The Singapore Parliament has announced the appointment of nine Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs) who will serve a two-and-a-half-year term, with four of the candidates being of Indian origin. Dr. Razwana Begum Abdul Rahim, Chandradas Usha Ranee, Raj Joshua Thomas, and Neil Parekh, are among the appointees who will take the oath of office next month.
The selection process, overseen by a Special Select Committee of Parliament chaired by former Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin, involved considering a total of 30 names for the NMP positions, as reported by The Straits Times newspaper.
Meet the Indian-Origin NMPs:
Razwana Begum Abdul Rahim: She is currently the Associate Professor Head of the Public Safety and Security Programme School of Humanities and Behavioural Sciences at the Singapore University of Social Sciences. She completed her Ph.D. from Monash University, Australia. She is a qualified lawyer and holds undergraduate and master’s degree in Law from the Univerity of London and the University of Wolverhampton. Presenting she is an Advisor to the Youth Court, a Member of the European Forum for Restorative Justice, Member of the SCDF Petroleum & Flammable Materials, Committee on Fostering, Ministry of Social & Family Development Present Member of the Security Consultant Accreditation Programme, Member of the Australian Counselling Association,2020 – Advisory Member with Centre for Higher Education, Sunway University, Board Member with PPIS (Singapore Muslim Women’s Association), Advisory Board Member with Lutheran Community Care Services Limited, Advisory Committee Member with Bowen Secondary School, Registered Social Worker with Singapore Association of Social Workers. She is also a consultant to Asia Europe Foundation & Conjunct Consulting. She also actively publishes research papers on Public Safety and Security, Restorative Justice, Children, Youth and Family, Corporate Crime, and Ethics.
Chandradas Usha Ranee: Chandradas brings a diverse background to her role as an NMP, having worked as a tax lawyer for 12 years. As the co-founder of Plural Art Magazine and a course coordinator at the Nanyang Business School, she aims to address issues related to the promotion and sustainability of the arts sector in Singapore. Chandradas emphasizes the need for legal awareness, financial sustainability, freedom of expression, education, and better working conditions for artists and creatives.
Raj Joshua Thomas: Raj Joshua Thomas is the only appointee serving his second term as an NMP. As a lawyer, he has been actively involved in serving the community through the Law Society’s Criminal Legal Aid Scheme. Additionally, Thomas holds the position of President of the Security Association Singapore (SAS).
Neil Parekh: An esteemed figure in the business and finance sector, Neil Parekh is the Chairman of the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a council member of the Singapore Business Federation. He is also the partner and head of Asia, Australia, and New Zealand at Tikehau Capital and the chief executive of Pegasus Asia. Parekh has made significant contributions to financial literacy initiatives in Singapore and serves as a board director of Elevandi, an organization established by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to promote FinTech in the digital economy.
The official swearing-in ceremony for the nine NMPs will take place when Parliament reconvenes in August, following their appointment by President Halimah Yacob on July 24.
The inclusion of three Indian-origin candidates among the Nominated Members of Parliament reflects the country’s commitment to diversity and representation within the legislative body. The new NMPs are expected to contribute their expertise and perspectives to various important discussions and policy-making processes during their term.