Tin Pei Ling

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Tin Pei Ling
Tin Pei Ling in 2011
Member of Parliament
for Marine Parade GRC
Incumbent
Assumed office
7 May 2011
Preceded by Matthias Yao
Personal details
Born (1983-07-08) 8 July 1983 (age 31)
Singapore
Nationality Singaporean
Political party People's Action Party
Spouse(s) Ng How Yue
Alma mater National University of Singapore
Occupation former Senior Associate at Ernst & Young
Religion Buddhism[1]
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Tin.

Tin Pei Ling (simplified Chinese: 陈佩玲; traditional Chinese: 陳佩玲; pinyin: Chén Pèilíng; born 23 Dec 1983[2] ) is a Singaporean People's Action Party (PAP) Member of Parliament (MP) in the Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency.[3] She is in charge of the MacPherson ward.

Besides being the youngest MP in Parliament, Tin was also the PAP's youngest candidate in the Singapore general election, 2011. She is currently serving as the Chairperson of the Ulu Pandan Youth Executive Committee for the Young PAP (YPAP),[3][4] the PAP's youth wing, and a member of the Community Development Welfare Fund Committee.

Tin is married to Ng How Yue, Second Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry and formerly a Principal Private Secretary to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.[5]

Grassroots background

Prior to the formation of the 17th Young PAP Executive Committee marked by the 2011 elections, Tin was formerly assistant treasurer for YoungPAP (YPAP) and a representative for the Ulu Pandan branch.[4]

Nomination and election as MP

In the 2011 general election, Tin was selected as a candidate for the Marine Parade GRC alongside former prime minister Goh Chok Tong among others. Having been a member of the Ulu Pandan branch of the Young PAP for 7 years, she was fielded by the PAP as a candidate to attract the "unpredictable" youth vote through social networking sites.[6]

On election day, the PAP took Marine Parade GRC with 56.65% of the votes, defeating National Solidarity Party's team led by Cheo Chai Chen[7] Goh Chok Tong admitted after the election that Tin's youth and negative image perceived by the public was a "factor" for the People's Action Party's weaker performance this election compared to their 72.9% win in 1992.[8]

On 1 June 2011, Tin announced on her Facebook account that she had resigned from her Senior Associate position in Ernst & Young, where she had worked for four years.[9] She said the decision was made in order to focus on her responsibilities as full-time MP in her MacPherson ward and the Marine Parade GRC.[10]

Online backlash

Tin's selection as a candidate for Parliament in 2011 resulted in a large online backlash, especially amongst young Singaporeans.[6] Throughout the campaign, Tin garnered negative attention due to her perceived immaturity to become an MP,[11] and allusions were also raised as to how her husband's position had opened doors for her into politics.[12]

A widely circulated Facebook photo of Tin posing with a Kate Spade-branded gift from her husband, also led to widespread accusations online of ignorance, materialism and privilege.[11][13] When asked if there was a policy she would change, she replied that there were no policy that she felt strongly against.[14] When asked what her "greatest regret" was, she said it was not having brought her (still living) parents to Universal Studios Singapore.[15]

Some Singaporeans were concerned that as an "undeserving [candidate]," Tin had a high chance of being elected "not on [her] own merit, but rather on the back of established MPs" since the 5-member PAP team would be voted in or rejected as a group under Singapore's Group Representative Constituency system.[16]

The public's online hostility towards Tin was so great that Goh Chok Tong defended her in the press. He said he had taken Tin in when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had offered her to be fielded as a candidate in his GRC. He had accepted her as he did not think Tin was a weak candidate. He dismissed the online criticisms as "distortion" and even though "some sound bites of her which pitted her as a rather light-weight person", it was just "a superficial view". He still believed that she "would work very hard", "[could] reach out to the young, and the not so young," that he "would like her to do more to help the old people in MacPherson," and that she would become "a good MP in due course".[17] [18]

Cooling-off day controversy

Nicole Seah from the National Solidarity Party (NSP) team in Marine Parade GRC filed a complaint to the Elections Department on 6 May, stating that Tin had violated the state-mandated cooling-off period 24 hours before polls by posting a Facebook comment on Seah crying during her walkabout. Under the Singapore Parliamentary Elections Act,[19] canvassing on Polling Day and Cooling Off Day is prohibited and the offence carries a fine or imprisonment or both. When questioned, Tin replied that one of her administrators, Denise He, had posted the comment under her account and that he had meant to post in her own capacity from her phone, but had forgotten to log out of Tin's account.[20] The NSP team was advised by the Elections Department to file a police report before the Elections Department could investigate.[21] The police confirmed that a report was lodged against her.[22] The police issued a stern warning to Tin as well as Seah, who also had a similar complaint lodged against her.[23]

References

  1. ^ "Ms Tin Pei Ling". Parliament of Singapore. Government of Singapore. 2 February 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2012. 
  2. ^ Parliament of Singapore : MP Tin Pei Ling's CV
  3. ^ a b Tin Pei Ling CV, PAP, 28 March 2011. Archived 7 May 2011 at WebCite
  4. ^ a b "Young PAP 17th Executive Committee". Young PAP web. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Straight fight in Marine Parade GRC between PAP and NSP". Straits Times. 27 April 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Russell, Jon (27 April 2011). "Nicole Seah and the social media effect". Asia Sentinel. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "PAP takes Marine Parade". The Straits Times (Singapore). 8 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "GE: Tin Pei Ling "a factor" for weak results, says SM Goh". Channel News Asia. 8 May 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  9. ^ http://ge.pap.org.sg/candidate/tinpeiling
  10. ^ "MP Tin Pei Ling resigns from Ernst & Young". Straits Times. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
  11. ^ a b Alicia Wong (14 April 2011). "My conscience is clear: Tin Pei Ling". Yahoo Singapore. Archived from the original on 7 May 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  12. ^ http://www.straitstimes.com/GeneralElection/News/Story/STIStory_661750.html/
  13. ^ "PAP's youngest candidate faces online criticism". 31 March 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  14. ^ Ting, Victoria. "Tin Pei Ling: New blood or bad blood?". Very Fine Commentary. Retrieved 1 May 2011. [unreliable source?]
  15. ^ "Video: Tin Pei Ling's greatest regret". 
  16. ^ Sim, Fann (6 April 2011). "Online petition against PAP’s Tin Pei Ling". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  17. ^ Siow, Maria (4 May 2011). "GE: SM Goh defends quality of new PAP candidates". Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  18. ^ Interview with Lee Hsien Loong (news interview) (television). Singapore: MediaCorp Channel 5. 5 April 2011. Event occurs at 9 pm. 
  19. ^ Parliamentary Elections Act (Cap. 218, 2007 Rev. Ed.)
  20. ^ "Nicole Seah files complaint against Tin Pei Ling". AsiaOne. 7 May 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  21. ^ "NSP advised to make police report". Straits Times. 7 May 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  22. ^ "Police report lodged against Tin Pei Ling over cooling-off day complaint". Channel News Asia. 16 May 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  23. ^ "No police action against Tin Pei Ling, Nicole Seah". Yahoo. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2012. 
Parliament of Singapore
Preceded by
Matthias Yao
Member of Parliament for Marine Parade GRC
2011–present
Incumbent