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Lawrence Wong and Halimah Yacob to co-anchor Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC
THE new Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC will be anchored by two MPs: Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong and Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob.
This was announced by Mr Wong during a visit to the constituency on Thursday with Madam Halimah.
The minister, who is a first-term MP, and Madam Halimah are slated to move from West Coast GRC and Jurong GRC respectively to the new group representation constituency for the upcoming general election.
Mr Wong said he had asked Madam Halimah to join him in leading the new GRC because of her strong track record as an MP. "So I know how effective she is and I've much to learn from her," he added.
Madam Halimah said they would be able to complement each other, adding that Mr Wong would bring with him his strengths and capabilities.
Although Mr Wong said the full line-up of MPs that the People's Action Party (PAP) will be fielding in the four-member Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC will be revealed later, he hinted that it would likely comprise Madam Halimah and himself, as well as MPs Alex Yam and Ong Teng Koon.
"So the only new faces are Madam Halimah and myself," he said. "And there are two existing incumbent MPs, Alex Yam and Ong Teng Koon. So we hope this is likely to be the team for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC."
Both Mr Yam and Mr Ong have expressed interest in continuing to serve in their respective wards, which have been redrawn into the new GRC.
Over the past weeks, Mr Wong and Madam Halimah have been walking the ground, attending constituency events and making house visits in the area.
Madam Halimah said she had done "a fair amount of groundwork in Marsiling", having visited about 20 blocks of flats so far.
The PAP team, added Mr Wong, will build on the work done by the incumbent MPs in their wards, which are currently part of Sembawang GRC and Chua Chu Kang GRC. "We will put forward our manifesto when it's ready," he said.
The GRC is now made up of three divisions - Marsiling, Yew Tee and Woodgrove - but it will have four MPs. This is because wards in the GRC have grown over the years. "So a fourth MP will help better serve residents there," said Madam Halimah.
Resident Philip Ong welcomed the two new MPs to the constituency. "It looks like a good mix," said the 48-year-old technician. "Madam Halimah can bring her wisdom and experience to help, and Mr Wong is a minister who is in charge of youth issues."
Housewife Normah Ahmad, 50, said: "It's nice to see a Malay woman in the role of a leader too."
Separately, senior police officer Melvin Yong will be retiring from the force next week, adding to speculation that he may be fielded by the PAP as a candidate in the coming general election.
A police spokesman confirmed on Wednesday that the 43-year-old assistant commissioner's last day of work is Aug 16.
Mr Yong declined to comment on his post-retirement plans but said on Thursday that he had "the privilege of serving constituents both as a police officer as well as a grassroots volunteer for many years and found it richly rewarding". He added: "I plan to continue doing so even after I retire from the force."
The Straits Times understands that the PAP will introduce him some time next week as a candidate for Tanjong Pagar GRC alongside labour chief Chan Chun Sing, Senior Minister of State for Education and Law Indranee Rajah, backbencher Chia Shi-Lu and another new face, former public servant Joan Pereira.
The five-member GRC was previously helmed by former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew until he died in March this year. THE STRAITS TIMES
Read more about the coming Singapore General Election here.