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Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014

Singapore

Straits Times Press launches book on Singapore's political pioneers

AsiaOne | Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014

(L-R) Dr Chiang Hai Ding and Mr Rohan Khamis, who are the two book editors of We Also Served. 25 former MPs from the People's Action Party, who served since 1959, have come together to pen their memories and experience as MPs, titled We Also Served. The collection of autobiographies by the former MPs will be launched on July 8.

Singapore - Straits Times Press (STP), the book publishing arm of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), launched its latest book "We also served: Reflections of Singapore's former PAP MPs" this evening, at the SPH News Centre auditorium. The book is jointly written by former People's Action Party (PAP) Members of Parliament (MPs) Dr Chiang Hai Ding and Mr Rohan Kamis.

The launch was attended by over 100 guests, including past and present PAP MPs and their family members.

"We also served - Reflections of Singapore's former PAP MPs" is a 456-page book that tells how 25 former PAP MPs became involved in politics, what they did as politicians, and what they felt and wished for Singapore. They have held appointments ranging from ministers to backbenchers. Some had served as many as five terms, totalling over two decades, and some one term of four or five years.

The book traces the career paths of the MPs, starting from the Second Legislative Assembly (May 30, 1959 to Sept 21, 1963) to the Ninth session of Parliament (26 May 1997 to 20 April 2006).

These are stories of ordinary people who served in unusual times and achieved extraordinary results for Singapore. Some are of very humble origin or have little formal education.

Most served when that new nation started out on the long road to nation-building, during the decades of rapid social and economic change, when they had to convince their fellow citizens to make the necessary changes for independent Singapore to survive and progress.

The book is made up of a mix of autobiographical essays and interviews based on research materials that had been collated over eight years.

Co-author Mr Chiang Hai Ding, who served as MP from April 1970 to December 1984, said: "This is a unique book. For the first time, over two dozen former PAP MP share with the public some aspects of their lives - their origins, how they became involved in politics, what they did as politicians, what they felt and what they wish for Singapore."

Ms Shirley Hew, Publisher and Executive Director, Straits Times Press said: "We are delighted to be the Publisher for this title. Hopefully the book will encourage other MPs to write about their experiences and leave a lasting legacy in the social history corpus of Singapore."

"We also served - Reflections of Singapore's former PAP MPs" is available at leading bookstores at $39.90 (GST inclusive) from Tuesday 8 July onwards. The book can also be ordered from the Straits Times Press online bookstore at: www.stpressbooks.com.sg .

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