Pritam Singh has been elected by party cadres as the new Secretary-General of the Worker’s Party on Sunday (8 April).
The 41-year-old, who has been a Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC since 2011, succeeds opposition veteran Low Thia Khiang and marks the party’s first change of leadership in 17 years. Singh was unopposed for the role while party chairman Sylvia Lim also kept her post.
“Sylvia and I together, we will lead the party forward for the next two years… obviously, very big shoes to fill,” said Singh during a media doorstop following the elections held at the party’s Geylang headquarters.
“(Low) has driven the party forward with a lot of perseverance and dedication, and it’s important for the party to build on the foundation that he has made and to continue forward as a rational, responsible and respectable party,” he added.
More than a hundred party cadres were present for Sunday’s election. In total, 12 central executive council positions were filled during the elections, which sees one new face with the addition of 44-year-old lawyer Terence Tan. Tan was part of the WP team that contested Marine Parade GRC in the 2015 General Election.
Low, 61, surprised many when he announced last November that he would be stepping down as party chief, a post he had held since 2001.
Singh’s election comes at a time when the WP is facing two lawsuits filed by an independent panel on behalf of the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC). Low, Lim and Singh are being taken to court for alleged breach of fiduciary duties in relation to payments of up to $33.7 million to the town council’s former managing agent and service provider, FM Solutions and Services (FMSS).
Singh is a father of one and works as a lawyer at Donaldson & Burkinshaw. He is an MP for the Eunos ward. He was formerly a Singapore Armed Forces regular.
There was initial speculation that Aljunied GRC MP Chen Show Mao, who challenged Low for the top post in 2016, would run against Singh but the contest didn’t happen.