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SINGAPORE GENERAL ELECTION

Halimah confident of representing residents, even with Speaker role

Saturday, August 22, 2015 - 05:50
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Madam Halimah Yacob, Speaker of Parliament. She was the first woman to be appointed to the post.

Singapore

EVEN with her role as Speaker of Parliament - which means she is unable to raise residents' concerns in the House - Halimah Yacob believes she has been and will continue to be an effective representative for her residents.

In response to a query from The Business Times, she said she sees no incompatibility between her role as Speaker and a Member of Parliament (MP).

"I know people tend to look at Parliament and the speeches made, and assume that this is the be all and end all in terms of articulating views and concerns. It need not necessarily be so. In fact, the work of an MP is so multifaceted - Parliament is just one aspect of it.

"A lot of the work is really grinding, hard work on the ground - and that includes following-up with the relevant ministries and agencies when you have issues."

Madam Halimah was on Friday officially named a People's Action Party (PAP) candidate in Marsiling-Yew Tee Group Representative Constituency (GRC).

"When I'm here and elected by the people, I will be doing the work to represent them as best as possible. It may not be in the public eye in the sense of having it publicly articulated in Parliament, but most certainly I will rigorously pursue (matters) in my capacity as an MP for them, which is what I have been doing for the last few years."

She was elected Singapore's first woman Speaker of Parliament in 2013, and has served as an MP for Jurong GRC since 2001.

"No ministry has felt that I (have been) less rigorous and vigorous in terms of pursuing (my residents') interests," she stressed.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong, who will co-anchor Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC with her, said that this has certainly not been the case.

He added, only half in jest, that he was "speaking as a minister who has been the recipient of Madam Halimah's representations".

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