Sunday Times: NCMP post likely to go to Sylvia Lim

LAW lecturer Sylvia Lim, who led the Workers’ Party’s team in Aljunied GRC to the best opposition performance this year, looks set to be the next Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP).

Ms Lim, 41, and her four teammates – Mr Tan Wui-Hua, 39, Mohammed Rahizan Yaacob, 49, Mr Goh Meng Seng, 36, and Mr James Gomez, 40 – obtained 43.9 per cent of the vote in the hotly contested GRC.

That made them the best-performing losers in this year’s general election, and eligible to be offered an NCMP seat. If offered, the team will have to decide who should take it up.

Ms Lim and her team lost to the People’s Action Party (PAP) team of Foreign Minister George Yeo, 51, Ms Cynthia Phua, 47, Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, 45, Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed, 58, and Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, 47, who won 56.1 per cent of the vote.

Technically, any member of the WP’s Aljunied team can take up the NCMP offer. But as de facto leader of the team, Ms Lim looks the most likely candidate. But she was non-committal when asked by The Sunday Times last night, replying via an SMS message: “We’ll think about it.”

The NCMP scheme allows the top opposition losers at the polls to become MPs but without representing any particular constituency.

Mr Steve Chia of the Singapore Democratic Alliance took up the NCMP position in 2001 after emerging as the top loser in that year’s polls, with 34.7 per cent of votes in Chua Chu Kang.

Yesterday, Mr Chia failed in his third attempt to win a seat in Parliament. He was defeated in Chua Chu Kang by the PAP’s Mr Gan Kim Yong, 47, who took 60.4 per cent of vote.

Mr Chia’s performance was the second-best among the top losers in the opposition slate with 39.6 per cent. But the 35-year-old businessman said last night he was quitting politics.

“The main thing that’s on my mind is to find a good job and take care of my family,” he said.

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