SINGAPORE — Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) on Thursday (Oct 26) announced a new branch chair in the opposition-run Sengkang Group Representation Constituency.
From Nov 1, Mr Marcus Loh will take over Sengkang East division from Mr Ling Weihong, who was just unveiled in March 2022 along with two other fresh faces in a new-look PAP slate. Mr Ling will now be “redeployed” within the party.
Mr Loh joins Associate Professor Elmie Nekmat (Sengkang Central), Ms Theodora Lai Xi Yi (Sengkang North) and former Senior Minister of State Lam Pin Min (Sengkang West) in a team that will attempt to wrest the GRC back from the Workers’ Party at the next General Election.
Dr Lam is the lone holdover from the PAP’s Sengkang lineup at the last polls in 2020, which eventually lost to a WP slate of Ms He Ting Ru, Associate Professor Jamus Lim, Mr Louis Chua and Ms Raeesah Khan — who has since resigned after lying in parliament.
The PAP on Thursday introduced Mr Loh as a party activist since 2015 who serves as a council member in its policy forum and also sits on its Southeast District’s executive committee.
The 40-year-old is currently director and head of strategic communication, public affairs and corporate marketing at a Singaporean digital transformation services firm. According to his LinkedIn, his employer is Temus, a start-up majority-owned by state investor Temasek.
The PAP described Mr Loh as “deeply committed to a meritocratic society that values diverse abilities and offers second chances”.
He sits on the Industry Advisory Committee at the Singapore University of Social Sciences’ School of Humanities and Behavioural Sciences, as well as the Singapore Management University Alumni Philanthropy Council.
In 2019, Mr Loh was elected president of the Institute of Public Relations of Singapore. He is also a fellow at the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre’s Company of Good initiative.
He holds a communication degree from Edith Cowan University and master of science degrees from the University of Ireland and Singapore Management University; and also completed an executive programme in public leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School.
Last year, after the revamp of the PAP’s Sengkang GRC team, political analysts said the new faces would have a longer runway to work the ground ahead of the next elections, while giving residents time to evaluate them against the incumbent WP options.
The WP’s victory in 2020 made Sengkang only the second GRC to be controlled by an opposition party, after Aljunied which it has retained since 2011. The defeated PAP team in Sengkang also included labour chief Ng Chee Meng and former Senior Parliamentary Secretary Amrin Amin.
PAP’s move in Sengkang came on the back of the appointment of a new branch chair in the single-member constituency of Hougang — a WP stronghold — last Tuesday.
Mr Jackson Lam took over the role from Mr Lee Hong Chuang, who assumes the position of branch advisor and will “assist in seeing through the transition for the PAP Hougang team to continue serving its residents”, said PAP in its statement last week.
Mr Lee ran for Hougang SMC in the last two general elections, but lost on both occasions.
Mr Lam has been a party activist at Chong Pang division (Nee Soon GRC) since 2013 and is currently assistant director of the operations and mobilisation division at National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).
Singapore’s next General Election must be held by 2025. CNA
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