THE TEMASEK TIMES

News and views from an unique perspective

Posts Tagged ‘Yaw Shin Leong’

Yaw Shin Leong ‘apologizes’ to Hougang voters in open letter, but still did not clarify if he had sex with WP female leaders

Posted by temasektimes on May 18, 2012

Disgraced former WP MP Yaw Shin Leong (pic left) has issued an ‘apology’ to Hougang residents in the midst of the election campaigning, more than three months after he was sacked from WP for his failure to address rumors swirling around his alleged extramarital affairs with multiple married women, including two key WP female leaders who contested in the General Election last year.

In the letter, Yaw wrote that with the Hougang by-election around the corner, he would like to take the ‘opportunity’ to ‘thank’ Hougang voters for casting their votes for him during 2011 election.

“I also wish to apologize for the inconvenience caused to you, for the whole episode and having to go through the polls again as a result of my expulsion from the Workers’ Party,” he added.

After his sordid affairs were exposed in the media, Yaw left Singapore almost immediately, leaving Hougang residents in the lurch. He went ‘missing in action’ for months before returning to Singapore recently.

Yaw also did not clarify if he did have sex with the two WP female leaders as alleged by the media or whether he was involved in other ‘hanky-panky’ business within the party.

According to a former WP member, Yaw’s half-baked ‘apology’ is nothing more but an election ‘gimmick’ to win the votes of Hougang residents for the Workers Party.

“The sentiments on the ground is not too good. There are some Hougang residents who still feel sore over the Yaw scandal and it will cost WP votes in the coming election,” he said.

Read his letter below from CNA Connect Facebook:

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 16 Comments »

Khaw Boon Wan attacks Yaw Shin Leong: He is utterly irresponsible and arrogant

Posted by temasektimes on May 17, 2012

PAP Chairman Khaw Boon Wan has fired the first salvo in the election campaign for the Hougang by-election by launching a blistering attack on disgraced ex-WP MP Yaw Shin Leong.

Before his fall from grace, Yaw was considered as a ‘protege’ of WP Chief Low Thia Kiang who has painstakingly groomed him for more than ten years to take over his place in Hougang.

Yaw did not disappoint him by winning Hougang easily last year as Mr Low went on to contest in Aljunied GRC, but less than a year later, Hougang was left without a MP after he was sacked by WP for his failure to address swirling rumors about his alleged extramarital affairs with multiple married women, including two key WP female leaders who contested in the General Election last year.

Speaking to queries from the media at the Nomination Center yesterday, Mr Yaw said it is unfortunate that Mr Low handed over Hougang to an irresponsible man:

“Last year, he moved on and handed it over to Yaw Shin Leong. Unfortunately, Mr Yaw got into trouble, disgraced himself and disappointed all the voters. And the worse thing is leave just like that without a word – not a single word of explanation or apology. I find that utterly irresponsible and in fact, arrogant, taking the voters for granted,” said Mr Khaw.

He also raised serious questions on the internal politics brewing within WP:

“It sounds very complicated and it sounds exciting too for people looking in. One by one, some resign, some get sacked for whatever the reason, some become unhappy with the leadership. It’s too complicated for us. For us, we come to politics to serve. So we have a common cause. So you decide what’s important for Singaporeans and as a party, we stay united.”

The Workers Party appears to be falling apart and imploding from within with a recent spate of resignations and missteps by party members which forced the usually quiet Mr Low to issue a public statement that the party remains ‘united’ and is in no danger of ‘splitting’.

 

Posted in News | Tagged: , , | 28 Comments »

Hougang residents: We won’t trust anybody easily anymore after ex-MP Yaw Shin Leong went ‘AWOLed’

Posted by temasektimes on March 15, 2012

As the old saying goes – ‘once bitten, twice shy.’ After being ‘bitten’ by ex-WP MP Yaw Shin Leong who went ‘AWOLed’ and left them in a lurch, Hougang residents now say they will scrutinize the candidates carefully for the coming by-election instead of putting their faith blindly in the Workers Party again.

