PAP rally: Tan Chuan-Jin in central exec committee

SINGAPORE - He is the only new face among the 12 nominees elected to the party's central executive committee (CEC). They received the highest number of votes in yesterday's election.

Mr Tan replaced Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, who together with Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob placed 13th and 14th in the election. As is party practice, Dr Ng and Madam Halimah were automatically co-opted into the CEC, alongside the top 12.

About 2,000 PAP cadres voted yesterday for the committee that will lead them for the next two years and likely into the next general election, which must be called before January 2017. The cadres chose from a shortlist of 19 nominees.

The Straits Times understands the other nominees were Culture, Community and Youth Minister Lawrence Wong, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew, Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah and Mayor of Central Singapore Community Development Council Denise Phua.

In 2012, Dr Balakrishnan was automatically co-opted into the CEC, along with Mr Tan.

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong yesterday congratulated Mr Tan on the election result, saying on Facebook that he has "done well, especially in building rapport with the young".

Mr Goh and Mr Tan are both MPs for Marine Parade GRC.

The other members elected to the CEC yesterday were, in no particular order: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Cabinet ministers

Khaw Boon Wan, Yaacob Ibrahim, Teo Chee Hean, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Lim Swee Say, K. Shanmugam, Chan Chun Sing, Grace Fu, Gan Kim Yong and Heng Swee Keat.

Apart from the top 12 nominees, up to six other members can be co-opted into the CEC.

Yesterday, PM Lee underscored the need for renewal in a rally speech. "Well before the end of next term, we will have a younger, passionate and capable team, ready to take over the reins."

This article was first published on December 8, 2014.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.