Singapore: Let Political Maturity Prevail
16 Feb 2012, Singapore - Think Centre (TC), Singapore's oldest political association, expresses its regret over the expulsion of Workers' Party (WP) MP Yaw Shin Leong and stands in solidarity with the people of Hougang SMC.
At a press conference yesterday afternoon by the WP, its leadership finally commented on the alleged indiscretions of Yaw and announced its decision to expel him on grounds of transparency and accountability to the party, people of Hougang and country. Unlike recent cases of senior civil servants under investigation for professional misconduct, fraud and personal indiscretions, Yaw is not guilty of any crime. Singapore already repealed Section 498 on private affairs sometime ago and as such adultery is not a crime but remains ground for divorce. The MP, whether elected, appointed or nominated, from the ruling or opposition parties, is also a human being not without flaws. TC extends our deepest appreciation to Mr Yaw for 15 years of passion, dedication and service to the party, the opposition and the people.
TC maintains that politicians are elected not just on the basis of their ability to serve the needs of the people, but as their representative voice in Parliament. As such, the comments of the Prime Minister and the National Development Minister that voters in Hougang have been "misled" and "let down" are uncalled for and smacks of political brinksmanship. Instead, TC calls on all Singaporeans to respect Hougang voters who had elected the WP with more then 64 percent of valid votes in GE 2011.
The people of Hougang deserve the right to make a choice as to whether they want another WP MP to serve their needs, or whether WP has failed as a party to be accountable and transparent, and if as such should be given the boot.
TC respects the political commitment and party discipline of WP for transparency and accountability even though its leadership could have better managed their crisis communications to keep the public informed.
Priority should now be re-focused on national issues in light of the 2012 Budget statement on 17 February. The Singaporean electorate are bracing for difficult times ahead with economic uncertainty, rising costs and income inequalities. WP must now demonstrate its parliamentary capacity and commitment to fight for adequate and effective measures to ensure decent jobs, social protection, and fairer distribution of wealth for all Singaporeans.
Let political maturity prevail, let's move on.