Hougang residents appear inclined to vote WP again

Some Hougang residents reiterated their support for Workers' Party in the by-election despite the scandal involving Yaw Shin Leong. (Yahoo! Photo)
Some Hougang residents reiterated their support for Workers' Party in the by-election despite the scandal involving Yaw Shin Leong. (Yahoo! Photo)

In the case of a by-election in Hougang, some residents who have before supported the Workers' Party said they would continue to do so despite the scandal involving Yaw Shin Leong.

Several residents reiterated their support for the opposition party, crediting its work in the grassroots and the "swift action" the party took to deal with Yaw.

On Thursday, WP announced that it was expelling Yaw from the party for not addressing allegations regarding his private affairs. The expulsion also meant that he would also no longer be a Member of Parliament for the single member constituency.

Said SIA pilot Travis Xu, "Hougang has always been a WP stronghold, so I'm planning to uphold that tradition. I'm sure whoever they send to represent WP will not fare that badly."

"Don't think we'll waver so easily just because there's a hiccup," the 31-year-old added, referring to the brouhaha caused by the affair. He also said that the WP should be credited for its "swift action" taken, and dismissed the possibility of another opposition party being winning the by-election.

Similarly, part-time administrative staff Seveanthi maintained her support for WP. Said the 47-year-old, "The Workers' Party will come back. I'm very strong about it."

She added that she preferred the WP to the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) because the latter has "too much politics" for her to deal with.

"I'm not saying that the PAP did not do anything, but we have a lot of problems and they have their own politics for us on the table. They're supposed to solve the problem, but they have a lot of ABCs, categories, this cannot that cannot, which makes us more stressful," she said.

Another WP supporter, Leon Tan, 26, is satisfied with the WP's work in Hougang and is sympathetic to Yaw's predicament. Said the 26-year-old: "I'll still vote for the Workers' Party. What happened was a personal affair. As long as it doesn't affect us, I'll vote for WP."

However, other residents will not vote along party lines, but according to the calibre of candidates fielded.

Said self-employed worker Jean Lim:, "It really depends on the candidate, regardless of the party. Let's be objective. Look at the candidates and what are their qualities."

The 39-year-old, who has been living in Hougang for more than 20 years, added that she had always voted for WP's Low Thia Kiang in previous elections as he is "credible".

She doubted that by-elections will be held soon, as it is up to the Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who belongs to the PAP, to decide on the date. "The sentiments are still not favourable [to PAP], why should he call for a by-election now?" she said.

Housewife Yeo Lui Heng echoed Lim's thoughts, saying that her vote would "depend on the candidate". Said the 58-year-old: "If he is a new candidate, we won't know his capability. I will look at the capabilities of both sides."

Additional reporting by Deborah Choo