Speaking at a National Day dinner at Fengshan Community Club on Sunday (2 Aug), former transport minister Raymond Lim gave strong hints that he would be retiring from politics and would not be contesting in the upcoming GE.
He said, “It has been a great privilege and honour for me to have served as your MP these past 14 years.”
He thanked grassroots volunteers and residents in Fengshan ward of East Coast GRC for their support.
It gave him “happiness and fulfilment” to be able to work with them to serve residents, he added, hinting that he would not be continuing to work with them anymore.
It has been speculated that Ms Cheryl Chan, 38, a grassroots volunteer for 10 years, would be replacing Mr Lim.
At the dinner, Mr Lim specially singled her out, “As you all know, Cheryl’s life has become even more exciting lately with intense media speculation that, if I were to retire, she is likely to succeed me. I will only say this – if so, Fengshan is in very good hands.”
In the upcoming GE, Fengshan has been carved out as an SMC from East Coast GRC. WP is likely to contest in both Fengshan and East Coast.
As a bait to gain Fengshan’s residents support for PAP, Mr Lim announced that the Government had approved the remaining HDB blocks in Fengshan to undergo the Home Improvement Programme, which will benefit close to 2,500 households.
Elections, he said, are not just about a verdict on a government, but also about choosing people “who can engage and lead public opinion for the common good rather than those who merely echo and pander to it for their own good”.
Never spoken a word in Parliament
It’s strange that Mr Lim talked about engaging and leading public opinion for the “common good” when it was found that he has hardly spoken a word in Parliament since he was elected in 2011 GE.
A check on Parliament reports [Link] produced by the current 12th Parliament showed that Mr Lim did not appear to have said anything in Parliament since the last GE.
In fact, he appears to have attended only 1 Parliament session on 10 October 2011 during the Administration of Oaths ceremony for MPs [Link].
Mr Lim was a Rhodes Scholar and Colombo Plan scholar and holds degrees from the universities of Adelaide, Oxford and Cambridge.
He served as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office from 2005 to 2006, followed by the Minister for Transport from 2006 to 2011.
Mr Lim and his team performed badly in East Coast GRC in the 2011 GE. The PAP team scored 54.8%, down from 63.9% in 2006 GE.
Subsequently, he stepped down from the Cabinet and became a backbencher MP. It was not known if he was forced to do so due to the poor result in 2011 GE.
In any case, at $16,000 a month, it’s a good salary to earn considering the fact that one needs not talk in Parliament as an MP.
What do you think?