SMC Hougang By-Election?


The Workers’ Party has expelled Yaw Shin Leong from the party with immediate effect.

After nearly 3 weeks of infidelity and scandalous rumors swirling around their Hougang MP Yaw Shin Leong online and offline, WP has decided to act by doing the right thing. They have sacked him from the party with immediate effect.

Why it took such a long time? Surely such an important matter needed thorough investigation and careful consideration. Since those rumors surfaced, both WP and Yaw kept quiet refusing to comment.

The cyber world kept speculating on those rumours with comments for or against them. Even one prominent blogger nearly got into trouble when he sidetracked.

Out of a sudden, WP called for a press conference presumably to clarify or answer to those rumours. Never did we expect that it’s an abrupt tersely worded statement announcing the sacking of its MP from the party. It certainly created an effect of shock and awe.

The whole cyber world in Sg was caught by surprise. Tweets and FB posts flew and spread with lightning speed.

Brilliant masterstroke !

Actually WP’s image and standing was at all time low. With that one fell stroke, it upped its ante and salvaged its flagging image. It has recovered lost ground and soared like the proverbial Phoenix to its high moral ground of accountability and transparency. They believe in setting high standards for themselves as role models.

“A shrewd political move.” Link

That was the response by Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Eugene Tan on the Workers’ Party’s (WP) call for a by-election at Hougang SMC.

“WP has taken, boldly, the moral high ground,” he said of the party expelling Hougang MP Yaw Shin Leong who served in the party leadership for close to ten years.

“The party will reap dividends from this first-mover advantage action – in the short-term and in the long-term. They are setting high standards for themselves, and the move will go down well with the ground, and with Hougang voters,” added Tan, who is an assistant law professor at Singapore Management University.

By sacrificing a loyal long time protege of Sec Gen Low TK, WP aims to be THE opposition party or alternative party in the long term.

Excellent Tour De Force !

WP says let the citizens of Hougang decide if they still want them. The residents will be given a choice in a by election. Yaw can’t be an MP if he is expelled from the WP.

The ball is now in the PAP’s court. They will or will not call for a by election is anybody’s guess. Maybe they were also caught by this surprise move. They did not expect WP could just chop Yaw off to cut losses and boost their aura.

The question on everyone’s mind is whether it’s free for all? Since this will be a by election, will the other parties join in the fray instead of waiting till 2016? Every aspiring politician certainly will want to give it a shot. Can the WP claim exclusiveness? Can WP deny others a shot at MPship?

Next question. Is the PAP prepared for this by election? It’s so sudden and unexpected. They must be thinking down the road in 4 to 5 yrs’ time. Who would have expected such a sudden change? What if they field our popular scholarly gentleman George Yeo? What if Yaw decides to stand as an independent? After all, he is a veteran having served and worked the ground in Hougang for nearly 10 yrs.

We know George Yeo is still quite popular with the citizens. When he was defeated in Aljunied GRC, there were calls for him to stand as a presidential candidate. He still has got a big following on Facebook including me. He is admired for his intellectual prowess and contributions to Singapore including me. Hougang voters will be in a dilemma!

I lived in Hougang from 1998 to 2008. My family and I voted WP’s Low TK on 2 elections. If I were to choose between George Yeo and another WP candidate now, it’s going to be headache for me. Difficult decision indeed.

If the PAP counters by sending George Yeo over to Hougang, it may be WP’s “Waterloo” especially if those opposition figures behave like those stupid crabs trying to outdo each other!

One thing for sure, over the next few weeks or months, there will be lots of speculation, analysis and comments on this hot topic. Until a by election is called by the PM, we will have to contend with the never ending buzz generated.

The waiting game has just begun. The excitement and buzz will build up to a crescendo and climax on the by election day. It’s looking like the mother of all elections even though it’s only a by election in Hougang. It surely going to look like more than a three-cornered fight. In the end, PAP will just pick up the pieces.

We will just wait and see.

Read Running out of Patience here.

Read related article here.


About Gintai_昇泰

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of Singapore. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I write for pleasure. I also write mainly for my family and friends.
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20 Responses to SMC Hougang By-Election?

  1. Mike Loh says:

    Frankly, this came a little late; but better late than never I suppose. However, I would not go so far as to quickly shoot from my hip and declare that WP has let people down or have misled voters – especially when I don’t have the facts. Saying so is making political capital out of others’ mistakes or misfortune. It is gutter politics and a classic example of schadenfreude at its worst.

    • Dr Mike,
      Exactly! You use “schadenfreude” which is of German origin. If it is translated into Chinese the impact is greater.
      幸 灾 乐 祸 (xìng zāi lè huò) which means gloat at others’ misfortunes.
      This post clearly enunciates that attitude you describe in that word.
      They think they are smart by throwing throws at your opponents when they did the honorable thing. They think they can score more points and mileage of it. They think we are so daft as to believe them.

      Those idiots need to show better creativity than just Kkaw Bei Khaw bu!

  2. patriot says:

    George Yeo by by election at Hougang? Me dont think so, he was not voted in and became a quitter almost immediate after losing the battle.

    It true that WP has made a proper move, more than a strategic move. A blemish is a blemish and
    even a good correction or amend does not bring anything to its’ original wholesomeness.

    However, concur with your conclusion that PAP will ‘pick up’ the pieces and reclaim the Constituency. The Man who lost to Yaw has stay to this day and he will stay put as the Next Member Of Parliament for Hougang. The rest will be decided in 2016.


