NTUC nominates Union of Power and Gas Employees general secretary as next labour NMP

NTUC vice-president Abdul Samad Abdul Wahab was elected as a union leader in 2006, and has held his current post since 2015.
NTUC vice-president Abdul Samad Abdul Wahab was elected as a union leader in 2006, and has held his current post since 2015.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Mr Abdul Samad Abdul Wahab, vice-president of the National Trades Union Congress, has been put up as the labour movement's choice for Nominated MP.

The 48-year-old is also general secretary of the Union of Power and Gas Employees, which he first joined in 2003. He was elected as a union leader in 2006, and has held his current post since 2015.

That year, he also became part of NTUC's central committee. He was appointed vice-president last year.

In a statement on Friday (Nov 20), NTUC said Mr Samad has worked to forge strong labour-management relations over the years.

It highlighted that he was instrumental in the formation of the Market Development and Resilience Scheme launched by the Energy Market Authority in 2018, which helped secure bonuses, increments and training funds for workers in the industry.

An advocate for workers' training and skills upgrading, Mr Samad also played a key role in setting up company training committees with employers to implement training plans for workers in the power and gas industry.

NTUC president Mary Liew spoke of him as an "experienced, caring and dedicated" union leader who understands the importance of tripartism in Singapore.

"His inputs in Parliament would be valuable in shaping policies that would benefit our workers," she added.

Mr Samad said he was honoured by the nomination, and will tackle issues such as strengthening the Singaporean core and expanding the progressive wage model to more sectors if he is appointed NMP.

"With the pandemic affecting lives and livelihoods, I would also focus on providing much needed help for our workers, especially the middle-income sandwiched group, be it in areas of employment, training or coping with the cost of living," he said.

NMPs are selected by an eight-member Special Select Committee chaired by Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin.

Besides submissions from the public, seven functional groups - business and industry; the professions; the labour movement; social service organisations; civic and people sector; tertiary education institutions; and media, arts and sports organisations - are typically invited to submit names of suitable candidates.

The deadline for submissions is 4.30pm next Monday.

Those nominated should have rendered distinguished public service, brought honour to Singapore, or have distinguished themselves in their respective fields.

The arts community has shortlisted five names - music producer George Leong, actress and event host Audrey Lim, photographer Benjamin Matchap, playwright and former Straits Times journalist Nabilah Said as well as painter Terence Tan.

Singapore's green groups will nominate research scientist Andie Ang from the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund as their choice for NMP.