Lawyer elected as new sec-gen of National Solidarity Party

Lawyer elected as new sec-gen of National Solidarity Party
Supporters cheering at a National Solidarity Party (NSP) rally at Mountbatten on 2 May 2011. [General Election 2011]

SINGAPORE - Lawyer Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss has been voted out as secretary-general of the National Solidarity Party (NSP).

During the party's bi-annual Central Executive Committee (CEC) elections yesterday, Mr Tan Lam Siong, 53, was elected as the party's new secretary-general.

Mr Tan has been a lawyer for almost 30 years and is also a docent at local museums. The father of three also holds academic qualifications in law, education, psychology and clinical hypnotherapy.

Business consultant Sebastian Teo, 66, was re-elected to his sixth consecutive term as party president, the top post in the party's hierarchy.

Speaking to The New Paper, Mr Teo said about 40 members showed up for the vote yesterday morning at the party's Jalan Besar headquarters.

Asked about other members of the party's new CEC, Mr Teo said the party would only be ready to release the full list of names on Feb 3.

The CEC will be holding its first meeting on Feb 2 to decide who will be the other office bearers, as well as which members would be co-opted.

TNP understands that Mrs Chong-Aruldoss, who contested Mountbatten Single Member Constituency in the 2011 General Elections, has also not been elected into the new CEC.

When contacted, the 51-year-old said she was in no position to talk about the elections and directed queries to Mr Teo.

Also not in the new CEC is community worker Ravi Philemon, 47, who had been co-opted into the previous CEC. He was Mrs Chong- Aruldoss' campaign manager in the GE.

"There were two directions that the party could have taken, and they have chosen one over the other," he said.

Asked about what lies ahead for him, Mr Philemon said he was unsure about whether he would be co-opted into the new CEC.

"I'm still undecided about how to best contribute to the opposition cause," he said.

A source close to the party revealed that the party was split into two camps with different ideals on how to bring the party forward: the tried and tested method, led by Mr Teo; and a "more innovative approach" led by Mrs Chong-Aruldoss.

"In a way, the old guard wanted something they were familiar with, and they felt the next elections would be their last chance at being elected into Parliament," the source said.

Where are they now?

They contested the 2011 General Elections but failed to get elected into Parliament. The New Paper looks at where some of them are now.

DESMOND CHOO

Contested for PAP in Hougang SMC during the General Elections (GE) in 2011, and again in the by-election in 2013. Lost both times. He has since moved from Hougang to Tampines East as second grassroots adviser.

ONG YE KUNG

The newbie in the PAP's five-man team that lost in Aljunied GRC, Mr Ong continued serving as advisor in Kaki Bukit for over three years before moving to Sembawang GRC in July last year.

NICOLE SEAH

She was part of the National Solidarity Party's team that contested in Marine Parade GRC. After three years with the party, she left it in August last year, saying her "job is done (for now)". Now pursuing an advertising career in Bangkok, she will make her acting debut in 1965, a movie commemorating Singapore's 50th birthday.

HAZEL POA

The former government scholarship holder, who runs a chain of tuition centres, contested the Jurong GRC as part of a NSP Team and was described as a "Star" for the opposition. She was elected the part's Secretary General in June 2011 and again in April 2013, but abruptly stpped down in September 2013, citing health reasons.

BENJAMIN PWEE

Part of the Singapore People's Party (SPP) team that contested in the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, he and five party leaders left in 2012, citing differences in opinion over the party's leadership style and direction. He joined the Democratic Progressive Party, where he is now secretary-general.

There were two directions that the party could have taken, and they have chosen one over the other.- Mr Ravi Philemon, who did not make it to the National Solidarity Party exco.


This article was first published on January 26, 2015.
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