When Mr Yaw was first introduced as a candidate for Hougang by his mentor Low Thia Kiang during an election rally last year, Mr Low promised Hougang residents that WP would never ‘abandoned’ them. Less than a year later, Hougang is left without a MP after Mr Yaw was sacked by WP over a sex scandal involving a few party members and a married neighbor from China.

In an interview with Hougang residents conducted by inSing news, many said ‘trust’ will be a main factor.

24-year-old Mohammad Shafiq said:

“The new MP needs to win people’s trust, because now we won’t trust anyone easily anymore.”

Another added she is disappointed with the Workers Party after Mr Yaw ‘vanished’ into thin air without accounting to the residents.

“I voted for him and he simply went off without saying a word.”

35 year old Edric Lim had little faith in WP MPs taking turns to look after the ward:

“They are also human, they cannot juggle everything on their own. They also have their own residents to be concerned about.”

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pledged to call for a by-election in Hougang during a speech made in Parliament last week, but declined to give a timeline.

In the meantime, the High Court will be holding a judicial review regarding a Hougang resident’s application to clarify – if and when – a by-election must be called by PM Lee.

Related articles:

Hougang by-election application to be reviewed by supreme court

The right time to call for by-election in Hougang

PM Lee blames Workers Party for causing seat of Houagng to be vacant

PAP may send signal that it does not respect right of voters

Hougang resident files affidavit in High Court

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Will ‘Yaw-gate’ deal a mortal blow to WP’s national ambitions?

Posted by temasektimes on March 4, 2012

Less than a year after making history by winning a GRC for the first time in Singapore elections, the Workers’ Party has been brought back to earth again with a series of disappointing performances by its MPs in parliament followed by its disastrous handling of the Yaw Shin Leong scandal, or ‘Yaw-gate’ for short.

A WP member for more than ten years and widely regarded as the protege of WP Chief Low Thia Kiang, Yaw bettered his mentor’s performance in Hougang by winning 64.8 percent of the votes in the May General Election last year.

Already holding the post of Treasurer in the Workers Party’s leadership council, Yaw was ranked number three in the party hierarchy after Secretary-General Low and Chairman Sylvia Lim.

His abrupt fall from grace over unanswered allegations of extra-marital affairs which culminated in his sacking from the party not only throws WP into internal turmoil, but deal a mortal blow to its fledgling ambitions on the national stage as well.

While Singaporeans are generally forgiving of minor flaws in the personal conduct of public figures, they are less than impressed by the way Yaw and WP handled the saga.

After refusing to comment on the rumors for weeks, WP leaders pulled a fast one by sacking Yaw thereby effectively shifting all the blame to him.

Yaw, on his part, did not do any favor for WP by disappearing out of sight and skipping town altogether, living Hougang residents who voted for him in limbo.

The entire fiasco leads to doubts being cast on Mr Low’s judgement as well as the selection process of the Workers Party since there were already rumors swirling around Yaw’s personal life and behavior before the General Election.

When Yaw was first chosen as the WP candidate to contest in Hougang, questions were already asked of his suitability given his controversial past of voting for the PAP in the 2006 General Election as well as ‘flings’ with a close party aide, but Mr Low chose to turn a blind eye to Yaw’s purported deficiencies in character.

Though Yaw did well to secure a victory in Hougang, the honeymoon period did not last long and he soon dragged the whole party into disrepute, threatening to undo years of good work by Low.

With six MPs before Yaw’s sacking and two NCMPs in parliament, the Workers Party is without a doubt the strongest opposition party in Singapore and some even considered it as a credible alternative to the PAP, but not any more as Yaw’s disappearing act and WP’s non-transparent handling of the crisis lead Singaporeans to ask if they can trust the party to manage national affairs when it cannot even keep its own house in order.

Conservative voters, especially the older generation, will cringe at the thought of the ‘hanky-panky’ business going on among party leaders to which WP has still yet to account properly to the public.

Based on its grassroots support and stature of Low, WP is likely to retain its stronghold of Hougang in a by-election. However it is unlikely to make any more headway on the national stage.

The Workers Party managed to siphon away votes from the PAP among the moderate voters mainly because many were disgruntled with the PAP’s policies.

As the PAP pour in resources to claw back lost ground in the next few years, the support for WP is likely to stagnate or even decline now after having its ‘dirty linen’ aired publicly in the media for all to see.

