Tony Tan Lay Thiam

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Tony Tan Lay Thiam (simplified Chinese: 陈礼添; traditional Chinese: 陳禮添; pinyin: Chén Lǐ Tiān; born 1970) is a politician and businessman from Singapore who stood as a candidate for the opposition National Solidarity Party in the 2011 general election. He was formerly an officer in the Singapore Armed Forces. He is married to Hazel Poa, who was the Secretary-General of the National Solidarity Party from 2011 to 2013.


Tan received a Singapore Armed Forces Merit Scholarship to study at Cambridge University, where he completed a degree in Engineering with first class honours at the age of 23.[1] He met his future wife Hazel while they were both students at Cambridge. After completing his degree, Tan served in the Singapore Army and was promoted to the rank of Major when he was 27. During his service, he was named the Top Student for the Basic Army Intelligence Course, Company Tactics Course and Combat Engineer Advanced Officer Course. After nine years, he left the armed forces at the age of 31.

In 1999, Tan and his wife established Smartlab Education Centre Pte Ltd, a chain of education centres. Tan was a recipient of the Spirit of Enterprise Award in 2006[2] and the company under his leadership was a recipient of a Singapore Prestige Brand Award (Promising Brand) in 2007.

Political career[edit]

Tan and his wife 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. Differences of opinion with the party's leaders were cited as the cause for their resignation.[3]

Tan and Poa then joined the National Solidarity Party.[4] In the 2011 general election, Tan and Poa were members of the party's five-person team which stood in the Chua Chu Kang Group Representation Constituency.[5] 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, Tan's wife Hazel was elected as the Secretary-General of the National Solidarity Party following the resignation of Goh Meng Seng, however she resigned in September 2013 citing health problems.[6]


Tan attended Victoria Junior College before receiving a Singapore Armed Forces Merit Scholarship to study Engineering at Cambridge University. Tan also holds BSci (BioMed) degree from Central Queensland University and an MBA from the University of Leicester.

Personal life[edit]

Tan is married to Hazel Poa and has two adopted sons.[7]