Cupid strikes and... MP Vikram Nair says 'I do'

Cupid strikes and... MP Vikram Nair says 'I do'

A friendship MP Vikram Nair struck up in 2010 while volunteering at the Social Development Network, a government centre for dating information and services, has turned out to be serendipitous.

Last year, the friend and fellow volunteer, Mrs Laura Hwang, introduced him to a senior bank executive who is now his wife.

Last Sunday, Mr Nair, 36, and Ms Faye Ong, 37, held a wedding dinner to celebrate their union in April.

Recounting how they met a year ago, he said Mrs Hwang, Singapore's representative on the Asean Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children, was attending a women lawyers' networking event.

Mr Nair had been invited to attend the event as a member of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Home Affairs and Law.

"Laura asked if I was seeing anyone, and when I said no, she introduced us," said the Sembawang GRC MP.

"Faye is not a lawyer and I am not a woman, but by chance we met.

"It was completely unexpected," he added with a laugh.

Ms Ong was taken to the event by her mother, lawyer Jeanny Ng.

Describing their courtship, he said that like many couples, they would have movie nights, mornings at the gym and the occasional short holiday.

But Ms Ong had an unusual interest: "She was quite keen to come to grassroots events, so I took her to some of them.

"She speaks pretty good Mandarin and Hokkien, and got along quite well with my grassroots leaders."

He added that his bride is well aware of his demanding schedule and "didn't come into the relationship with rose-tinted glasses".

After registering their marriage in April, they held a private ceremony for family last month.

Last Sunday, grassroots community leaders attended the first of his two wedding dinners at the Yan Palace restaurant in Warren Golf and Country Club. Among the guests were Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching.

Another dinner for colleagues, family and friends will be held later this month at Hotel Fort Canning.

Among the guests will be Mrs Hwang, who related the couple's first encounter to The Straits Times yesterday: "I've never played matchmaker before, and this happened on the spur of the moment. I had just been introduced to Faye by her mother. She was such a lovely girl and two tables behind her was Vikram, smiling away.

"Cupid took aim - I literally walked over and asked to introduce her to him."

With Mr Nair hitched, Parliament is left with seven unmarried MPs.

They are Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong, Senior Minister of State for Education and Law Indranee Rajah, Dr Chia Shi-Lu, Ms Penny Low, Dr Fatimah Lateef, Ms Sylvia Lim and Nominated MP Chia Yong Yong.

Dr Chia Shi-Lu, MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, is the only male backbencher who is single.

But he hardly feels any pressure from his constituents or his girlfriend to get married, Dr Chia told The Straits Times.

"Perhaps in the past there was a feeling among voters that those who have settled down were more trustworthy," he said.

But today, his single status can even give him an edge with some constituents.

"They'll talk about their troubles, some of it related to their singlehood, and then look at me and say, 'You understand, right?'"

This article was first published on June 10, 2015.
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