Chinese clan body gets more new immigrant leaders

More new Chinese immigrants have taken up leadership positions at the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA), in a move that can speed up their integration into mainstream Singapore society.

Seven were elected, re-elected or appointed to the council or working committees - up from four previously - at an election of office- bearers for the umbrella body for 226 local Chinese clan, cultural and social groups about a week ago.

The three new faces are Kowloon Club president Philip Chan, 51, who is now a council member; Chin Kang Huay Kuan's youth leader Chen Benzhong, 40, who is now vice-chairman of the youth committee; and Singapore Amoy Association president Lin Dengli, 66, the new vice-chairman of the cultural committee.

Madam Lin is also the only woman in the SFCCA's 15th council-cum-working committee.

Led by prominent developer Chua Thian Poh, 67, who was re-elected for a third term as president, the new 31-member council and its six working committees were formally installed for a new three-year term at the federation's Toa Payoh headquarters last Friday.

Apparel provider Sing Lun Holdings' chairman Patrick Lee, 67, was also re-elected for a third time as secretary-general. He said: "One of our objectives is to help new Chinese immigrants integrate into our society and I think we are making progress.

The election of more newcomers into the federation is only natural as it reflects their greater presence in our fold."

The number of new Chinese immigrant groups joining SFCCA has risen from four in 2012 to 11 today.

They include the 5,000-member Hua Yuan Association, which represents Chinese immigrants from all across China; Shanghai Jiao Tong University Alumni Association; and Guizhou Association, which joined only last week.

Kowloon Club's Mr Chan, a property investor, joins three fellow new immigrants - Lianhe Zaobao Online editor Zhou Zhaocheng, 42; Tian Fu Association president Tony Du, 58; and the boss of developer Yanlord Land, Mr Zhong Shengjian, 57 - as council members.

Mr Chan said: "With more new Chinese immigrants like myself serving the federation now, we will have more opportunities to work with the other members and take part in the group's activities."

Another new Chinese immigrant leader, Sgwritings Cultural Association president Li Yeming, 45, was re-elected vice-chairman of the research committee.

He said: "SFCCA has done a lot to integrate us into mainstream society and that includes holding regular talks and seminars on Singapore's history and culture, and visits to places of interests here. It even publishes a bi-monthly magazine for all new Chinese immigrants."

This article was first published on October 9, 2015.
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