Janil Puthucheary

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Janil Puthucheary
ஜனில் புதுசேரி
Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information
Assumed office
1 January 2016
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
MinisterYaacob Ibrahim
Minister of State, Ministry of Education
Assumed office
1 January 2016
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
MinisterNg Chee Meng &
Ong Ye Kung
Member of the Singapore Parliament
for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC
(Punggol Coast)
Assumed office
11 September 2015
In office
(Punggol West)
7 May 2011 – 24 August 2015
Personal details
Born (1972-11-06) 6 November 1972 (age 46)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Political partyPeople's Action (2011)
Alma materQueen's University, Belfast

Janil Puthucheary (Tamil: ஜனில் புதுசேரி, born 6 November 1972) is a Malaysian-born Singaporean politician and medical doctor. A member of the country's governing People's Action Party (PAP), he has been a Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Pasir Ris-Punggol Group Representation Constituency since 2011.


Puthucheary was born in Malaysia[1] and, after training as a doctor in the United Kingdom, worked at hospitals in London, Belfast and Sydney, before moving to Singapore in 2001 to work at KK Women's and Children's Hospital. In 2008, he became a Singapore citizen at the age of 35.[2]

Puthucheary is currently a Senior Consultant in the children's intensive care unit at KK Women's and Children's Hospital. Since 2007, he has also been an Assistant Professor and Medical Director for Faculty Development at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School.[3]

Political career[edit]

Puthucheary was a member of the PAP's team in the Pasir Ris-Punggol Group Representation Constituency at the 2011 general election. The PAP team, which was led by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, defeated the team from the Singapore Democratic Alliance by 100,493 votes (64.8%) to 54,601 (35.2%).[4] Since the election, Puthucheary has represented the Punggol West ward within the constituency in Parliament.[5]

National Service controversy[edit]

Dr Puthucheary did not serve national service in Singapore, as first-generation new citizens are not required to do so. Having been compared to Chen Show Mao, a foreign-born new candidate of the Workers' Party who volunteered for national service at naturalisation, he mentioned that he has instead spent the last 10 years saving kids' lives. Some commentators criticised his comment due to the advantages of a professional career compared with national service.[6] His candidacy has led to Low Thia Khiang, the leader of the Workers' Party, to call for an amendment to the Singapore constitution to allow only male candidates who have served their national service to run for elections.[7]


Puthucheary attended primary school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, before going on to Oundle School in the United Kingdom for his secondary education. He then trained as a doctor at Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland and the Royal College of Physicians in London.


Puthucheary is married and has three sons.[8]

Puthucheary is the son of Dominic Puthucheary, a trade unionist and founding member of the PAP who subsequently left the party to join the Barisan Sosialis and was detained under Operation Coldstore in 1963.[9] He was released 10 months later, but was barred from entering Singapore until 1990.

In 2011, speaking to The Straits Times, Dominic stated that he was "very proud of my son and his desire to serve the society he lives in", despite his own past opposition to the PAP government in Singapore.[10]


  1. ^ Chew, Cassandra (22 March 2011). "'I'm staying, I'm fully invested'". The Straits Times. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  2. ^ Young, Pak Nang (1 April 2011). "A minimum period of citizenship?". TODAY. Archived from the original on 5 April 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  3. ^ Member's CV: Dr Janil Puthucheary, parliament.gov.sg, retrieved 6 April 2012.
  4. ^ Parliamentary General Election 2011: Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Archived 2012-03-29 at the Wayback Machine., singapore-elections.com, retrieved 6 April 2012.
  5. ^ Dr Janil Puthucheary Archived 2012-04-01 at the Wayback Machine., prpg-tc.org.sg, retrieved 6 April 2012.
  6. ^ Loh, Andrew (15 April 2011). "PAP's Janil Puthucheary: "I did not do NS…"". The Online Citizen. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
  7. ^ Loh, Andrew (3 May 2011). "PAP has abused power to secure political advantage: WP". The Online Citizen. Retrieved 3 May 2011.
  8. ^ "Dr Janil Puthucheary". prpg-tc.org.sg. Pasir Ris Punggol Town Council. Archived from the original on 23 June 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Who Is Dominic Puthucheary?". Singapore Notes.
  10. ^ Their dads were once PAP adversaries, The Straits Times, 22 March 2011.

External links[edit]

Parliament of Singapore
New constituency Member of Parliament for
Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC (Punggol West)

2011 – 2015
Succeeded by
Sun Xueling
New constituency Member of Parliament for
Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC (Punggol Coast)

2015 – present
Party political offices
Preceded by
Chan Chun Sing
Chairman of Young PAP
2017 – present