The Workers' Party's (WP) expelled Members of Parliament (MP) Yaw Shin Leong from the party yesterday, paving the way for a by-election in the single member constituency of Hougang. WP chairman Sylvia Lim said that Yaw was expelled "because he has not addressed allegations” in his private life. The allegations in question are the rumors that Mr. Yaw (who is married) had an extra-marital affair with a married female opposition party member.
Addressing the media, WP chief Low Thia Khiang said that the decision was difficult but necessary as the WP believes in transparency and accountability. I only have one thing to say to that; it was unnecessary!
Frankly, I can’t understand why the WP made a mountain over something most Singaporeans cares little about! I mean have there been calls from the Singapore public telling the WP to do this? Have there been calls from the residents of Hougang demanding that the WP expel their MP? If there is, I sure must have missed it because from where I stand, no one in Hougang gives a shit. It says a lot when even the People’s Action Party (PAP) mouthpiece, the Strait Times, admitted that most residents in Hougang don’t really care about the alleged affair.
Now I don’t care how confident the WP are in winning the Hougang seat again, or how much they believe in transparency and accountability, but as a political party you do not take such an unnecessary as giving a seat in Parliament you won just 9 months ago!
That’s just stupid, especially when it is over an alleged affair no one in the constituency even cares about! Now some people may say the WP made a shrewd political move by taking the moral high ground, but I totally disagree with that. Taking the moral high ground doesn’t stop the problem of them now having to match the PAP machinery in a battle that could have been avoided.
If the WP had ignored the allegations, let Mr. Yaw continued do his work serving the residents of Hougang, people would have forgotten the whole thing in a few weeks. Considering that the next General Elections will only be called in 4-5 years, how in the world would it hurt the WP by keeping silent?
The shrewd move would have been to keep quiet, and let Singaporeans forget the alleged affair. Now the WP has to face the PAP again in a battle in Hougang where it is theirs to lose. The PAP literally has nothing to lose in Hougang and if I am Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, I would have gone to bed yesterday a very happy man.