Mystery surrounds NDP committee chief’s sudden resignation

Kai Fong

Why did he suddenly quit?

Mystery surrounds the sudden resignation of the chairman of the National Day Parade (NDP) organising committee, Colonel Nelson Yau.

In a statement to Yahoo! Singapore on Monday, Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) said that the Chief Guards Officer and Commander of the 21st Division is resigning from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) due to “personal reasons”.

The abrupt move by the high-flying army officer comes less than five months before this year's NDP parade which celebrates the nation’s 47th birthday.

According to Today newspaper, Yau, who is in his mid-40s, announced his resignation to key members of the NDP executive committee last Monday. There was no media announcement from MINDEF, however.

While news of his sudden departure has prompted speculation, The Straits Times (ST) reported that Yau is not under investigation by the SAF for any wrongdoing.

The senior army officer has been with the SAF for over 20 years.

Said MINDEF public affairs director Desmond Tan, “The SAF will be appointing a senior officer to take over the Chief Guards Officer post. The new Chief Guards Officer will also take on the responsibility of being chairman of the NDP 2012 executive committee.”

At press time, it’s not known whether Yau will be required to serve the stipulated three months' notice which senior SAF officers have to give when they resign.