    • Yelp. Hope they don’t put George Yeo there. Let’s hope that PAP will not pick up the pieces. I loathe this will happen –
      (yù bàng xiāng zhēng,yú wēng dé lì)
      The fisherman will benefit at the end of the day!

  3. patriot says:

    (yù bàng xiāng zhēng,yú wēng dé lì)

    Yes, tis is likely to happen.

    Can the other Alternative Parties and
    Independent Candidates let WP to
    vie for Hougang with PAP as the only


    • It’s the 1st time a serving MP newly elected is sacked! Never happened before. It will also be the 1st time we may witness 5 or 7 candidates vying for this coveted vacant post! They just cant wait till 2016 cuz its quite a long time away. Some of the popular ones ie TanJS, Nicole Seah, Benjamin P, Hazel Poh etc etc just to name a few may wish to try their luck! $15K per mth plus prestige and a place in history. Who doesn’t want?

      There are rumors that Ong YK may go there. It may not Desmond after all. We will nvr know. It’s up to the PM now.

  4. YW says:

    大义灭亲。really well played by the WP.

    My take on the whole YSL issue:
    1) Yaw was a protege, but not the only one. The good work was done with Low, probably any WP candidate would have held the fort.
    2) If he was the ‘top disciple’, culling him would demonstrate even higher moral standards. that noone is kept in the organisation for past merit and seniority if they fail to meet standards, or cross the line.

  5. YW says:


  6. YW says:

    hmmm not sure why the chinese characters not displaying correctly.

    • 大义灭亲
      to place righteousness before family (idiom); ready to punish one’s own family if justice demands it!

      From what I read – Low TK was quite reluctant to sacrifice YSL. He was under pressure from the rest to take such drastic action. It was decisive and unexpected. Even MIWs were shocked.

      They can’t delay the by election for too long. It need to be held sooner or later. It will be very interesting to watch developments from now onwards. It could be post GE report card on both sides. The whole country will focus on this little SMC.

      Thks for your comments.

  7. Super S says:

    Yes, it’s a good move by WP and the PAP leaders opened their mouths too soon and realised they have scored a own goal. The PM’s call to come clean is going to hound him. Now the people will always ask the government to walk the talk and came clean. If someone were to ask the PM, did Shnamugam have an affair, was that the reason for the divorce, what were the reasons for the divorce. Well the PM cannot say it’s a private matter for Mr Khaw has said that there is no diffrence between private and public when you enter politics. To make matters worst, if he delays the by election he will lose face and indirectly admit that he is not confident of the people support and his party’s own capabilities

    • Yes. We are all waiting eagerly for them to set the date for the by election. Can he keep procrastinating? Surely, he must call for a by election if he doesn’t want to leave HG residents in the “lurch”? That is what he accused WP – of letting HG residents in the lurch. Now it’s the time for them to claim back HG and look after them well. At least WP is responsible enug to get other WP MPs to stand in and contd to meet the residents! They didn’t forget abt HG. In their hearts, HG will always be special to WP. That’s their power base. WP owes HG their success.

  8. My take says:

    There should be no room for dilemma if PAP field GY, the reason is Simple, GY is just the bait of the cruel fisherman (PAP), YOU BITE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Moral of the story, good for a good angler and not the unkind one regardless of what food they offer.

    • Let’s hope that GY is not fielded. Anyway he already declared he quit politics. Or many may fall for the bait.
      Thks for your comments.

  9. Hoosiers says:


    They can bring on Ong Ye Kung or George Yeo for that matter, WP will prevail with a even larger majority and whoever try to join in the fray will lose his deposit just like Desmond Lim..

    Gonna be at Maplewood Park tonight for CSM Paya Lebar Ward dinner!!

  10. 哈哈哈! 好一个諸葛亮揮淚斬馬謖,收復民心,並以攻為守! 好说!好说!

    Prime Minister Zhuge Liang was crying with tears all over his face when he beheaded his favourite long time loyal general “馬謖” Ma Su in front of all of the soldiers! The general did not follow his orders. He deviated from the original plan and led to defeat in a battle. The troops suffered heavy losses as a result.

    That general “馬謖” agreed to be beheaded. He admitted his fault – unlike YSL gone MIA! He got no guts to stand up to the ppl! Read here The condemned General only pleaded with the PM to take care of his family.

    PM Zhuge Liang took over the dead General’s children and adopted them as his children and treated his family as if his own! That is the legend which happened about 1,800 yrs ago during those lawless days of the three kingdoms.

    History has repeated itself here in WP – Sg. If its in ancient China, YSL would have been “beheaded!”

  11. patriot says:


    a kopi khaki told me that ancient history and value
    have no purpose in the modern world. And me was
    just talking about living in the 60s.

    The new mantra is; respect my private life and
    personal freedom. Similarly, the rulers will tell the
    people, they are given the mandate by them(the
    people) to rule and run the country as they deem
    fit or like.

    Democracy and freedom are not rights to do
    anything one wishes, it is to provide social justice
    in ones’ deed.


  12. Hoosiers says:

    Mr Low is no shoo-in wannabe politician like the MIWs.
    As a graduate in Chinese studies, he must be profoundly adept to apply and avoid the pitfalls in the politics of Chinese History in our present context..

    I think he has done well in overcoming each crisis so far..

    • Agree. Low TK has gone thru much trials and tribulations. He has taken enug knocks and humiliation by the MIWs! He has gained much and as a veteran shrewd politician, he will prevail! His name in history is assured.

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