Pritam Singh (Singaporean politician)
|Leader of the Opposition|
|Assumed office |
24 August 2020
|Prime Minister||Lee Hsien Loong|
|Preceded by||Low Thia Khiang|
|Secretary-General of the Workers' Party|
|Assumed office |
8 April 2018
|Preceded by||Low Thia Khiang|
|Member of Parliament|
for Aljunied GRC
|Assumed office |
7 May 2011
|Preceded by||Zainul Abidin (PAP)|
2 August 1976
|Political party||Workers' Party|
Loveleen Kaur Walia
|Alma mater||National University of Singapore (BA)|
King's College London (MA)
Singapore Management University (JD)
|Years of service||1994–2002|
Pritam Singh (born 2 August 1976) is a Singaporean politician, lawyer and author who has been serving as Leader of the Opposition since 2020 and Secretary-General of the Workers' Party since 2018. Singh has been the Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Eunos division of Aljunied GRC since 2011.
Singh graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. In 1999, he won the Straits Steamship Prize for being the top undergraduate student in history and political science. He was later awarded the Chevening Scholarship for postgraduate studies at King's College London, where he completed a Master of Arts degree in war studies in 2004.
Singh joined the Workers' Party and was elected to Parliament in the 2011 general election, and has retained his parliamentary seat in subsequent elections. That same year, Singh completed a Juris Doctor degree at the Singapore Management University as well as qualifying for the bar. In 2013, Singh joined the litigation and dispute resolution practice at Donaldson & Burkinshaw, Singapore's oldest law firm. Singh was previously Chairman of the Aljuined Hougang Town Council from 2016 to 2020.
Singh was elected Secretary-General of the Workers' Party on 8 April 2018 as part of a leadership renewal, succeeding Low Thia Khiang. After the 2020 general election, his party emerged as the largest opposition party in Parliament, and he was appointed Leader of the Opposition by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Early life and education
Singh was born on 2 August 1976 in Singapore. He attended Woodsville Primary School, Belvedere Primary School, Saint Thomas Secondary School — under the Normal (Academic) stream, and Jurong Junior College. He graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 2000 under the Singapore Armed Forces's Local Study Award scholarship.
Singh also completed a diploma in Islamic studies from the International Islamic University Malaysia in 2005. In 2007, Singh founded Opinion Asia, an online commentary syndicate with a focus on issues related to Asia and Asians. He obtained a Juris Doctor degree from the Singapore Management University in 2011.
Singh enlisted in the Singapore Armed Forces in 1994 and served as a commissioned officer between 1996 and 2002. During his service, he was a combat engineer. At present, he is a reservist commander with the rank of Major.
Singh joined the Workers' Party while completing a juris doctor degree at the Singapore Management University, citing its "level-headedness and leadership" as his primary motivator.
During the 2011 general election, Singh was part of the five-member Workers' Party team which contested in Aljunied GRC. The team included the party's secretary-general Low Thia Khiang, chairwoman Sylvia Lim and members Chen Show Mao and Muhamad Faisal bin Abdul Manap. They faced the team from the incumbent People's Action Party (PAP), which was led by Foreign Affairs minister George Yeo. The Workers' Party's team defeated the PAP team by 72,289 votes (54.7%) to 59,829 (45.2%), marking the first occasion in Singapore's history in which an opposition party had won an election in a GRC.
Leadership of the Workers' Party
In 2017, after Low Thia Khiang announced that he was contemplating retirement as well as wanting to rejuvenate the party for "younger blood", Singh was widely regarded to be the next chief of the Workers' Party prior to the general election that would have been scheduled to be held by 2021. Subsequently, Singh was eventually confirmed as secretary-general of the Workers' Party on 8 April 2018 after Low stepped down for a leadership self-renewal.
2020 general election
The results of the 2020 general election saw Singh, together with Sylvia Lim, Muhamad Faisal Manap and former NCMPs Gerald Giam and Leon Perera, being re-elected to represent the Aljunied GRC constituents, with an increased share of the vote of 59.95%, defeating the PAP team that received 40.05%. The Workers' Party had also won Hougang SMC, its stronghold which has been held since 1991, and the newly created Sengkang GRC, the first time the Workers' Party had won a general election in a second GRC.
Singh is a member of the Estate and Liaison Committee and the Tenders and Contracts Committee. He is the Town Councillor of the Public Relations Committee in the Aljuined Hougang Town Council.
Leader of the Opposition
Following the 2020 general election in which the Workers' Party won ten seats, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong decided to formally designate Singh as Leader of the Opposition, and said that he would be "provided with appropriate staff support and resources" to carry out his new parliamentary appointment role. Prior to this, the leader of the opposition was an unofficial de facto position in Parliament as the Constitution and standing orders of Parliament did not provide for such a position. With the creation of the formal office, Parliament announced that the appointment holder will draw an annual salary of S$385,000, double the salary of a regular Member of Parliament. Singh made the decision to donate half of the allowance increase from his new appointment for his party, charitable causes as well as his residents' needs.
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