Singapore Politician Leaves Grab Months After Public Outcry

(Bloomberg) -- A Singapore lawmaker initially appointed to run Grab Holdings Ltd.’s government relations department has left the tech firm, months after a public backlash over potential conflicts of interest forced the company to move her to a different role.

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Tin Pei Ling from the ruling People’s Action Party said in a LinkedIn post Thursday that she will be joining a fintech startup, without naming the company. She said she will work in strategic partnerships and business development, helping the startup expand into Asia-Pacific markets.

Ride-hailing and delivery firm Grab drew public criticism when it said in February it had hired Tin as government liaison. It moved her to a different role days later. While members of parliament are allowed to hold private sector jobs in the city-state, Tin’s appointment drew much debate online.

“It has been an invaluable experience for me at Grab, as it was an opportunity for me to return to the private sector, to broaden my horizons, hone new skills and allow me to make a contribution in a different way,” Tin said in the post.

Tin entered politics more than a decade ago and was elected to parliament under a team led by former Prime Minister and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. As one of the youngest candidates running at that time, Tin came under scrutiny and criticism for her age and political inexperience. During the latest election, she triumphed at the polls, winning 71.7% of the votes in her district, among the highest candidate reelection margins.

Tin “made valuable contributions here supporting key projects and investments,” a Grab spokesperson said. “We fully support Pei Ling’s aspiration to take on a more front-facing role and look forward to her continued championing of tech innovation in Singapore.”

(Updates with comment from Grab in sixth paragraph)

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