Pritam Singh (Singaporean politician)

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Pritam Singh

ਪ੍ਰੀਤਮ ਸਿੰਘ
Pritam Singh at the Workers' Party general election rally, Serangoon Stadium, Singapore - 20110505.jpg
Singh in 2011
9th Leader of the Opposition of Singapore
Assumed office
8 April 2018
Officially Designated on 11 July 2020[1]
PresidentHalimah Yacob
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong (PAP)
Preceded byLow Thia Khiang (WP)
ConstituencyAljunied GRC
10th Secretary-General of the Workers' Party of Singapore
Assumed office
8 April 2018
ChairmanSylvia Lim
Preceded byLow Thia Khiang
Member of the Singapore Parliament
for Aljunied GRC
(Eunos)
Assumed office
7 May 2011
Preceded byZainul Abidin Mohamed Rasheed (PAP)
Majority28,485 (19.90%)
Personal details
Born (1976-08-02) 2 August 1976 (age 44)
Singapore
CitizenshipSingapore
NationalitySingaporean
Political partyWorkers' Party
Spouse(s)
Loveleen Kaur Walia
(
m. 2012)
Children2
Alma materNational University of Singapore (BA),
King's College, London (MA),
Singapore Management University (JD)
OccupationAuthor, lawyer, politician
Military service
Allegiance Singapore
Branch/service Singapore Army
Years of service1994–2002
Rank04-RSA-OF03.svg Major[2]

Pritam Singh MP (born 2 August 1976) is a Singaporean author, lawyer and politician who has served as the Secretary-General of the Workers' Party and Leader of the Opposition since 8 April 2018 and 11 July 2020 respectively. Singh has been the Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC) for Eunos since 7 May 2011.[3]

Singh graduated from the National University of Singapore, where he completed a bachelor of arts degree in history in 2000. In 1999, he had won the Straits Steamship Prize as being the top undergraduate student in history and political science.[4] He was later awarded a Chevening Scholarship for postgraduate studies at King's College London, where he completed a master of arts degree in war studies in 2004.[5][6] He joined the Workers' Party in 2011, and worked as a party official and research officer before he was elected into Parliament. 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.[7]

Elected to Parliament in the 2011 general election, Singh retained his seat in 2015 and 2020. During a party renewal, Singh was elected as Secretary-General and leader of the Workers' Party on 8 April 2018, succeeding Low Thia Khiang.

Early life and career[edit]

Early education[edit]

Singh studied at Woodsville Primary School, Belvedere Primary School, Saint Thomas Secondary School, and Jurong Junior College. He was awarded the SAF's Local Study Award scholarship for undergraduate studies at the National University of Singapore, where he completed a bachelor of arts degree in 2000.[8] Singh also earned a Diploma in Islamic Studies from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) in 2005.[9]

Pre-MP work[edit]

In 2007, he founded Opinion Asia, an online commentary syndicate with a focus on Asian issues.[10]

Political career[edit]

First years in Parliament[edit]

At the 2011 general election, Singh was part of the five-member Worker's Party team which contested the Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC). The team included the party's Secretary-General, Low Thia Khiang, Sylvia Lim (the party's Chairperson), 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 then Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo. The Workers' Party's team defeated the PAP team by 72,289 votes (54.7%) to 59,829 (45.2%),[11] marking the first occasion in Singapore's history in which an opposition party had won an election in a GRC.

Since the election, Singh has represented the Eunos ward within the constituency in Parliament.[12]

After 2015[edit]

Within the Workers' Party, Singh was the assistant secretary general on the party's Executive Council before he became the secretary-general.[13]

After the results of the Singapore 2020 general election, Singh, together with Sylvia Lim, Muhamad Faisal Manap and former NCMPs Gerald Giam and Leon Perera were re-elected to represent the Aljunied GRC constituents. Their party had also won Hougang SMC, which has been held since 1991, and the newly created Sengkang GRC.

