Leadership changes at Think Centre

Posted by Think Centre under Breaking News on 25 August 2010

A new post of Director of ASEAN Affairs was created to facilitate Think Centre's growing engagement with the various ASEAN process to build the ASEAN Community.

Leadership changes at Think Centre

Think Centre (TC), the lead political society NGO in Singapore, witnessed its second leadership renewal in a decade of existence. Formed in 1999, TC made new inroads into an otherwise politically sterile civic society and forged new paths towards a vibrant political civil society.

In November 2007, TC hosted the 3rd ASEAN Civil Society Conference (ACSC) for more than 200 civil society activists. TC together with the Solidarity for Asian Peoples' Advocacy (SAPA) - Working Group on ASEAN has been actively engaging and participating in the various ASEAN process including the ASEAN Charter drafting process, drafting the Terms of Reference for ASEAN Human Rights Body. TC is actively engaging the ASEAN Committee for the implementation of the protection and promotion of the rights of migrant workers (ACMW) and the ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR).

Earlier this year, TC also met and made a submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in Singapore. In the coming months, TC is expected to make a submission to the UN under the UPR framework.

At its Annual General Meeting (AGM) attended by a dozen active members, outgoing President Sinapan Samydorai thanked everyone for keeping the faith and contributing in respective ways to advancing socio-political causes at home and in the region.

Elected as President in 2001, Samydorai led TC to evolve from a local online activist group into an awareness-building network advocating and advancing human rights issues such as anti-landmines, anti-death penalty, migrant workers' rights, and labour rights both in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Samydorai also led TC to focus on strengthening Human Rights education in Singapore. Samydorai plugged TC into the various civil society processes to build the ASEAN Community including the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism, the SAPA Task Force on ASEAN and Human Rights and the Task Force on ASEAN Migrant Workers'.

The incoming President-elect is Kong Soon Tan, a long standing member with TC since 2001. Tan was a prominent student activist and continues his passion in current affairs and politics even after graduation. He has been a member of the now-defunct Socratic Circle, government-feedback unit REACH and Worker's Party Youth Wing.

Other developments at the AGM included the appointment of Samydorai to Think Centre's new post of Director of the ASEAN Affairs and he remains in the Executive Committee. The new post of Director of ASEAN Affairs was created to facilitate Think Centre's growing engagement with the various ASEAN process to build the ASEAN Community especially on human rights, labour and migrant workers' rights.

In addition, Christopher Neo was installed as Chairman of the newly-formed Board of Advisors. Neo was a founding member of TC and is currently Vice-President of National Solidarity Party. Both veterans welcomed their appointments and pledged their support to the new leadership.

For enquiries, kindly contact TC spokesman at + 6594791906
or thinkcentre@hotmail.com

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