Conservation scientist Prof Koh Lian Pin appointed as Nominated Member of Parliament

Professor Koh Lian Pin, Director of the Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions at NUS, is among the nine new Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs) who will be appointed by President Halimah Yacob for a 2.5 year term which starts 21 January 2021. He hopes to lend his voice and perspective in areas related to education, research and environmental conservation.

Prof Koh, who is an NUS alumnus, is currently a faculty member of NUS Biological Sciences. A globally renowned conservation scientist recognised for his contributions in the field of sustainability and environmental science, he returned to Singapore in March 2020 under the National Research Foundation Singapore’s Returning Singaporean Scientists Scheme, bringing with him a wealth of experience from working in institutions across Switzerland, Australia and the United States over the last 16 years.

Prof Koh is especially cognisant of the looming tension between economic growth and development, and the desperate need to protect and preserve the environment for future generations. In his view, the two are not mutually exclusive.

“I believe a key part in overcoming the many challenges we face on sustainability and climate change lies in walking the narrow tight-rope of balancing the competing priorities of today’s society,” Prof Koh explained.

His goal is to continually wrangle the facts in taking an evidence-based approach to inform policy making. In doing so, government and corporate sector leaders are empowered with the tools and knowledge to respond appropriately and decisively in the fight against climate change.

“I am incredibly honoured to have this opportunity to contribute to Parliament. I hope to provide a science-based perspective to socioeconomic and environmental issues; utilising evidence and facts to clarify the trade-offs and opportunities in nature-based solutions for climate mitigation. I am excited to represent the less represented constituents, including the local environmental community,” Prof Koh said.

He is also a member of the Emerging Stronger Taskforce which was elected in May 2020 with the objective of guiding the country's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to Prof Koh, six alumni from NUS will also be appointed as NMPs. They include: Chairman of SISTIC and NUS Institute of Systems Science Management Board Ms Janet Ang, Guocoland group managing director Mr Cheng Hsing Yao, Singapore Management University School of Economics Dean Professor Hoon Hian Teck, lawyer Mr Joshua Thomas Raj, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital Orthodontic Registrar Dr Shahira Abdullah and Thomson Breast Centre Clinical Director Dr Tan Yia Swam.

Before Prof Koh, Professor Tan Tai Yong, President of Yale-NUS College, was the last NUS academic who served as an NMP and he was appointed in 2014.