Leader of the Opposition[edit]

Singh was regarded to be the next chief of the Workers’ Party, succeeding Low Thia Khiang.[14] Subsequently, Singh was officially confirmed as Secretary-General of the Workers' Party on 8 April 2018 after Low Thia Khiang stepped down for leadership self-renewal, effectively making him the leader of the opposition as the Workers' Party is the sole opposition party in Parliament with elected seats.[15] Following the results of the 2020 general election, where the Workers' Party won 10 seats, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong decided to formally designate Singh as Leader of the Opposition, and said that he will be "provided with appropriate staff support and resources" to carry out his new parliamentary appointment role.[16][17]

Military career[edit]

Singh enlisted into the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in 1994 and served as a career commissioned officer from 1997 to 2002. At present, he is a reservist commander with the commissioned rank of Major.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Singh is a Singaporean with Punjabi ancestry, and is a practicing Sikh. He is married to Loveleen Kaur Walia, a Singaporean theatre practitioner, and the couple have two daughters.[18][2][19]

Electoral record[edit]

Parliament of Singapore[20]
Year Constituency Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
2011 Aljunied GRC Low Thia Khiang
Sylvia Lim Swee Lian
Pritam Singh
Chen Show Mao
Muhamad Faisal Manap
(WP)
72,289 54.72% George Yeo
Lim Hwee Hua
Zainul Abidin bin Mohammed Rasheed
Cynthia Phua
Ong Ye Kung
(PAP)
59,829 45.28% 133,906 12,460 93.50%
2015 Low Thia Khiang
Sylvia Lim Swee Lian
Pritam Singh
Chen Show Mao
Muhamad Faisal Manap
(WP)
70,050 50.96% Yeo Guat Kwang
Lye Thiam Fatt Joseph Victor
Chua Eng Leong
Shamsul Kamar
Murali Pillai
(PAP)
67,424 49.04% 138,474 2,626 93.80%
2020 Pritam Singh
Sylvia Lim Swee Lian
Muhamad Faisal Manap
Gerald Giam Yean Song
Leon Perera
(WP)
85,815 59.95% Victor Lye Thiam Fatt
Alex Yeo Sheng Chye
Chan Hui Yuh
Chua Eng Leong
Shamsul Kamar
(PAP)
57,330 40.05% 144,727 28,485 95.96%

References[edit]

  1. ^ "GE2020: Election results a clear mandate for PAP but also reflects desire for more diversity of voices in Parliament, says PM". The Straits Times. 11 July 2020. Archived from the original on 11 July 2020. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "The Workers' Party's new secretary-general: 10 things to know about Pritam Singh". Channel NewsAsia. Archived from the original on 8 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  3. ^ Mr Pritam Singh Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine, parliament.gov.sg, retrieved 6 April 2012.
  4. ^ Exclusive Interview with Pritam Singh, Univantage, SMU, October 2011
  5. ^ 2011's Chevening Scholars Archived 18 July 2012 at Archive.today, British High Commission Singapore website, retrieved 8 April 2012.
  6. ^ News from our alumni Archived 25 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine, kcl.ac.uk, retrieved 8 April 2012.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 May 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), Donaldson & Burkinshaw website, retrieved 3 February 2013.
  8. ^ 林佳憓, 文 / (20 April 2017). "这里是否留下你的光辉岁月?". 早报 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 9 November 2019. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  9. ^ Pritam Singh Archived 26 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine , wp.sg, retrieved 6 April 2012.
  10. ^ "Pritam Singh" (PDF). law.smu.edu.sg. The Straits Times. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 September 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  11. ^ Parliamentary General Election 2011: Aljunied GRC Archived 30 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine , singapore-elections.com, retrieved 6 April 2012.
  12. ^ MP for Aljunied GRC, Eunos Division Archived 6 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine , aljunied.wp.sg, retrieved 6 April 2012.
  13. ^ Executive Council Archived 28 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine , wp.sg, retrieved 6 April 2012.
  14. ^ "Pritam Singh tipped to be next WP chief". The Straits Times. 14 November 2017. Archived from the original on 11 December 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  15. ^ "Pritam Singh elected new WP chief, succeeding Low Thia Khiang". Channel NewsAsia. Archived from the original on 8 April 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  16. ^ "GE2020: Election results a clear mandate for PAP but also reflects desire for more diversity of voices in Parliament, says PM". The Straits Times. 11 July 2020. Archived from the original on 11 July 2020. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 July 2020. Retrieved 11 July 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "WP's Pritam Singh ties the knot in colourful ceremony". Archived from the original on 11 December 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  19. ^ hermesauto (17 August 2018). "WP chief Pritam Singh now father of 2; baby girl delivered by emergency caesarian". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 2 January 2019. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  20. ^ "2011 General Election's Result". Elections Department Singapore. Archived from the original on 13 May 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2018. Percentage figures based on total turnout.

External links[edit]

Parliament of Singapore
Preceded by
Low Thia Khiang
Leader of the Opposition
2018–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Zainul Abidin Mohamed Rasheed
Member of Parliament
for Aljunied GRC
(Eunos)

2011–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Low Thia Khiang
Secretary-General of the Workers' Party
2018–present
Incumbent