On my way home just now, I heard with disbelief on the radio that Workers Party has expelled its ex-treasurer Yaw Shin Leong, thereby triggering a by-election at the single member seat of Hougang!
I came home and read WP chairman Sylvia Lim’s statement on Mr Yaw on the Internet.
Are the WP and Ms Lim for real? Is this the 19th century or the 21st century?
Yaw Shin Leong has been sacked because he has been “accused of several indiscretions in his private life”, he has continued to refuse “to account to the Party and the people, especially the residents of Hougang… he has broken the faith, trust and expectations of the Party and People. ”
He was shown the door despite having “been a core member of the Party leadership for more than 10 years, and has made significant and unique contributions towards WP’s growth. He has also served the residents of Hougang diligently.”
That’s the reward for serving WP and high-moral ground likes of Mr Low Thia Khiang and Ms Lim!
The Cabal’s decision to expel wasn’t unanimous but was carried by a majority.
Perhaps the WP has taken this “drastic” (Ms Lim’s description) step to raise the stakes against the PAP? If the WP with a handful of MPs in Parliament has one who is promiscous, perhaps, just perhaps, there might be more in the PAP ranks with their overwhelming numbers in the House? Wishful thinking?
If this is the WP’s strategy or ploy, then I say shame on the whole party.
Mr Yaw doesn’t need to be sacrificed like this in an attempt to be cleaner than white.
In any case such a strategy is doomed to failure, because PAP chairman Khaw Boon Wan has already gone on the offensiver by questioning if the WP leadership knew about this side of Mr Yaw before he was fielded for the May General Election
If there’s no ploy or strategy, then all the more the WP seems to have lost its way, suggesting that it is unable to grow big without going to pieces over what in my view is a relatively minor indiscretion – provided the alleged paramour isn’t an underaged kid or had been dishonestly benefitting from the relationship with Mr Yaw at the expense of the party or Hougang Town Council .
Adultery is not a jailable offence in Singapore, the last time I checked; it’s not even an offence if the party most hurt by the betrayal forgives, and I don’t mean the Workers Party but the wife.
By cutting the political ground from under Mr Yaw in one swell swoop, the WP may be ensuring that his marital rift will not be healed.
Let that be on the conscience of all those in WP who think that their MPs in the SG Parliament have to be more chaste than Carmelite nuns
Let’s hope that Hougang residents will go for substance rather than hypocritical form and that in the by-election, they would vote in Mr Yaw again, whatever ticket he stands on or even if he stands as an independent.