People’s Action Party (PAP) Member of Parliament for Bukit Panjang, Liang Eng Hwa, has been diagnosed with early-stage nasopharyngeal cancer, according to an announcement made on Wednesday (26 Jul).
The 59-year-old MP said he will undergo daily radiotherapy treatments for the next seven weeks.
Due to the expected side effects, Mr Liang may need to take time off from some community activities and duties in the forthcoming months.
“I finally consulted the ENT doctor who performed nasal endoscopy and biopsy. Subsequent CT and MRI scans indicated early-stage nasopharyngeal cancer,” Mr Liang said, referring to his symptoms of muffled hearing in his left ear that he had experienced for several months.
In Mr Liang’s temporary absence, other MPs from Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, including Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and Edward Chia, will cover most of his duties. The Bukit Panjang grassroots team will also continue to serve residents and conduct community programs and activities.
Mr Liang, who entered politics in 2006 and served as part of the PAP team that won Holland-Bukit Timah GRC uncontested, was moved to Bukit Panjang in 2020 to contest the single seat. He secured 53.7 per cent of the votes against Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) chairman Paul Tambyah, who received 46.2 per cent of the votes. His opponent was only revealed on Nomination Day when SDP made a last-minute move to field Professor Tambyah, an infectious diseases expert.
Mr Liang has served as the chairman of the government parliamentary committee for finance, trade and industry during the current parliament. He was previously a member of the government parliamentary committee for manpower.
His diagnosis has further increased the vacancies in the Singapore parliament, now totalling seven out of the 88 elected MP positions. This follows recent events, including the hospitalization of Workers’ Party’s Faisal Manap due to a cardiac condition, Transport Minister S. Iwaran’s suspension due to an ongoing corruption investigation, and multiple high-profile resignations including former speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, former PAP MP Cheng Li Hui, WP MP Leon Perera, and former WP MP Raeesah Khan, on account of personal affairs and false allegations.
Despite these challenges, Mr Liang remains hopeful. “I will do my best during the treatment in the next two months. Look forward to meeting all of you soon,” he said, conveying his determination to return to his responsibilities as soon as possible.