‘No surprise if WP wins by-election’

“A shrewd political move.”

That was the response by Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Eugene Tan on the Workers’ Party’s (WP) call for a by-election at Hougang SMC.

WP has taken, boldly, the moral high ground,” he said of the party expelling Hougang MP Yaw Shin Leong who served in the party leadership for close to ten years.

“The party will reap dividends from this first-mover advantage action – in the short-term and in the long-term. They are setting high standards for themselves, and the move will go down well with the ground, and with Hougang voters,” added Tan, who is an assistant law professor at Singapore Management University.

Party chairman Sylvia Lim said on Wednesday that Yaw was expelled "because he has not addressed allegations” in his private life.

Yaw was alleged to have had an extra-marital affair with a married female opposition party member.

Under the Constitution, once an elected Member of Parliament ceases to be a member of, or is expelled or resigned from the political party for which he stood in an election, the seat shall become vacant.

Media consultant P N Balji called this a “big blow’ for the party secretary-general Low Thia Khiang in particular. “Yaw was his political prodigy, having been with Mr Low for 11 years.”

“It also calls into question how the Workers' Party picks its members and grooms them for political contest. Yaw's "personal discretion" does not seem to have been a one-off affair. A married China woman had spoken publicly of her affair with him.”

But he was quick to highlight WP’s immediate task: to identify a replacement and “take the party out of this crisis quickly”.

Speaking on the next by-election, Balji said that the focus of the next by-election will most probably be revolve around “issues of character” and banking on how WP handles this crisis. He added, “Although it did finally take the decisive step of sacking Yaw, its long silence on Yaw will come under scrutiny during the hustings.”

The Prime Minister will now have to advise President Tony Tan to issue a writ for a by-election in Hougang SMC.

Tan speculates that Desmond Choo, who was pitted against WP in the previous May 2011 election, will be the front-runner to contest. He points out that Choo is the grassroots organisation's adviser there.

“He would have familiarity with issues in Hougang and is known to voters there.”

Tan added that, “The PAP is likely to be worse-off if it sends another candidate other than Choo.”

He admits that it will be an “uphill battle” for the PAP to win back Hougang SMC. “Hougang has been a WP stronghold since 1991…We shouldn’t be surprised if the WP wins Hougang with a larger majority in the by-election.”

Goh Meng Seng, former secretary-general of the National Solidarity Party also expects WP to win the by-election.

“I hope this by-election will not be a multi-cornered fight and other opposition parties won’t come in because this will affect the chances of the opposition holding onto the Hougang SMC seat,” he said.

-- Additional reporting by Lin Wenjian and Melissa Aw

POLL

If a by-election is held in Hougang, how will you vote?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options
  • Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors 3 hours ago
    Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors

    Long after television grew to dominate American and British homes, newsreel producer British Pathé kept at it, documenting the news of the day until finally ceasing production of new short films in 1970 after 60 years of effort. Last week, all of British Pathé's 85,000 films were put online — including dozens of fascinating, rare and often weird car films that resemble nothing so much as a jet-age Top Gear.

  • Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete 5 hours ago
    Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete

    During this vile, never-ending winter, motorists had three options to keep their cars clean: Shell out on regular car washes; slave away in the cold, wind and snow washing it yourself, or screw it and just drive a dirty car. I, like many, chose the last option. But if only I'd been able to test Nissan's self-cleaning car, all my troubles would have washed away.

  • Popular hot yoga myths debunked 11 hours ago
    Popular hot yoga myths debunked

    What’s the hottest new workout taking the world by storm? That would be hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga. Conducted in a heated room with sweltering temperatures of about 40°C (or approximately 104° Fahrenheit) and 40 per cent humidity, … Continue reading →

  • Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern
    Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern

    A new picture of Singapore's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who is now 90 years old, has drawn concern from people on Singapore's internet space.

  • Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls
    Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls

    After being photographed at work in Jurong pooling used oil near coffee shops, 50-year-old Valerie Sim has been struggling to keep her family afloat. Web portals STOMP and The Real Singapore published pictures of her in February, triggering a witch hunt for others like her and comments from readers like “Who knows if they’ll use it as cooking oil?” Some readers also said they filed police reports against her and other people they believed were doing the same thing she was.

  • I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.
    I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.

    I have committed a taboo – I have tendered my resignation without securing the next job. The reactions to the announcement were varied but they all pretty much hint at a deep sense of disapproval. “Why did you do that?” It was as if I had renounced my faith. “What are you going to do from now on?” Almost as though a misfortune had incapacitated me. “What does your family have to say about it?” As if I had offered to cook for the next family dinner. I was, and still am, certain of my reasons and motivations for the resignation. However the response I received got me thinking about why people are so concerned about the gaps in their careers. The developed world evolved from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy to the service age, then to the knowledge economy in the late 1990s and 2000s marked by breakthroughs in technological innovations and competition for innovation with new products and processes that develop from the research community. According to The Work Foundation, the knowledge economy is driven by the demand for higher value added goods and services created by more sophisticated, more discerning, and better educated consumers and ... The post I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind. appeared first on Vulcan Post.