BY MARYAM MOKHTAR, Straits Times 15 April 2014
THE public can put up names of individuals they deem suitable to be a Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) from today.
Forms are available at the Parliament House or through the Parliament website, the Clerk of Parliament said in a statement yesterday. Nominations close on May 20 at 4.30pm.
Five of the current nine NMPs were previously uncertain if they would seek an extension and yesterday, at least two – Associate Professor Eugene Tan and Singapore Institute of International Affairs executive director Nicholas Fang – said they still had not reached a decision.
“I will certainly give the matter serious consideration going forward. For now, my main goal is to finish strongly,” said Prof Tan, a law don.
Mr Teo Siong Seng, Mr Laurence Lien, Ms Janice Koh and Ms Mary Liew had earlier said they would not continue when their 21/2-year terms end in August.
Ms Koh, an actress, told The Straits Times yesterday that she had a few candidates in mind to represent the arts sector, but declined to reveal names as they had not yet agreed to being nominated.
“It’s good that the nominations are now open so those who have been toying with the idea (of being an NMP) will now give the matter serious thought,” she added.
Speaker of the House Halimah Yacob will also meet representatives of seven groups to inform them of procedures required to submit their NMP nominations.
The groups represent business and industry, the professions, the labour movement, social service organisations, civic and the people sector, tertiary institutions, and media, arts and sports organisations.
Madam Halimah has appointed a coordinator to each group to gather views and submit suitable names to the Special Select Committee for consideration. The committee’s recommendations will be made to the President for appointment.
The seven coordinators are: Singapore Business Federation chairman Tony Chew, NTUC president Diana Chia, Academy of Medicine master Lim Shih Hui, National Council of Social Service chief executive Sim Gim Guan, People’s Association chief executive director Ang Hak Seng, National University of Singapore president Tan Chorh Chuan and National Arts Council chairman Chan Heng Chee.
The NMP scheme was introduced in 1990 to provide alternative voices in Parliament.
NMPs must be Singaporeans, in the current registers of electors and have lived here for at least the past 10 years, among other prerequisites.