Three prominent individuals of Indian origin from Singapore have been chosen as part of the upcoming batch of Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs), as announced on Monday. Neil Parekh Nimil Rajnikant, the Chairman of the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a council member of the Singapore Business Federation; Usha Ranee Chandradas, co-founder of Plural Art Magazine and course coordinator at the Nanyang Business School; and Raj Joshua Thomas, a lawyer, are among the nine appointees.
The selection process involved a Special Select Committee of Parliament, chaired by former Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin, which assessed a pool of 30 candidates for the NMP positions. The appointed NMPs will be officially sworn in by President Halimah Yacob on July 24 and will assume their roles when the Parliament convenes in August.
In addition to his role as the Chairman of the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a council member of the Singapore Business Federation, 60-year-old Neil Parekh holds the positions of partner and head of Asia, Australia, and New Zealand at Tikehau Capital. He is also the chief executive of Pegasus Asia, a special-purpose acquisition company listed on the Singapore Exchange.
Neil Parekh, who has been appointed as a Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP), has actively initiated various programs aimed at enhancing financial literacy within Singapore. Apart from his role as a board director of Elevandi, an initiative established by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to foster collaboration between the public and private sectors in advancing FinTech within the digital economy, Parekh also serves on the Advisory Council of James Cook University (Singapore).
Through this position, he has been instrumental in launching initiatives focused on increasing financial literacy throughout the country. Parekh has been a Singaporean citizen for a decade and has resided in Singapore for 17 years.
Meanwhile, Usha Ranee Chandradas, a first-time NMP, brings her expertise as a tax lawyer with 12 years of experience to address issues concerning the promotion and sustainability of the arts sector. Chandradas emphasises the need to tackle this multifaceted concern from various angles, including legal awareness, financial sustainability, freedom of expression, education, and favourable working conditions for artists and creatives.
On the other hand, Raj Joshua Thomas, currently serving his second term as an NMP, holds the position of President of the Security Association Singapore (SAS). Additionally, he has actively participated as a volunteer lawyer within the Law Society’s Criminal Legal Aid Scheme.