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MP PROFILE

Ellen Lee
Woodlands

Name:

Ellen Lee Geck Hoon
(Member of Parliament)

Constituency:

Sembawang GRC

Party Affiliation:

People's Action Party

Place of Birth:

Singapore

Date of Birth:

13.04.1957

Marital Status:

Married

No of Children:

Nil

Religion:

Taoist

Educational Qualifications

1963-1975 - GCE 'A' Level (CHIJ)

1976-1980 - LLB (HONS)
(National University of Singapore)

Present Occupation:

2005 - Consultant,
Advocate & Solicitor,
M/s Ramdas & Wong

Member of Parliament:

06.05.2006

Sembawang GRC Select Committees:

Standing Orders Committee

Member, 11th Parliament

Deputy Chairman for Ministry of Defence &
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Member of GPC for Ministry of Health

Career:1981-1984 -
M/s Lim Kiap Khee & Co

1984-2005 -
M/s Ellen Lee & Co

Awards and Decorations:

1997 - PBM

Interests:
Reading, outdoor activities, travelling & outing

    

Ellen Lee Geck Hoon, 54, was elected a Member of Parliament of the Sembawang GRC on 6th May 2006.

She received her primary, secondary and pre-university education in the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus at Victoria Street, Singapore. She graduated from the National University of Singapore with an LLB.(Hons) Degree in 1980. She was called to the Bar on 14th January 1981 and has been practicing as an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore since then till now.

Except for the 3 years when she worked as a Legal Assistant, Ellen ran her own law firm as a sole proprietor for 21 years from 1984 to 2005. She practiced mainly commercial, banking, corporate, civil, criminal, conveyancing and family law. She has been a Consultant at Messers Ramdas & Wong since 2005 where she concentrates on practising Family Law.

During her undergraduate days, Ellen was already actively involved in community work through her membership in the St. Vincent de Paul Society, helping needy families to become financially independent. After Ellen started practising as a lawyer, she extended her outreach to the community through giving free legal counseling and talks on different law topics at community centres, VWOs and schools, running legal letterboxes in the Chinese and English newspapers, radios and TV shows. She was also President of the Singapore Association of Women Lawyers where she expanded the free legal counseling services to 15 community centres so that throughout the month, such services are within easy reach of the public in different parts of Singapore.

For about 10 Years, Ellen was Chairperson of the Singapore Law Society's Family Law Practice Committee where she was a liaison between the Family Court and the Family law practitioners to improve upon the practice and programmes. She was also appointed a Court Counsel for children in contested divorce proceedings. In addition, Ellen was appointed a Panel Advisor for the Juvenile Court to help oversee the recommendations for the rehabilitation of the youth offenders.

Since her election in May 2006, Ellen has successfully executed the Lift Upgrading Programme for all eligible flats in Woodlands to have lifts stopping at all floors. She has also added more facilities and enhanced existing infrastructure, such as building more covered walkways, built mega and smaller hard courts and play groumds, exercise corners and a skate board park, created pedestrian malls at Notrh Plaza 883 and Plaza 888 respectively and procured free lunch time parking at both plazas, installed barrier free access, amongst others, to enhance the living environment and facilities in Woodlands.

In the area of preschool education, Ellen has installed computers in all Woodlands PCF Education Centres so that all students will be taught computer lessons without paying extra fees. Ellen has also brought in several education specialists to supplement existing courses to enrich our students and enhance the skills of our teachers and staff.

Ellen is currently the Deputy Chairman of the Singapore-Turkey parliamentary Friendship Group and the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She is also a member of the GPC for the Ministry of Health and currently serves as a member of the National Transplant Ethics Committee.

In the Women's Wing, Ellen is Chairperson for the "Celebrate Wellness" Project that brings together diverse groups such as the Health Promotion Board, the KK Women & Children's Hospital, Great Eastern Life Assurance Company, the Tsao and Khoo Foundations, Tote Board, the Singapore Turf Club, The Singapore Cancer Society, The People's Association's WIN Council and the Women's Wing to stage road shows to encourage eligible women to go for a further subsidized mammogram screening.

Ellen strongly believes  in supporting community organisations in their efforts to serve the communtity. Notwithstanding her election as an MP, she continues to actively engage and serve NGO's and VWOs in her capacity as Honorary Legal Advisor to a substantial number of Chinese Clans and Associations, Chinese and Indian temples and other non-profit organisations such as Family Service Centres and miscellaneous groups.

Ms Ellen’s Wishes for Woodlands

With deep concern for needy residents getting on in years and not in good health, Ellen would like to set up a day-care centre, with rehabilitative services, so they can receive the care they deserve during the day when their children or family members who are their care-givers work. Other benefits provided by the day-care centre include activities to engage them in a meaningful way so they won’t feel lonely or depressed. Additionally, they will receive therapy if necessary and enjoy the company of friends.