Being a Confucian Asian society, few Singaporeans can accept its leaders committing adultery, let alone with married women despite the brave front put up by hardcore WP supporters that the personal affairs of its MPs should be kept separate from their work.

WP is likely to face a fierce battle to retain Hougang and Aljunied in the next General Election, let alone add to its current tally of seats as ‘Yaw-gate’ will continue to cast a long shadow over it, at least in the next election.

Low Thia Kiang took a decade to revive WP’s flagging fortunes under its late leader Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam. It may take another generation of young leaders to undo the damage done to WP’s image and standing by ‘Yaw-gate’.

Posted in Commentary, Opinion | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Desmond Choo: I am confident and ready to serve Hougang residents

Posted by temasektimes on February 26, 2012

PAP grassroots adviser to Hougang Desmond Choo says he says he is always ready to serve residents in the ward, with or without a by-election which is triggered by the sacking of its MP Yaw Shin Leong from the Workers Party two weeks ago. Mr Yaw has since decided not to appeal against the decision and his current whereabouts is unknown.

The sudden departure of Mr Yaw which plunged the Workers Party into turmoil gave Mr Choo an excellent opportunity to score political points with Hougang residents as he continues to conduct his weekly ‘tea parties’ on Monday nights to assist them.

According to Mr Choo, the number of residents seeking his help has increased tremendously since Mr Yaw went ‘missing in action’ with some disgruntled residents expressing their unhappiness to him about the Workers Party.

In an interview with Channel News Asia, Mr Choo says he and his grassroots activists are always ready to serve Hougang residents.

“We’re always ready; ready in the sense that we’ve been serving the people and whether there’s a by-election or not. It doesn’t really distract us from our main work which is service here,” said Mr Choo.

He added that he is more confident of serving the residents now:

“I feel more confident about how best I can serve the residents here. You have to understand the people and you have to build the relationship. Only then can you muster more resources to help them. So in terms of the capacity and the capability to reach out to residents, I’ve built them up over the past year.”

During the General Election last year, former WP MP for Hougang Low Thia Kiang promised Hougang residents that his protege Yaw Shin Leong would take good care of them and would never abandon them. Less than a year later, Hougang residents are now left in limbo following Mr Yaw’s unceremonious expulsion from WP over his failure to address allegations surrounding his alleged extra-marital affairs with a few married women, including a neighbor from China.

As one upset Hougang resident told the media:

“I cast a vote for him (Yaw). How can he be so irresponsible to walking away without saying a word?”

Despite the WP exerting continuous pressure on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to call for a by-election soon, PM Lee said he needs to consider the matter carefully as there is a lot on the national agenda right now.

With Mr Choo serving Hougang residents so conscientiously and faithfully, it appears that a by-election may not be so urgent after all.

Related articles:

Hougang residents seek Desmond Choo’s help

Desmond Choo ready to be fielded in Hougang again

Posted in News | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Disgruntled Hougang residents seek assistance from PAP grassroots adviser Desmond Choo after Yaw Shin Leong went ‘AWOLed’

Posted by temasektimes on February 24, 2012

Disgruntled Hougang residents are seeking assistance from PAP adviser to Hougang grassroots organization Desmond Choo after their WP MP Yaw Shin Leong went ‘AWOLed’ for over a week!

Mr Choo was the PAP candidate for Hougang during the 2011 General Election where he polled 35.2 percent of the votes, eventually losing to Mr Yaw.

Mr Yaw’s last public appearance at Hougang was on 12 February where he attended a Chinese New Year dinner at the constituency. However, he has been missing in action ever since he was unceremoniously sacked by his party on three days later for failing to address allegations about his alleged extra-marital affairs with a few married women.

According to a Chinese evening tabloid, Mr Desmond Choo noticed an increase in the number of Hougang residents seeking help at his weekly ‘tea party’ on Monday at Hougang Community Club this week.

The sessions started initially with about five to ten residents, but the number have swelled to 26 this week. Some of the residents who were helped by Mr Choo have since joined his group of volunteers.

Mr Choo added that some Hougang residents he met expressed their unhappiness with the Workers Party which was plunged into ‘turmoil’ following the abrupt departure of Mr Yaw who left his wife behind to hand over Hougang’s affairs to other party members.

Though Mr Choo is not the official MP for Hougang, he is still able to meet residents and conduct grassroots activities in the constituency as he was appointed a grassroots adviser of Hougang by the People’s Association.

The Workers Party has been exerting pressure on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to hold a by-election in Hougang soon after the seat was vacated following Mr Yaw’s expulsion from the party. Mr Yaw has since vacated his seat after writing to the Clerk of Parliament to inform that he would not be appealing against his expulsion.

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Yaw Shin Leong will not appeal against expulsion from the Workers Party

Posted by temasektimes on February 22, 2012

Former WP MP for Hougang Yaw Shin Leong will not be contesting his appeal against his expulsion from the Workers Party last week, which finally draws a curtain down to his tumultuous political career.

The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Michael Palmer announced today that Mr Yaw has written to the Clerk of Parliament to say he will not appeal against his expulsion from Workers’ Party and will vacate his MP seat for Hougang.

The seat for Hougang has been declared vacant from 14 February, which is the day Mr Yaw was expelled. Mr Yaw now holds the ‘record’ for being the MP with the shortest term in the history of Singapore, at only 283 days.

A rising star in the ranks of the Workers Party before his spectacular fall from grace, Mr Yaw was widely considered by many as the natural successor to his political mentor Low Thia Kiang who is now try desperately hard to distance himself from his disgraced protege.

Mr Yaw has been uncontactable since 15 February after which he was sacked from the party over his persistent refusal to address rumors about his alleged extra-marital affairs with a few married women, including a neighbor from China. He has left his wife behind to tie up the ‘loose ends’ and to hand over Hougang affairs to other party members on her own.

Though WP has been exerting pressure on the Prime Minister to call for an early by-election in Hougang, some Singaporeans felt there is no urgency to do so.

In a letter to the Straits Times Forum today, Ms Lim Siew Imm wrote:

“….the priority for the Government after the General Election is to take care of the challenging national and world issues rather than expend valuable time organising a by-election. Singapore has to be ahead at all times in order to survive. So, let us spend our precious time doing just that.”

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had earlier said he would need to consider the matter carefully as there is a lot on the National Agenda right now.


Posted in News | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Low Thia Kiang to ex-PAP MP: I am a MP, not a Private Investigator!

Posted by temasektimes on February 21, 2012

Embattled WP Secretary-General Low Thia Kiang, who has come under increasing fire of late for his error in judgement in fielding protege Yaw Shin Leong in Hougang, has sought to distance himself from him.

Mr Yaw was unceremoniously sacked from the Workers Party last week for refusing to address allegations about his infidelity. His current whereabouts is unknown and he reportedly left his wife behind to tie up the loose ends in the handover of Hougang affairs to other party members.

In response to queries from ex-PAP MP Ho Kah Leong on Zaobao forum on the Workers Party’s selection process, Mr Low admits that he and his party’s election committee had ‘absolutely no idea’ of the alleged extramarital affairs of sacked member Yaw Shin Leong when they decided to field him as a candidate in Hougang during the 2011 General Election.

“Even though I was familiar with Yaw Shin Leong’s background and I have met his family and attended his two wedding ceremonies, I have no way and no authority to inspect his private matters and personal life. I am a Member of Parliament, not a private investigator!” Mr Low wrote in his reply, trying hard to evade his responsibility for fielding Low.

He added in a defiant tone:

“Mr Ho Kah Leong said I should take responsibility for the Yaw Shin Leong saga. May I ask how I should take responsibility?”

However, according to a former WP member who spoke on the condition of anonymity, it is ‘impossible’ that Mr Low is not aware of Mr Yaw’s alleged flings and extra-marital affairs.

“The WP is a closely-knitted community. Everybody knows the family of one another. Yaw was in WP for over ten years where he was rumored to have a few relationships, confirmed or not with junior female members. His present wife was his polling agent in Ang Mo Kio GRC in the 06 election. Tongues do wag, how can Mr Low not hear the rumors?”

