Uptight Workers Party’s fatal mistake

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.


21 thoughts on “Uptight Workers Party’s fatal mistake

  1. I think WP’s fatal mistake was sharing Yaw’s refusal to comment at the start, and at the Hougang CNY dinner last saturday, made it appear that the party, having removed him as treasure, now stood united behind him and wanted to move on. His cocky attitude towards reporters indicates that he thought he was over the matter, only to be expelled 3 days later.

    If Low/Lim wanted him to come clean, they should have said so from the start, which at least gave him more time to consider his stance other than “no comment”; it must have come as a shock that he was expected to “account to the party and Hougang voters” – I dont recall any WP official saying that earlier

  2. If he is accused of indiscretions (some involving members of the same organization) and has been asked to explain repeatedly, but he chooses to ignore these requests and refuses to deal with the organization, then he needs to be disciplined or dismissed.

    This is no different whether he is from a private/public/political organization.

  3. Uncle Yuen, if as you say, the WP committed a fatal mistake in appearing with YSL at the CNY gathering and I say it committed a fatal mistake in expelling him, then these two fatal mistakes actually add up to a third one= indecisive, vacillating leadership. If it’s really about transparency and accountability etc, then it shouldn’t have taken 3 weeks to come to a decision.

    Uncle/Auntie AMRKA, why shld YSL have to share his bedroom secrets with his party? What business is it of the WP what he does in his sex life unless it’s something illegal and punishable by law. Unless unknown to the public, WP has a code of conduct to say no fraternising among its members and leaders?

    We should stop mixing up MPs with pastors and others who have taken holy orders or vows of celibacy. Look at Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, for heavens sake! Worse, Clinton even lied about their relationship at first!

    As for giving the Hougang people a choice, it makes me laugh. 😆 What choice has been given to those who don’t want Mr Yaw to go? Auntie Sylvia and her cabal have taken away their right to say anything by the pre-emptive sacking of the Hougang MP from WP!

  4. Upon deep reflection, he has chosen not to share his bedroom secrets with anyone and stay stone silent and completely out of view. And work out his issues privately. Other innocent parties are involved here and his silence is the only way to protect them, if the allegations are true.

    By adopting this approach, he has to face the consequences of discipline/dismissal. Silence and inaction in the eyes of any organization to such serious sexual allegations cannot be condoned for the sake of the organization alone.

  5. Uncle/Auntie AMRKA: with deep respect, u contradicted yrself between your first para and 2nd para.

    YSL shld be admired for keeping quiet, not booted out of WP. I said it once and I’ll say it a zillion times: WP and everyone else have no business to know his private life affairs, unless iwhat he did/doing is against the law or against WP’s explicit code of conduct. Does the party have one? Not that i have heard of…

    That being so, WP has shot itself badly in the foot by taking up the cudgels n giving the PAP a deadly weapon to kill the only credible Opposition Party.

    Enuff said. Those whom the gods wish to destroy they make super dumb (as in stupid, not silent). 😆

  6. Auntielucia:

    me likes to say good conduct or
    misbehaviour need not be ‘explicitly’
    written in code. Despite this, rule,
    regulation and law do need to be
    clearly written and or made known.

    Personal freedom is valid only
    when no others are affected by
    ones’ doing. If it affects others
    positively, well and good. If it does
    the opposite, then have to face
    the consequence, like it or not.


  7. It’s an interesting angle of view u are adopting. I’m not saying it’s incorrect. It depends on what u value most. A public figure is diff from a commoner. It’s no big deal to a commoner but then if he is a public figure I guess it’s diff. In Europe and US they can accept their leaders to commit adultery though it is not an offence. Just like they can have porn and adult movies etc. But here in Sg it’s diff. Would u like ur PM or President to be like that? Wpuld like playboy or other adult magazines openly sold here? In the West, its openly available! That is the crux of the matter.

  8. auntielucia, i agree with yuen and amrka largely but i can see your point.

    gintai, i suspect most if not many singaporeans are more liberal than you think.

