SINGAPORE — Member of Parliament Zaqy Mohamad has taken over from Madam Halimah Yacob the role of adviser to Marsiling-Yew Tee Group Representation Constituency (GRC)grassroots organisations, after she resigned from her various posts to run in next month’s Presidential Election.
Mr Zaqy’s appointment, effective yesterday, came after Mdm Halimah on Monday submitted her resignation as Speaker of Parliament and as a member of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP). Mdm Halimah, 62, has also stepped down as MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, leaving it with three MPs — Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, Mr Ong Teng Koon and Mr Alex Yam.
In a statement, the People’s Association (PA) said Mr Zaqy will work with the team of Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC’s grassroots advisers — Mr Wong, Mr Ong and Mr Yam — to serve the constituency’s residents.
Mr Zaqy, who is an MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC, will remain as an adviser to its grassroots organisations.
The 42-year-old told TODAY that it would “definitely be a challenge” to fill Mdm Halimah’s shoes.
He added that he was taking on the new role with mixed feelings “because for the residents, they have just lost a very good MP”.
“But I think many of them are happy to know that she is running for a bigger cause for the country.”
Mr Zaqy, who had brief discussions with Mdm Halimah late last week, said he would be begin formal discussions with the three remaining MPs to decide how the team will “shoulder the load”.
Some programmes that Mr Zaqy wants to focus on first are those for low-income families, and long-term development plans for the area, such as its new Build-to-Order flats.
As for juggling his duties in Keat Hong ward, which is part of the Chua Chu Kang GRC, along with his new role, Mr Zaqy said most of the programmes that he had set out to implement in Keat Hong two years ago were “already underway or completed”.
“Rest assured I will do my best to ensure we don’t drop any of these programmes or services along the way for both Marsiling and Keat Hong,” he added.
In its statement yesterday, the PA also paid tribute to Mdm Halimah for her grassroots work in Jurong and Marsiling-Yew Tee GRCs from 2001 to this year. At Marsiling, for example, she implemented a wide range of programmes to promote a caring and compassionate community, such as supporting children from low-income families in character building and academics.
“These efforts provided platforms for residents to interact, bond and build stronger community ties,” the PA said, as it wished her success “in her future endeavours”. WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY LOUISA TANG