Workers' Party (WP) chief Low Thia Khiang has revealed that he had neither the means nor right to investigate Yaw Shin Leong's private matters and private life, stressing that he is a Member of Parliament and not a private investigator.
Low was responding to a forum letter written by former Senior Parliamentary Secretary Ho Kah Leong to Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao on 18 February. Ho had called WP's decision to sack Yaw a rash and hurried one and he also asked Low to take responsibility for the Yaw Shin Leong saga.
However, Low's response via a letter published on the Chinese daily's forum page, he wrote that WP's decision was not rash and hurried as it had given Yaw a month to account to WP's Central Executive Council. WP had expelled Yaw last Wednesday after he was alleged to have had an extra-marital affair with a married female opposition party member.
"Although I have worked with Mr Yaw for many years, the members of the Party's election committee and I had no knowledge of the allegations about him," Low wrote.
"I have neither the means nor right to investigate his private matters and private life. I am a Member of Parliament, not a private investigator!" he added.
Singaporeans Yahoo! spoke to felt that Low should not be held responsible for Yaw's slip-up.
Said a Hougang resident who declined to be named, "I guess Low is partly right. He can't be responsible for everyone and there are so many people in the party."
"But he's known him for the past 10 years so there should have been telltale signs of his behaviour," the resident added.
23-year-old graphic designer Cynthia Lim felt that there is nothing Low can do other than to apologise for not guiding his protege well.
"How else can he take responsibility? Low was like a teacher to Yaw and there is only so much that a teacher can do without interfering with Yaw's personal life," Lim said.
"This whole issue is blown out of proportion, but no surprise given we are a conservative society. It's a private issue and it has got nothing to do with politics," said Daryl Goh, 29, communications student.
"It's like employment -- where the employer can take action if it affects the company image but other than that, it shouldn't concern the employer," Goh added.
Meanwhile, the WP has reinstated two WP veterans back to Hougang Constituency Committee (HGCC) from Aljunied Constituency Committee to ensure continued functioning of the party's grassroots activities. The two are deputy webmaster Png Eng Huat and organising secretary Ng Swee Bee, reported Today.