WP’s Low Thia Khiang allegedly advised former disgraced member to stay silent

Former Workers’ Party (WP) Member of Parliament (MP) Yaw Shin Leong has refuted a statement made by the party’s chief Pritam Singh last week that he was dismissed from the opposition party in 2012 — over allegations of having an extramarital affair — because he did not hold himself accountable to both the party and the public.

Yaw said in a Facebook post on Monday (Dec 6), written under the alias “Amos Rao”, that Pritam’s assertion was not true.

Pritam had brought up the 2012 incident last Thursday during a press conference regarding former WP MP Raeesah Khan’s resignation from the party on Nov 30, after she confessed that she had lied in Parliament during a speech she gave in August.

Writing on Facebook, Yaw said that even before the allegations had surfaced, he had “accounted the situation candidly” to the party’s then-secretary general, Low Thia Khiang.

And when the allegations surfaced, he “immediately accounted” to both Low and party chairman Sylvia Lim.

“I was advised to stay silent,” said Yaw.

Yaw said he “placed party before self” and in order to “minimise the fallout”, he kept silent as well as resigned from the party’s central executive committee (CEC).

“My intention was to give WP CEC a blank cheque to paint the narrative required. To facilitate the process, I travelled out of Singapore voluntarily,” he said.

Nevertheless, Yaw said he was expelled from the party on Feb 14, 2012 for “breaking the faith, trust and expectations of the party and people”.

“I am okay with this narrative, but I am not okay with what Pritam said, for I did account myself.”

In his comments last Thursday, Pritam admitted that party leaders knew that Ms Raeesah, a former Sengkang Group Representation Constituency MP, had lied a week after she delivered her parliamentary speech — nearly three months before she set the record straight in Parliament, and her subsequent resignation.

A reporter noted that Yaw was dismissed within a month of the allegations of the affair surfacing, and asked Pritam why there was this “difference in time frame”.

In response, Pritam said that Ms Khan’s actions had occurred in Parliament, and once the record had been “set right”, the party needed to assess where it stood with regards to her conduct.

“There were a number of things that we wanted to do, and we did not feel that we had to rush that process. She is an MP after all, and it was important that natural justice took its course,” he said.

On Yaw, he said that the man “did not account himself” to the party after the allegations against him were made.

“He did not address the media, he did not address the party,” said Pritam.

“The party was willing to give him some space to get himself organised, but this just went on, and it went on to a point where this was just unreasonable conduct.”

Pritam said this was “not acceptable” and the party took the decision to fire Yaw.

Yaw was elected MP for the Hougang Single Member Constituency in the 2011 General Election.

In January 2012, allegations of his affair with a married woman emerged.

Yaw told the media then that he would not be commenting on the rumours.

On Feb 15 that year, the party announced Yaw’s expulsion, and this triggered a by-election which saw WP member Png Eng Huat taking over Yaw’s position as the MP for Hougang.

Yaw said in his Facebook post on Monday that he was “not entertaining any media queries and will leave (the matter) as it is”.

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