Hazel Poa

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Hazel Poa
Secretary-General of National Solidarity Party
In office
26 June 2011 – 25 October 2013
President Sebastian Teo
Deputy Reno Fong
Preceded by Goh Meng Seng
Succeeded by Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss
Personal details
Born (1970-08-27) 27 August 1970 (age 47)
Political party National Solidarity Party
Spouse(s) Tony Tan Lay Thiam
Children 2
Alma mater Cambridge University
Website https://www.facebook.com/hazel.poa

Hazel Poa Koon Koon (Chinese: 潘勤群; pinyin: Pān Qín Qún; born 27 August 1970)[1] is a politician and businesswoman from Singapore who was formerly the Secretary-General of the opposition National Solidarity Party (NSP).

Poa was a member of the Reform Party before joining the NSP in 2011. From June 2011[2] to September 2013, she served as the NSP's Secretary-General, before stepping down due to health concerns.[3] In June 2015, following the resignation of Tan Lam Siong, the NSP appointed Poa as Acting Secretary-General,[4] however she resigned from the party in August 2015 following a disagreement with the party's Central Executive Committee.[5]


Poa attended Cambridge University on a scholarship from Singapore's Public Service Commission (PSC) and completed a degree in Mathematics with first class honours. She met her future husband, Tony Tan Lay Thiam, while they were both students at Cambridge. Upon completing her degree, Poa returned to serve in the Singapore Civil Service and was appointed to the Administrative Service. She was first posted to the Prime Minister's Office, where she served in the Public Service Division and was involved in personnel policies within the civil service. She then moved to the Ministry of Finance, where she was the Assistant Director for Indirect Taxation.

After four years, Poa left the civil service and joined the investment department of an insurance company, where she worked as an analyst. She later worked as an assistant fund manager before starting her own business.[6]

Poa and her husband run a private school in Singapore and a chain of education centres in Singapore and Indonesia.

Political career[edit]

Poa and her husband joined the Reform Party ahead of the 2011 general election and were slated to stand as candidates for the party in the election. However they were among six members of the party who resigned in February 2011 citing differences of opinion with the party's leaders.[7]

Poa and Tan then joined the National Solidarity Party.[8] In the 2011 general election, Poa and Tan were members of the party's five-person team which stood in the Chua Chu Kang Group Representation Constituency.[9] The NSP's team lost to the team from the governing People's Action Party (PAP) by 56,885 votes (38.8%) to 89,710 (61.2%). As a husband and wife pair of former government scholars standing for an opposition party, Tan and Poa drew notable media attention during the election campaign.

In June 2011, Poa was elected as the Secretary-General of the NSP by the majority of the Central Executive Council following the resignation of Goh Meng Seng.[2] She was the first woman to be elected Secretary-General of the NSP (and the second woman to occupy one of the highest positions in political parties in Singapore after Sylvia Lim of the Workers' Party). Poa resigned as Secretary-General in September 2013 citing health problems.[3]

In June 2015, nearly two years after she resigned, Poa was appointed the Acting Secretary-General of the NSP following the resignation of Tan Lam Siong. The party decided against calling a Party Congress to elect a new Secretary-General "in view of the need to focus on preparations for the next general election". (Tan Lam Siong served in the post for only five months. His predecessor, Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss, had replaced Poa in October 2013 after Poa stepped down.) However, in August 2015, Pao announced that she was stepping down as Acting Secretary-General and leaving the party because she disgareed with the decision of the party's Central Executive Committee to field a candidate in the single-member constituency of MacPherson in the 2015 general election even though the Workers' Party was also planning to contest the PAP in the constituency. A week later, Poa was seen helping out with Singapore Democratic Party team in their walkabout at Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre on 30 August.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Poa is married to Tony Tan Lay Thiam and has two adopted sons.


Party political offices
Preceded by
Goh Meng Seng
Secretary General of National Solidarity Party
Succeeded by
Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss