Thursday, February 16, 2012

Not Shrewd At All

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.


Anonymous said...

To some extent I agreed with you.
You don't have the resources to outmatch them so it's wise to lay low, let the whole thing blow away.
The only people who are baying for his blood are all the anonymous PAP trolls and 50cts bloggers stirring up the heat, and with Shit Times reporting front left and right, you absolutely have no choice but to tackle it head-on.
Having said that, they have emerged stronger.
And who knows, Yaw could come back in different capacity when he clears up his mess in future - who knows.
WP must have calculated their risk and move.
Let's see what happens from here.

Ghost said...

I question if the WP have come out of this stronger. Even if they win back Hougang (and yes, I think it is a "if"), expelling Mr. Yaw is a bad move cause it divert attention to the WP when the party could and should have been putting pressure on the PAP on a host of other issues.

Anonymous said...

The Workers Party decision to expel its Houngang MP was taken in the light of of so many on-going scandals and allegations of corruptions and abuse of power in exchange for sex by senior civil servants..And ,of course,the scandal of the month long intermittent train breakdowns of SMRT,run by a crony of the eastablishment.These are reported in the state-controlled and closely-monitored media.
The decision itself scored high marks and raised the bar for accountability,transparency and fairness.The ball is now in the ruling party's court.As to what the expulsion worth, one thing is certaiin and that people want be fairly treated and not discriminated against

Ghost said...

This is what I don't understand. Why does anyone thinks the PAP will do anything?
This is a scandal within the WP! If I am in the PAP, I should say, "This got nothing to do with us. Deal with your own problem WP, don't try to divert attention to us when this is your problem". The ball is not in the PAP's court because they could ignore the whole thing and let the WP hang themselves. Expelling Mr. Yaw doesn't hurt the PAP, it only help them!

auntielucia said...

Agree entirely with Ghost. LTK already gambled once with Hougang when he left it to contest Aljunied GRC with Sylvia Lim, Pritam Singh et al. He won handsomely in May; WP kept Hougang and became giant killers in Aljunied, sweeping out two ministers in one go. Trying to do the reprise the Hougang coup this time? Don't bank on it! Those whom the gods seek to destroy they first make dumb!

Desmnod Lim said...

Let me be devil's advocate here. From what I have read, Yaw didn't bother to deny or confirm the allegations. And that I think is the problem. If he said no, then they can "fight" the allegations. If he said yes, then they would have to spin the whole thing but untli now nobody knows the truth.

I do believe his being expelled is due to that; nobody knows the truth.

Whether it is the right thing for WP to do, we would never know. Maybe by the next elections we might look back and say, boy was that a stupid move.

Ghost said...

If the reason for booting him was because Mr. Yaw refused to answer the allegations, then all the WP did was to make a bad situation worse.
An internal action within the WP would have been the smart thing to do if that's the case.