K Thanaletchimi, a seasoned healthcare union leader of Indian origin, has assumed the role of president of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) in Singapore, the country’s largest labour group. This appointment follows the election of a new NTUC Central Committee during its National Delegates’ Conference held on November 22 and 23.
Thanaletchimi, 57, succeeds Ms Mary Liew, who opted not to seek re-election after completing two terms as president, adhering to NTUC’s leadership renewal rule requiring leaders to step down at 62. Thanaletchimi, a driving force behind the merger of the National University Hospital Employees’ Union and the Health Corporation of Singapore Staff Union, played a pivotal role in establishing the Healthcare Services Employees’ Union (HSEU) in 2006, serving as its president since 2011.
Her extensive contributions to the labour movement include serving as a Nominated Member of Parliament from 2016 to 2018. Thanaletchimi expressed her commitment to advancing workers’ interests and building on the renewed workers’ compact. The election, conducted via secret ballot, involved approximately 450 delegates from NTUC’s 58 affiliated unions.
The newly elected 21-member committee, which includes all 16 incumbents who ran for re-election, subsequently voted for office-bearers. Ng Chee Meng was re-elected as secretary-general, and Arasu Duraisamy assumed the role of secretary for financial affairs. Other elected positions include vice presidents Abdul Samad Abdul Wahab, Andy Lim, and Lim Teck Chuan, as well as deputy secretary-generals Cham Hui Fong and Desmond Tan.
In her first media conference as NTUC president, Thanaletchimi emphasized the importance of training, membership growth, and supporting mature workers. The committee also welcomed new members, including Julie Cheong, Larry Gwee, Daniel Loh, Mike Mariyappa Thiruman, and Noor Irdawaty Jammarudin, further diversifying the representation within NTUC’s top decision-making body. The conference marked the labour movement’s commitment to addressing workers’ needs and fostering innovation under the leadership of the newly elected committee.