41; Mr Sazali Zainal, 46; and Mr Ken Tan Yeong Kang, 58.

Mr Lim Wen Sheng, the youngest member of the new committee, said he hopes to reach out to younger workers and fresh graduates.

He was involved with Young NTUC, the youth wing of the labour movement, for eight years.

"I think there are many younger people who are fresh graduates and might not know which direction they should head towards.

"We hope to give them guidance and engage them... even when they are still at their institutes of higher learning. Hopefully, I can be the bridge between this group of young people and the labour movement," he said.

New member Lim Teck Chuan, general secretary of the Metal Industries Workers' Union, said he wants to help workers in manufacturing who might be affected by the global economic slowdown.

"One way to help them is through the company training committees, which is a systematic way for us to talk to companies and find ways to add value to the workers," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2019, with the headline 'Ng Chee Meng and Mary Liew re-elected to central committee'. Print Edition | Subscribe