Who’s in, and who’s out, of the new Singapore People's Party (SPP) Central Executive Committee (CEC)?
Former party chairman Sin Kek Tong, who according to some media reports was voted into the new CEC following Sunday’s Ordinary Party Conference (OPC), knows nothing about it.
Speaking to Yahoo! Singapore on Tuesday, Sin said because of an accident he suffered six months ago, he was unable to attend Sunday’s OPC and election, and so does not know what happened there, or who was elected.
So far, the SPP leadership has yet to confirm the line-up of the new CEC. Its former second vice-chairman Lina Chiam would only say on Sunday afternoon that the "remaining members of the (previous) CEC", after six members quit on Friday, had been re-elected to the new body.
Former Youth Wing head Jimmy Lee, 36, who was part of the former CEC which was dissolved on Sunday, is now also not sure of his role.
“As far as I’m aware, I’m still an ordinary member of the SPP,” he said to Yahoo! Singapore on Tuesday morning, adding that he was not at Sunday’s OPC and so is not privy to the events that unfolded there.
He said he has not been contacted about party affairs at all since before the OPC, echoing what Sin said about the matter as well.
Until now, no official confirmation has been provided by any representative of the party on the exact lineup and designations of its new CEC.
Mrs Chiam, wife of secretary-general Chiam See Tong, also seems to have gone silent, and has declined to speak to media over the past week.
She instead took to Facebook to post a series of statements between Monday night and early Tuesday morning.
These included voicing her disappointment with mainstream media coverage over the events concerning the party on Monday evening, where she said, “We need to have professional journalism and control over our mainstream media. There is no discerning attitude when couching unnecessary petty questions. Sometimes picking only gossips (sic.) to make stories”.
Past midnight on Tuesday, Mrs Chiam also posted a comment on the status she put up, saying, “I don’t want to be fodder for the media. One should not run away when the problem gets too hot”. She alluded to a “failed takeover” attempt, and went on to say, “The moral of the lesson is don’t be in a hurry, don’t run before you can walk.” She added, however, that “more will be revealed in days to come”.
In another post, Mrs Chiam also said she had “no intention of debating issues concerning the former members in public” as doing so would distract her from her non-constituency member of parliament (NCMP) role. She ended with what seemed like a plea to party supporters not to “give up easily on me and Mr Chiam”.
None of these statements, however, made reference to who exactly was elected to the new CEC at the OPC on Sunday, and there now seems to be disagreement even among party members who were present on whether Sin was elected.
The internal disarray comes after six key members of the SPP leadership – among them first and second assistant secretary-generals Wilfred Leung and Benjamin Pwee – all quit en masse in protest over the leadership style and future direction of the party.
Whenever Roy Steven Danker was on standby as a riot police man in Singapore back in the 1960s, he would sleep in his boots waiting for the emergency bell to ring. …