  9. Uncle Patriot, where plain vanilla adultery is concerned, only the spouse is hurt. By making a mountain out of a molehill, WP and all those who support its expulsion of Mr YSL are making sure that the hurt won’t heal — at least for a very long time. You call that moral? i call that sure wickedness and does the affected spouse no favour at all.

    Bro Gintai, pse lah, Mr YSL is a mere MP; not the PM or the President. Will the PAP or the electorate hound out a PAP MP if he/she committed adultery or other legal indiscretions, shld they like Mr YSL refuse to discuss bedroom matters with his/her party? So, please compare like with like.

    Quirky fren, thanks for seeing my view. I don’t know Mr YSL from a bar of soap but I think the rumours and WP’s reaction to the so-called indiscretions totally disproportionate, even for someone I don’t know. How much more if he’s someone I know and had been a comrade in arms and politics with for more than10 years! Talk about loyalty and feelings. So I’m really, really baffled by the tack taken by the WP, in particular Mr LTK. Perhaps this is another of those divine mysteries that are now blossoming all over SG. 🙄

  10. “only the spouse is hurt”. Unquote.

    Unless we are witting writing them off, the greatest hurt
    will be on the kids, both adulterers’ parents and families
    will be sadden, friends, colleagues and neighbours could
    feel disappointed, insulted. And of course, there will also
    be those sympathy, bemoan and jeer from others.

    Looking at it from any angle, adultery is very damaging.
    The oni acceptable reason why brothel and prostitute are
    in most society could be for the prevention of adultery.


  11. Auntielucia;

    Good Morning!

    My earlier post has a grammatical mistake, do help
    me to have it corrected.
    ‘Unless we are witting’ should be ‘Unless we are

    My apology and many thanks!


  12. Uncle P, u don’t seem to get my point. If as you pointed out, a man has his whole family to answer to, then all the more reprehensible that WP, its leaders, the public etc shld be doing a song and dance abt YSL’s alleged indiscretions. Because all this song and dance hurts his wife/family more than what he did — IMHO. Enuff said. I support YSL’s silence. And I will from now onwards hold my peace on this. 😛

  13. i suppose there may be some grey area between his public and private lives… eg, if he is dishonest to his wife, how do we know he’s not dishonest to the members of his SMC? etc… just a thought.

  14. I had intended to hold my peace on the YSL ousting but Quirky yr observation is a bit simplistic for such an intelligent person like u that I’m forced to make a comeback on this topic.

    I think there’s no correlation between infidelity and dishonesty to the wider world. Just as there’s none and there shouldn’t be correlation between butchers, slaughterhouse workers etc and murderers. Some personalities may be spurred on by an extra romance to produce better work, better ideas etc whereas other personalities may be confused and ruined by just one stolen kiss.

    I’m sure there’s a bigger explanation behind the fuss being made against YSL’s alleged indiscretions. Time will tell 😉

  15. thanks for the compliment auntielucia! but as an intelligent person, i would naturally consider all perspectives (not just my own), including those who may choose to err on the side of caution. 🙂

    that said, does anyone really believe that the politicians who are free of wrongdoings like adultery and the like, are truly 100% honest anyway? 😛

  16. haha, QH, people who consider all perspectives is like the person who says he has 360-degree views. But the view he sticks to is likely to be the one he’s standing on. Just joking!

    I acknowledge the other perspectives on the “alleged indiscretions” but feel that a man who has given 10 yrs of his spare time to one cause shldn’t be penalised over several one-nite stands or even several several-nite stands. He was elected to Hougang not because he was Holy Moses but because he was seen as the Great White Hope for those who support the Opposition. Would there have been similar fuss if YSL turned out to be gay?

    Now you go have a good week ahead! 😛 😛

  17. Reading up to this point, must say that
    auntielucia is a magnanimous person.

    There is one very lucky man.


  18. Pingback: Hougang: bye-bye WP or bye-bye again PAP? | FOOD fuels me to talk…

  19. Pingback: Poor bourgeois Singapore! | FOOD fuels me to talk…

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