At a media conference on 29 Aug, Presidential hopeful Halimah Yacob told everyone that she serves Singaporeans and nothing else.
“I know my loyalty lies with Singapore and Singaporeans and nothing else. Whatever I have done has always been in putting the interests of people first, rather than looking at the party colours.”
Before throwing her hat in the race for Elected Presidency, she had been a fervent card-carrying member of the People’s Action Party (PAP). Her close ties to PAP has raised concerns about her lack of independence should she be elected, and the role she would play in safeguarding of our reserves.
Her naming of Sheng Siong CEO Lim Hock Chee as one of her key Presidential Election campaign members has also not helped ease many people’s unease about her independence.
Sheng Siong heavily linked to PA and PAP?
Sheng Siong supermarket chain is run by the Lim family.
According to its annual report, its CEO Lim Hock Chee (BBM) and his brother Chairman Lim Hock Eng (PBM) are both grassroots leaders heavily involved with the People’s Association (PA).
CEO Lim Hock Chee was first awarded PBM by PM Lee in 2006 and Long Service Award in 2007. He was later awarded the BBM in 2014. The followings are some of his appointments:
- Chairman of Marsiling Community Club Management Committee (Marsiling CCMC)
- Vice-Chairman of Marsiling Citizen’s Consultative Committee (Marsiling CCC)
- Council member of Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI)
- Vice-Chairman of Trade Association & Membership Committee in SCCCI
- Committee member of Singapore Chinese Chamber Institute of Business
- Committee member of MTI’s Retail Prices Watch Group (RPWG) in 2011
- Committee member of IRAS’ Taxpayer Feedback Panel in 2012, 2014
- Committee member of Tripartite Committee for Low Wage Workers and Inclusive Growth in 2012
- Board member of Health Promotion Board in 2014
- Committee member of MND’s Revitalise Heartland Shops Committee in 2015
Chairman Lim Hock Eng was awarded PBM by PM Lee in 2016. His appointments:
– Patron of Yio Chu Kang Citizens’ Consultative Committee (Yio Chu Kang CCC)
– Committee member of Community Outreach and Co-ownership Committee of CDAC in 2016
Coincidentally, CEO Lim Hock Chee serves as grassroots leader in Marsiling (part of Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC), whose MP was Halimah. She resigned as MP of Marsiling last month (7 Aug) so that she can run for the upcoming President Election.
In view of the void created by her resignation, PAP then decided to appoint MP Zaqy Mohamad from Chua Chu Kang GRC to “stand-in” as “grassroots advisor” for the Marsiling ward.
In the case of Chairman Lim Hock Eng, he serves as grassroots leader in Yio Chu Kang which falls under AMK GRC led by PM Lee.
People’s Association is People’s Action Party?
People’s Association (PA), gazetted as a government statutory board, has been closely linked to the PAP.
When Mr Lee Kuan Yew was alive, he once made a comment about how close the relationship was, between PAP and PA. He commented on what the People’s Republic of China officials had observed when they were visiting Singapore and said:
“They (PRCs) discover that the People’s Action Party (PAP) has only a small office in Bedok. But everywhere they go, they see the PAP – in the RCs (residents’ committees), CCCs (citizens’ consultative committees), and the CCs (community clubs).”
And in Singapore, all RCs, CCCs, CCs and grassroots organizations fall under the purview of PA.