Despite the slight loss of votes for the WP, the victory is still considered a good win for WP as the PAP had trained all their big guns on Hougang. Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean led the charge as the PAP tried to give their candidate, Desmond Choo, as much help as possible against WP’s candidate Png Eng Huat. Yet despite the blitz, the PAP only managed 37.91%.
Now everyone has their own opinion on the win by the WP and the inability of the PAP to make a dent in Hougang. Despite all the talk of the rise of the WP, the basin of democracy in Hougang, the youth of Desmond Choo; I think the reason why the WP won is much simpler. People did not care about Yaw Shin Leong.
When the WP expelled Yaw Shin Leong from their party on 14th Feb, it was due to allegations of extramarital affairs. I had said on several occasions that this was a stupid thing for the WP to do because no one cares about the allegations. Most people in Hougang, most people in Singapore, do not care about the extramarital affair and no one called for his resignation or ouster.
So when the by-election came along, everyone just voted along the same party lines because nothing has changed!! The people voted for the same party because they don’t care about the affairs Yaw Shin Leong had that led to his ouster. It just didn’t matter.
That indifference more than anything is the reason why the WP retained the Hougang seat with only a minor dent in popularity. No one cares! In short, the expulsion of Mr. Yaw Shin Leong from the WP on 14th Feb was much ado about nothing.