Our source also revealed that the decision to field Mr Yaw in Hougang was not unanimous and at least one senior leader pushed for the candidacy of Koh Choong Yong, also a Teochew:

“Koh was older than Yaw and joined the party at the same time as him. In the end, Yaw probably gets the nod from the boss because he was his ai4 tu2 (beloved disciple)”

When the scandal erupted, the Workers Party leadership initially rally around Mr Yaw and refused to comment on the rumors till it made an abrupt U-turn to sack him a month later after more of his ‘affairs’ were exposed and threatened to drag the entire party into the mud.

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Yaw Shin Leong’s ex-boss threatened to sue him for making defamatory remarks about him at work

Posted by temasektimes on February 20, 2012

A former boss of beleaguered ex-WP MP Yaw Shin Leong has accused him of being ‘unprofessional’ and having an ‘attitude problem’ at work and even once threatened to sue him over defamatory comments he made to others!

The former rising political star of the Workers Party was sacked by his party last week following which his seat in Hougang is vacated. His current whereabouts is unknown.

Mr Yaw worked as lecturer in economics in a private school for four months in 2008. According to his ex-boss who contacted a Chinese tabloid, Mr Yaw had a strange temperament and was hard to get along.

“Yaw Shin Leong has a lousy attitude. Whenever problems arose, he would ask his colleagues to help him settle such as taking over his lesson slots. If they are Teochews, he would say ‘we are teochew ran, ka ki ran lah’ or if they are Christians, ‘we are all brothers who should help one another,” he said.

He also revealed that Mr Yaw would surf the internet on his personal laptop during working hours and would shut it immediately when somebody walked past him.

After a few months, he lodged a complaint about Mr Yaw’s behavior to the school’s principal which led Mr Yaw to retaliate in kind by spreading malicious lies about him to other colleagues to undermine his standing with them.

“He finally stopped after I threatened to sue him. Perhaps he got wind that the school is preparing to sack him and he resigned abruptly a few days later,” he added.

The ex-boss was surprised when Mr Yaw was elected as Hougang MP last year:

“I was shocked that the Hougang residents actually voted for such an irresponsible chap. He might appear to be nice and friendly to them, but he is a completely different character at work. It is as if he has a split personality.”

Hoodwinked by the fiery speeches of Mr Yaw in Teochew during the election rallies and trusting the judgement of his mentor Low Thia Kiang, Hougang residents have been taken for a ride and now have to pay the price for their decision as Mr Yaw has now AWOLed and abandoned them after his alleged extra-marital affairs with party members were made public.

 

Posted in News | Tagged: , | 13 Comments »

NTU Prof: Workers Party still has to explain to voters to clear their doubts

Posted by temasektimes on February 19, 2012

Though the Workers Party has appeared to act decisively by sacking scandal-plagued Hougang MP Yaw Shin Leong from the party, it still has a lot of explanation to do in order to overcome this crisis carefully.

Research Fellow at the Nanyang Technological University School of Public Administration Professor Wu Yuan Hua told local media that despite the media conference called by WP last Wednesday, many lingering questions continue to remain unanswered.

“Did Yaw Shin Leong really have extra-marital affairs with his party colleagues? Low Thia Kiang has groomed Yaw for over ten years. Did he know about his infidelity? If he does not know, is there a problem with his judgement?” he said.

Mr Low has adamantly refused to answer questions on whether he knew about Mr Yaw’s affairs, claiming that he did not know much about his personal life. However, according to socio-political blog TR Emeritus, Mr Low knew about it and had warned Mr Yaw before.

A WP member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told us that it is ‘impossible’ that Mr Low is kept in the dark about Mr Yaw’s sordid affairs all this while.

“Shin Leong was very close to Mr Low. He was regarded as his natural successor. Now that he was sacked, all the blame will be heaped on him to save the party’s face,” he said.

Prof Wu added that WP still has work to do in clearing the remaining doubts in the minds of voters.

WP leaders had initially refused to comment on the rumors swirling around Mr Yaw’s personal life till the abrupt U-turn to sack him from the party.

Long seen as a rising political star in the Workers Party with considerable contribution to its present success, Mr Yaw is now dismissed as a liability to the party whose leaders are trying desperately hard to distance themselves from him.

Posted in News | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,097 other followers