Nee Soon GRC MP Lee Bee Wah is among 20 Members of Parliament who are retiring.
Shanmugam sad to see Lee Bee Wah and Henry Kwek leave Nee Soon team
In response to that, Minister for Law and Home Affairs, also the anchor minister for Nee Soon GRC, K. Shanmugam said to the press that he is sad that Lee has decided to retire from politics.
Shanmugam called Lee a "tremendous asset" to him and said he personally would like her to stay.
Lee, whom he said "practically lives in Nee Soon Town", is well-loved by the residents.
Shanmugam also noted Lee's contribution in Parliament as she will be missed for her speeches, saying that she is "direct" and "makes no bones about" issues she raised.
Lee "sets the standard for other MPs" and is a "very good MP", Shanmugam said.
However, he added that the party respects Lee's decision to leave politics to spend more time with her mother and for other personal reasons.
"Renewal is part of PAP's DNA too," Shanmugam said.
Besides Lee, another former Nee Soon GRC MP, Henry Kwek, is also leaving the GRC to helm Kebun Baru SMC this election.
Shanmugam said that Kwek was "a bright young man" whom he talent-spotted in 2015.
While he is sad to see Kwek go, Shanmugam added that it is "good for him to grow his wings".
Big shoe to fill from predecessors
Two new candidates will replace Lee and Kwek in the current PAP team, which will be contesting against Progress Singapore Party's team.
The new PAP candidates joining the PAP Nee Soon team are founder of charity organisation, Daughters of Tomorrow, Carrie Tan, and Managing Director and Head of Group Audit at DBS Bank, Derrick Goh.
On Tan, Shanmugam said that he is "looking forward to the passion and energy being applied to the ground, as she taking over from a MP that practically lives in Nee Soon Town".
Tan, who will be replacing Lee, acknowledged that Lee's retirement will require big shoes to fill. She said, however, that she "has big feet".
She added that she is "super proud" of the team which has "diverse strengths" and the Nee Soon community that looks out for one another.
Tan also promised to continue Lee's plan for the ward and to focus on three areas:
- Finding jobs for residents who lost jobs
- Looking after elderly people to help them feel included,
- Providing more support to the sandwich generation families by introducing policies and community programmes
In Mandarin, Tan also said that her growing up years made her realise the importance to look out for those in need even if one is also affected during tough times.
The current PAP Nee Soon team consists of incumbent MPs, Shanmugam, Louis Ng, Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, as well as new candidates Tan and Goh.
They will be facing the PSP team running in Nee Soon GRC, which consists of Damien Tay Chye Seng, Muhammad Taufik Bin Supan, Brad Bowyer, Kala Manickam and Sri Nallakaruppan.
The PSP Nee Soon team has been actively engaging the residents at the constituency for the past few weeks.
PSP chief Tan Cheng Bock has also paid a visit to the constituency in late-June.