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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.


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Workers Party leadership divided over move to expel Yaw Shin Leong from the party

Posted by temasektimes on February 16, 2012

The Workers Party leadership was divided over whether to expel Hougang MP Yaw Shin Leong from the party as he refused time and again to meet them to address the allegations surrounding his personal life, said a party insider, a fact admitted by party Chairman Sylvia Lim when she revealed at the press conference yesterday that the decision to sack Mr Yaw was ‘not unanimous’.

When rumors about Mr Yaw’s alleged extra-marital affairs first surfaced on the internet, party leaders initially dismissed them as baseless rumors out to smear his character and closed ranks around him.

“There was a general consensus then that there is no need to reply to them (the rumors) as they seemed too far-fetched to be true. A directive was sent to all party members to keep mum and not speak to the media,” our informant said.

When pressed by the media, WP Chief Mr Low replied:

“You said yourself that these are rumours, why are you still asking me?” 

It transpired that Mr Yaw was invited to attend a CEC meeting to explain himself before the news was publicized by the mainstream media, but he did not turn up.

The straw which broke the camel’s back came when a Chinese tabloid published damaging allegations of Mr Yaw visiting a female neighbor’s home when her husband was away and her admission that she had an affair with him.

“That’s when some senior leaders start to realize the gravity of the situation – that Shin Leong would drag the entire party down with him if the rumors were not rebuked immediately.”

Still, the party struggled to deal with the crisis swiftly as Mr Yaw has considerable influence and support in the party. He joined WP in 2001 and was groomed by Mr Low for six years to take over him at Hougang. It is not a surprise that Mr Yaw won Hougang with 64.8 percent of the votes, higher than Mr Low’s percentage in 2006 as he was genuinely popular on the ground.

Despite some party members reaching out to speak to Mr Yaw in private, he chose to remain silent, thereby raising suspicions that there may be some element of truth in the allegations after all. To compound matters, there were rumors of a looming rebellion in its divided ranks with one senior leader threatening to resign if the party continues to ignore public sentiments.

As the rumors continue to spread uncontrollably like wild fire and tarnishing the party’s image in the process, the WP leadership decided to issue a show clause letter to Mr Yaw on Tuesday to explain himself to the CEC or risked being expelled. Mr Yaw did not turn up and he was expelled the very next day.

While acknowledging that public trust and support may be eroded from the PR fallout, the WP leadership is quietly confident of retaining Hougang.

“Hougang is a WP stronghold. No matter who WP fields in Hougang, residents will still support out of respect for Mr Low.”

Mr Low’s popularity was evident when he was greeted with choruses of support from Hougang residents last night as he returned to the constituency which first elected him to parliament more than 20 years ago.

Despite the initial hiccups, intra-party discipline and unity remain largely intact from the way WP had handled the saga by imposing a media blackout from the beginning to the eventual expulsion of Mr Yaw. Every member toed the same official line with nobody deviating from it and making contradicting statements to the press.

Though some leaders may have reservations about sacking Mr Yaw, they eventually unite around the party’s collective decision to do so. While popular among the young members, Mr Yaw’s departure is unlikely to trigger a mass exodus from the party like what happened in 2001 when party stalwart Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam left.

The debacle may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Workers Party as it shows Singaporeans that it can be trusted to be accountable to them. As for Mr Yaw, it marks a spectacular fall from the pinnacle of his political career which saw him winning Hougang in ease and being next in line to succeed Mr Low.

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Breaking News: Yaw Shin Leong expelled from Workers Party; by-election looms for Hougang

Posted by temasektimes on February 15, 2012

Workers Party MP Yaw Shin Leong has been expelled from the Workers Party, said WP Chairman Sylvia Lim at a press conference today. Mr Yaw has been embroiled in an online storm of late over alleged extra-marital affairs with a few women which has tarnished the image of the party.

“We apologise for having to put the people of Hougang through a by-election,” she said in a stern voice to a shocked audience.

She added it is a difficult decision which has to be taken as “he has broken the faith and trust of the party and the people.”

According to party insiders, the decision was taken after an emergency meeting called last night with a few CEC members exerting “great pressure” on WP Secretary-General Low Thia Kiang to sack his protege.

A visibly disappointed Mr Low reprimanded Mr Yaw for being irresponsible in not addressing rumors, stressing that MPs must set an example for the people.

Mr Yaw joined the Workers Party in 2001 and was groomed by Mr Low to take over his seat of Hougang. He was widely regarded as the natural successor to Mr Low when the latter retires from politics.

The move by WP comes after weeks of controversy enshrouding Mr Yaw after his alleged affair with a party member was reported by a local blog with the mainstream media then going on a rampage to dig out his “liaisons” with other women including a married neighbor from China who has been helping him to translate his parliamentary speeches.

Despite the extensive negative media publicity, Mr Yaw has adamantly refused to refute the damaging allegations made against him. His abrupt resignation from the WP leadership council last week only fueled more speculations that there may be an element of truth in the allegations after all.

While party leaders had remained tight-lipped over the ongoing debacle, their patience finally ran out with Mr Yaw’s refusal to explain himself to the party.

In his latest comment on the saga after WP dinner in Hougang last Saturday, Mr Yaw said he would not respond even if there are “six, seven or eight women coming forward accuse him of having affairs with them.”

Under Singapore’s parliamentary rules, a MP must vacate his/her seat if he resigns or is sacked from his/her party. Mr Yaw won Hougang in the 2011 General Election by 64 percent of the votes, trouncing his opponent Desmond Choo from the PAP.


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