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Changi Prison enthusiast Jolovan Wham heir apparent to million-dollar empire?

Feb 27, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership

Civil rights activist and budding Changi Prison enthusiast Jolovan Wham is allegedly the son of jewelry trader Johnny Wham and Gina Wham, both of whom founded popular jewelry chain Goldheart in 1974.

According to local tabloid Singapore Ink and a 2018 post on Sammyboyforum, Jolovan Wham's dad is now runs a retail jewelry business Platim Jewelry located at Orchard Towers. In the same building, the father also ownes Jamboree Bar and Cafe, a high-end bar catering to the local expat community.

Wham is no stranger to civil disobedience in Singapore.

Wham was recently fined S$8,000 on Monday (Feb 15) for organising an illegal public assembly on an MRT train in 2017. He told the court he intends to pay $2,500 for the charge of refusing to sign the statement he gave to the police but will go to jail - for 22 days - in lieu of paying the fines.

In 2019, Wham was fined $3,200 for organising a public assembly without permit in 2016 and for refusing to sign a statement he gave to the police on the case. He appealed but lost, then chose jail - 16 days - instead of paying the fine.

In the same year, Wham was fined S$5,000 for contempt of court for publishing a Facebook post in 2018 alleging that Malaysia's judges were more independent than Singapore's in cases with political implications.

He appealed later but lost. Lee Hsien Yang, the brother of Singapore's current Prime Minister, had put up a S$20,000 security deposit for Wham's appeal but ultimately had it forfeited when the appeal was quashed in February this year.

Wham chose jail again - 7 days - instead of paying the fine.

With rising costs of living and the volatility of Singapore's economic landscape, not many have the privilege to protest and risk having a black mark on their record that may prevent them from having a stable career.

But that's not something for Wham to worry about apparently.

Op-ed by Ahmad & Lup Cheong

PSP's Tan Cheng Bock voted out as Sec-Gen after alleged party infighting

Apr 01, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership

Former Republic of Singapore Air Force colonel Francis Yuen has been appointed secretary-general of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), taking over from party founder Tan Cheng Bock.

Dr Tan, 80, has become party chairman. This was announced by the PSP on Thursday (April 1), after its central executive committee (CEC) met on Wednesday.

In a Facebook post, PSP Non-Constituency MP Leong Mun Wai said Mr Yuen was the committee's unanimous choice to "lead PSP to the next level".

"Francis will lead and galvanise the party while (Dr Tan) concentrates on strengthening external support for PSP," he wrote.

Chairman role is basically a glorified flower pot

In many organisations around the world, the Secretary-General position has the authority to make all the decisions of running the organisation - or party. The Chairman generally does not have any more power pe se than any other voting member of the Executive Committee, except the power to run board meetings.

Comparatively, the Secretary-General is like the Chief Executive Officer of the company.

For example, the People's Action Party chairman is Gan Kim Yong while the Secretary-General is Lee Hsien Loong.

Party infighting?

The change comes amid reports of a rift in the party. An online news site, the RedWire Times, said in March that some party cadres have demanded for Dr Tan to step down as secretary-general, and allow for "more talented rising stars" to take over.

Commenting on the Redwire Times report, PSP member Kumaran Pillai said the new CEC line-up is in no way a reflection of any disagreement over the leadership of the party. Rather, Mr Yuen assuming the secretary-general role is part of a planned transition, he added.

“When Dr Tan started the party, he said he will mentor someone younger, and he hasn’t deviated from his original mission. People shouldn’t be reading too much into it.”

Mr Pillai added that he had a long dialogue with the party cadre who was quoted anonymously by Redwire Times as saying that some cadres are mustering support to demand for Dr Tan to step down from his post.

“His intention is not to stage a coup within the party. I think people have misinterpreted it and misunderstood what he said, sometimes it's like playing broken telephone, you say one thing and by the time you get to the last person, the whole story gets distorted along the way... there’s no infighting, there's no malice,” he said.

In other words, the flower pot needs watering.