Next on her to-do list is designing activities to integrate residents into the Woodlands community, with the view to invite more people to volunteer for community events which will also contribute to the renewal of grassroots leaders. This is important as leadership continuity will help make the grassroots organisation remain strong and relevant to the needs of the community. Hopefully, younger residents will also volunteer their time and learn from more experienced grassroots leaders. It will provide grassroots leaders more time to enhance their capabilities through various courses. Helping the young to run grassroots activities will also help grassroots leaders to consolidate their strengths in various areas. Thus with sharing of experiences and constant upgrading, the overall pool of expertise and leadership capabilities will increase.

For pre-school children at our PCF centres, Ellen intends to have more programmes aimed at personal cultivation. This is beyond the basic literacies of reading, writing and so on. Ellen noted that increasingly, our children are cared for by domestic helpers and family members while their parents are busy at work and It is therefore more important now for us to inculcate in our children not just the cores values that we subscribe to but also a sense of self-reliance that will see them grow into more resilient, more independent and more appreciative of what they have, especially in socially peaceful times. Much of their survival instincts have been blunted so new programmes may be needed to call them up so children can explore the world for themselves to make new discoveries and grow up! Ours is an increasingly fast-paced society, there is little time to learn all these precious skills. As such, the pre-formal schooling period is the best time to let them learn these skills readily, before they are given other things to occupy them.

For the community at large, in terms of infrastructure such as lift-upgrading, barrier-free access and so on, there remain areas that need to be improved on, for instance, common areas. It is hoped that residents will continue to provide feedback on what needs to be improved and that they will volunteer their time to take ownership of the projects that should be implemented. It then becomes a more meaningful experience to be able to bring about changes where they could be made; and where they could not be made, to have the satisfaction of knowing that they have played their part by putting in an effort for the desired change. When you take ownership in making changes not just for yourself but also for benefit of the whole community, the sense of satisfaction is the greatest.

Ellen’s Views On Grassroots Leaders

To Ellen, Woodlands Grassroots Leaders are committed and dedicated to their work which is commendable as they are not paid. She feels that the ruling party is fortunate to have the support of many grassroots leaders whose belief is that they should help a government that is doing the right things to do what is good for the country. In helping to organise events for the community, grassroots leaders contribute to not just the residents’ well-being but also their own, as they too, are stakeholders it the country’s continued prosperity. As citizens we all have to do our part to enhance what we already have, for the sake of our children and their children.

Ellen’s most satisfying moment being Woodlands’ MP

No single most satisfying moment. Ellen shares what she cherishes about the past 5 years in Woodlands thus: 1. Using the powers of the MP ‘s office to get things done for residents; 2. Residents’ expression of their appreciation of the MP as final resort when personal efforts proved futile; examples include securing a rental flat to provide roof over dependents; enabling families to reunite by assisting with gaining entry into Singapore for a foreign spouse or parents living overseas; securing employment and staying on the job; securing funds for re-skilling programmes; 3. Residents’ appreciation of MP’s effort to help although they didn’t get what they wanted. Ellen remembered fondly a resident who came to ask for help after leaving the prison. The resident wanted very much to find a job but with little education and no funds, he was not successful. Fortunately, Ellen connected him with E2i and with funds from Comcare, he took up a course and found a part-time job. The success story continued with his proving himself to his employer who later confirmed him as a permanent staff and paid him a better salary. The hardworking resident finally got his wish to upgrade to a bigger flat for his family.

Ellen’s role as MP

Ellen feels that as MP, her most important role is helping residents who come to her with their problems. Problems range from housing, education, immigration, work, even disputes with neighbours, to children’s admission to schools, polytechnics or universities. Where solutions do not present themselves readily, Ellen explores with her residents different approaches, including lowering their expectations, striving for a win-win where possible. As an MP, Ellen ensures that there is bonding among residents and integration into the community through community events centred on themes such as multi-cultural festivities, health and environment. Ellen reaches out to schools in her role as MP through accepting invitations to significant events such as Speech Day, Sports Day and Speech and Drama events. She is impressed by the conducive environment that schools give their students to learn, and the many programmes to foster innovative and creative thinking. Another important role is reaching out to religious groups. Getting to know them is important as cultivating good ties is good for racial and religious harmony in our society. Added to the above is the important role of forging collaborative links with other constituencies in Sembawang GRC. Projects that benefit the whole GRC, such as the Waterfront opening, programmes that cater to the needs of special segments such as the elderly, and various inter-constituency projects rely on good links between residents of Woodlands and the other constituencies for their success. Through events at the GRC level, residents become aware of facilities and services they can enjoy outside their own constituency. They make more friends and enrich their lives greatly when they use the given opportunities. At the national level, Ellen works with parliamentary groups outside Singapore to forge better links with other countries.. She learns about different parliamentary models and feels that ours works better in getting things done efficiently.

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My Role in Woodlands Constituency Title :
My Role in Woodlands Constituency
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Ms Ellen's views on Woodlands Grassroots Leaders Title :
Ms Ellen's views on Woodlands Grassroots Leaders
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