Ties that bind across generations of MPs at Istana chap goh mei event

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong tossing yusheng with (from far left) former deputy prime minister Wong Kan Seng, first-generation leader Ong Pang Boon and former Cabinet minister S. Dhanabalan at the Istana on Tuesday. PM Lee was hosting several generations of People’s Action Party MPs to a Chinese New Year lunch.

The other guests included former Speaker of Parliament Tan Soo Khoon and former Cabinet ministers Ahmad Mattar and Lim Hwee Hua.

Also in attendance were former senior parliamentary secretaries Mohamad Maidin Packer and Hawazi Daipi, as well as former MPs Hong Hai, P. Selvadurai and Ho Geok Choo.

Current MPs and Cabinet ministers also attended the event, including Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing and Education Minister Ong Ye Kung.

Mr Lee shared photos of the lunch on Facebook.

“They have served for many years, and many continue to be active in the community,” he wrote of his meeting with the former MPs. “Grateful for their friendship and camaraderie.”

The lunch was held on the 15th and last day of Chinese New Year, which is known as chap goh mei. It is also popularly known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day.

In a separate Facebook post on the lunch, Mr Hawazi wrote that the seven retired MPs at his table, including Dr S. Vasoo and Mr Tang See Chim, had collectively served more than 130 years. “We shared fond memories serving Singapore as MPs and future challenges facing Singapore,” he said.

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