On Wednesday (25 Nov), a half page advertisement was put up on Straits Times to announce that Dr Lam Pin Min has become the CEO of specialist eye clinic chain, Eagle Eye Centre. It is noted that Dr Lim Wee Kiak, one of the current MPs of Sembawang GRC, is also the Vice Chairman of Eagle Eye Centre.
Lam had been with the government since 2014 but left in 2020 after he was abruptly voted out by residents of Sengkang GRC in the Jul general election (GE) this year. Fellow PAP candidate Ng Chee Meng was also voted out but continues to retain his position as labour chief of Singapore.
Lam was first elected into parliament in 2006 under the Ang Mo Kio GRC. In 2014, he was appointed a Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and in 2017, he was promoted to become the Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Transport.
In the recent GE this year, Lam, Ng and their PAP team was defeated by the Workers’ Party (WP) at Sengkang, causing the ruling PAP to lose a second GRC for the first time. The first was Aljunied GRC, also losing to WP back in 2011.
An SAF doctor
After graduating from NUS medical school, Lam joined the SAF as a regular medical officer in 1995. He held many appointments in the RSAF, including Officer Commanding in an Airbase Medical Centre and as a Branch Head in the RSAF Aeromedical Centre. He also spent 3 months serving as the medical commander of the Singapore Medical Contingent, serving in the United Nations Military Hospital in East Timor in 2000.
In mid-2000s, he left the SAF and later joined KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital serving as pediatric ophthalmologist. He also joined politics serving as part-time PAP MP in 2006 until he became a full-time Minister of State in 2014.
After 6 years with the government, he is now returning back to his medical practice due to his defeat at Sengkang. Still, he has found time to become a senior advisor of a car rental company Lumens Auto to help the company expand its key business sectors (‘Former Senior Minister of State Lam Pin Min appointed as senior advisor in car rental company‘), as well as officiate a Sengkang RC community project (‘Netizens question why PAP’s Lam Pin Min was invited to officiate Sengkang community project instead of elected WP MPs‘).
During the time when he was a MP, he was also involved in some controversies.
In 2015, Lam was involved in a controversy wherein residents at Fernvale Lea were not informed of plans to build a columbarium next to their block. During a meeting with residents, Lam was spotted sitting alongside the contractors, leading to a misunderstanding that he was on their side instead of the residents’. The government later decided to drop the plans for a commercial columbarium to be built at the site.
In 2018 it was revealed that Lam had sent an appeal letter directly to State Courts to help a resident get a lighter sentence. The resident had been sentenced to one week jail for seriously injuring a motorcyclist in a road traffic accident. The High Court dismissed the appeal, stating that Lam’s letter had misrepresented the facts and trivialized the injuries sustained by the rider.
This incident led to an online furor with many netizens questioning why Lam, a legislative as well as an executive member of the government, was overstepping his duty by interfering with the judiciary. Such letters should be forwarded to the Attorney-General’s Chambers first and not to the court directly.
In any case, it’s not known if Lam can still remember his medical knowledge after 6 years of full-time politicking in the government ministries.