The search for Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs) drew to a close yesterday, with at least a dozen people known to have thrown their hats in the ring.
The list includes academics, a property agent and a pre-school education trainer - reflecting a wide range of interest groups keen to have their voices heard in the House.
Among them is Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Thomas Chua, 60. The Straits Times understands his name is one of three submitted by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) on behalf of the business and industry functional group.
The group is one of seven sectors that will nominate the next round of NMPs. When contacted, an SBF spokesman declined to disclose the names of its nominees, but confirmed that three names had been put up.
Also in the running is Nanyang Technological University Assistant Professor Liew Kai Khiun, 40, whose application is backed by the animal welfare groups and the Nature Society.
Prof Liew said he hopes to "create a precedence" of greater awareness and involvement in non-municipal issues, such as animal welfare and heritage.
The NMP scheme, introduced in 1990, allows for up to nine people to be chosen to provide alternative voices in Parliament.
Also keen to get in are five individual applicants: Buddhist Fellowship's ex-president Angie Chew, 50; property agency Century21' s chief executive Ku Swee Yong, 43; Singapore Kindness Movement general secretary William Wan, 66; Pre-school Teachers Network Singapore founder Philip Koh, 50; and Logistics and Supply Chain Management Society president Raymon Krishnan, 45.
They join five other newcomers, including theatre group director Kok Heng Leun, 48, for the arts sector; union leader K. Karthikeyan, 54, for the labour movement; and former national sailor Ben Tan, 46, for the sports community.
The Straits Times understands that Society for the Physically Disabled president Chia Yong Yong, 51, and Ms Jessica Cheam, 30, founder and editor of online publication Eco-Business and a former Straits Times journalist, have also submitted their applications.
Only two of the seven current NMPs will seek a second term: businessman R. Dhinakaran and law don Eugene Tan.
The Special Select Committee of Parliament will decide on the names to be nominated to the President for appointment.
The term of the current group of NMPs ends in August.
In the 2011 round, a record 50 applications were received, compared to 48 in 2006 and 46 in 2009.
Dr Wan told The Straits Times yesterday that Parliament would offer a platform to push for kindness and graciousness to be embedded in all aspects of society.
"It's a big mandate. These values permeate every sector of our life... Kindness and graciousness should not be just a campaign."
Dr Wan also wants to champion active ageing and ex-convicts. Mr Koh wants to get "greater social recognition" and better wages and working conditions for pre-school teachers.
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