While some Singaporeans may be forgiving of disgraced ex-WP MP Yaw Shin Leong’s alleged extra-marital affairs with his party members, most are disappointed with him for ‘running away’ without bringing a proper disclosure to the saga.
Mr Yaw reportedly left Singapore on the morning of 15 February, hours before he was unceremoniously expelled from his party at a press conference. He was last spotted at Changi Airport Terminal 1 alone carrying a luggage bag.
Sources close to Mr Yaw told the media that he had planned his ‘exit’ from Singapore weeks ago when rumors about his infidelity first surfaced on the internet and he would not be back in Singapore for the near future.
Mr Yaw has been uncontactable since then as journalists continued to hound his hapless wife Lau Wang Lin for his whereabouts. His personal blog and Facebook page have also been taken down.
In an interview conducted by Yahoo News, most Singaporeans felt that Yaw’s actions did not set a good example for the public.
54 year old Nora Osman said:
“It doesn’t matter if you’re from Workers Party or PAP, you have to show a good example to the public. He [Yaw] shouldn’t just go away like that. Things have been done, he can’t run away from the problem, so he should just face the music and apologise.”
Wilson Goh commented on Yahoo News:
“A respectable MP must be exemplary. A person that is irresponsible to his family will not be trusted to lead and care for a larger people, Sad to say, his recent act of abandoning without even a word is disappointing. Admit and resign should be the right way. WP also need to put their house in order. Just imagine,– will you now worry if your wife or sister join the WP party? political considerations aside.”
According to local Chinese tabloids, Mr Yaw was allegedly involved with two party members and a tuition teacher from mainland China who was his neighbor. The latter had admitted that she had a ‘very short’ affair with Mr Yaw when helping translate his parliamentary speeches, the last of which was aired in parliament on 17 January this year.
Chow felt Mr Yaw lacks the values needed for a MP:
“One who can’t serve his family, can’t serve his country well. Many deeper implications stem from his behavior.One will question the man’s values and character and if he fits to be an MP whom people place their trust in. Unfortunately his behavior of betrayal (to his wife) has ruin his credibility as a trustable person. Giving in to temptation reveals lack of self control. Womanising 3 women signals tendency to abuse fame and power. Not answering to this in a dignified manner shows a lacking of courage, responsibilty and accountability. All of these are very important values for a person represented to serve his people.”
However, one netizen said he is able to empathize with Mr Yaw’s situation. BK wrote:
“Honestly speaking, as a public figure, having his “sordid affairs” exposed nationwide, as a chinese, his “punishment” as a “shameful figure” is pretty bad so he has to leave the country for a while, if its embezzlement, CBI case then he should not have or cannot leave the country. Can u imagine him walking around town and having people pointing fingers and giggle, blah, blah… “DOM”. “lecher”. “adulterer”… , i can totally understand why he has to skip town to save “face”….”
In the meantime, WP leaders continued to distance themselves away from Mr Yaw and shift all the blame to him while leaving many questions still unanswered about the way they handled the scandal.