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9 picked as NMPs; 2nd term for NMPs Eunice Olsen, Dr Loo

By Noor Mohd Aziz, Channel NewsAsia
12 January 2007

SINGAPORE: A Special Committee has selected nine Singaporeans as Nominated Members of Parliament for the term of the current Parliament.

Among them, TV host and pianist Ms Eunice Olsen and businessman and medical practitioner Dr Loo Choon Yong will be serving their second term.

The seven new faces are:

1. Mr Gautam Banerjee, Executive Chairman of Pricewaterhouse Coopers

2. Ms Cham Hui Fong, Director (Industrial Relations), NTUC

3. Mr Edwin Khew Teck Fook, an engineer

4. Dr Kalyani K Mehta, a social worker and NUS Associate Professor

5. Mrs Jessie Phua, a businesswoman and President of the Singapore Bowling Federation

6. Mr Siew Kum Hong, a lawyer

7. Dr Thio Li-Ann, NUS Law Professor

Lawyer Siew Kum Hong says: "There are some areas that do interest me more than others that I feel very strongly about. And at the top of the list would be how better we can help the lower income, people who are less privileged and disadvantaged - basically anyone who is struggling in society, struggling to keep up with today's economy.

"Another area that I would want to touch on is freedom of expression, freedom of speech in Singapore and the media in Singapore and how it's regulated. I guess it's because of my legal background and also because I write for the newspapers. These are issues that are important to me and I do think that we can go a bit further with how we regulate expression, and especially political expression in Singapore."

Siew contributes articles to TODAY newspaper twice a month.

Jessie Phua, president of the Singapore Bowling Federation says: "I'm a firm believer in sports, not just in bowling. Being a mother of four, I firmly believe in the life skills that we can impart to our younger generation. Through sports, we definitely can bring up a generation of Singaporeans who are not only physically healthier but mentally stronger as well. We're going to have a very much well-rounded generation in the years to come.

"For all of us who believe in sports, it's important for us to step forward and do what we can. I hope that through Parliament, we can bring about some match-making where companies can adopt certain sports, and free up the limited funds we have to help other emerging and deserving sports."

The Office of the Clerk of Parliament says a total of 48 nominations were received.

36 had come from the general public.

The successful nominees were selected by an eight-member special committee, chaired by Speaker of Parliament Abdullah Tarmugi.

Their names have been submitted to the President for his approval. - CNA/ir/ls