When I asked a political insider friend if an upcoming overseas holiday would have to be cancelled seeing that Nomination Day for the much-talked about Hougang by-election falls on May 16 and said holiday begins on May 18, said political insider friend texted this reply:
“No lah. Still going. It’s only one tiny ward n outcome is foregone.”
OK, I’m no political insider and not very astute in most things I do or think about.
But I think the outcome for Hougang needn’t and shouldn’t be foregone.
After all, if I were a Workers Party diehard and a resident of Hougang, I would still be feeling sore over what happened to my ex-MP Yaw Shin Leong. And my discomfort, no anger, would be directed at the Workers Party.
I’m not in the least bit fussed about what Mr Yaw is alleged to have done in his private life, as that’s between him and his wife, so long as he didn’t beat her up — and nothing like that has surfaced in the myriad rumours that have circulated since Hougant “blew up”.
Another caveat is so long as none of his alleged paramours benefited unfairly or illegally through his position as MP for Hougang – as I had stated earlier in this post
And, no, I’m not fussed that WP seemed to have dithered over what to do about his alleged affairs. Yup, the WP first kept totally quiet and then supported him. Perhaps because comradeship means something, especially when the man is under pressure. So far, so good.
What I found and still find inexplicable is that the WP suddenly expelled him from the party. IMHO, the WP had let Mr Yaw down and in that way all those who voted for him.
How can I as a resident — I’m not, but just pretend I am — trust a party whose leadership seems to be so cold and calculative with a comrade-in-arms who devoted some 10 years of his life to the cause of the WP and the Opposition? How would I know that the next WP man put up for the polls won’t after a few months also be found to have a titchy bit of marital infidelity and the cycle starts again?
So, I would give my vote to the PAP man or woman, never mind if many of those already in Parliament appear — in my eyes at least — to wear a self-satisfied look.
Unless of of course, miracle of miracles WP kisses and makes up with Mr Yaw and puts him up for the polls again? Or in the other highly improbable event – — Mr Yaw stands as an independent candidate, puts $13,500 on the line and gives Singapore the chance to have a referendum by proxy on whether we are adult, sophisticated enough to say what a capable politician does in his spare time in his bedroom should really be his and his family business. And nobody else’s. Yes, even if that politican happens to be a Member of Parliament!
My conclusion: nothing should be discounted in Hougang, especially those who have given their heart to Mr Yaw at the command of Mr Low Thia Khiang. Once that command has been obeyed it may not be easy at all to undo it — especially since the successor wasn’t incapable in what he was elected to do.
Let the dissenting voices in Workers Party speak up and let all Singapore hear loud and clear why you didn’t want Mr Yaw to go? And then perhaps the only way to assuage his ouster is to give the PAP a chance after 20 years?