We did not advise Yaw Shin Leong to 'stay silent' in 2012: WP's Low, Sylvia

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·Assistant News Editor
·3-min read
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  • Low Thia Khiang
    Singaporean politician
  • Yaw Shin Leong
    Singaporean businessman
  • Sylvia Lim
    Singaporean politician
  • Pritam Singh
    Singaporean politician
Former Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang and WP chairperson Sylvia Lim seen outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday (16 October). (PHOTO: Wan Ting Koh / Yahoo News Singapore)
Former Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang and WP chairperson Sylvia Lim seen outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday, 16 October 2018. (PHOTO: Wan Ting Koh / Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Former Workers' Party (WP) chief Low Thia Khiang and party chair Sylvia Lim have stated that they did not advise former Hougang Member of Parliament (MP) Yaw Shin Leong to "stay silent" on the allegations made about him in 2012.

"Mr Low and Ms Lim categorically state that they did not advise Mr Yaw to stay silent. In fact, he was summoned to appear before the Workers' Party CEC (central executive committee) to account for the matter, but chose not to do so," said the party's media chair Leon Perera on Tuesday (7 December). 

Perera's statement alluded to a Facebook post on Monday by Amos Rao, an alias used by Yaw. "When the allegations surfaced, I immediately accounted to both WP (then) secretary-general Low Thia Khiang and chairman Sylvia Lim. And I was advised to stay silent," said the disgraced politician, who was removed from his Hougang MP position after being accused of personal indiscretions. 

Yaw, whose expulsion from the party in 2012 led to a by-election in Hougang, further claimed that he had placed party before self by keeping silent and resigning from the WP 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 wrote in his Facebook post

Alluding to his expulsion from the party for "breaking the faith, trust and expectations of the party and people", Yaw added, "I am okay with this narrative, but I am not okay with what Pritam said, for I did account myself."

Yaw was responding to remarks by WP chief Pritam Singh, who had said in a press conference last Thursday that Yaw did not account himself to the party after the allegations were made. 

"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 it was unreasonable conduct and this was not acceptable. And so, the party took the decision to fire him, to sack him," Pritam had said during the press conference.

Singapore's leading opposition party is currently dealing with the fallout from former Sengkang MP Raeesah Khan's resignation after she admitted that she had lied to Parliament about accompanying an alleged rape victim to make a police report, where the victim was supposedly mistreated by police.

The party leadership admitted last Thursday that it had known about Raeesah's "untruth" a week after she falsified the account in an August speech to Parliament. In her testimony before the Committee of Privileges (COP), the 27-year-old claimed that party leaders had urged her to maintain the lie

The WP has said that it will respond to Raeesah's claims in due course, noting that the COP's interim report was released without having taken the evidence of WP leaders. “The Leader of the Opposition, Mr Pritam Singh, had made it clear on 2 December, that he is prepared to give evidence before the Committee of Privileges,” said the WP.

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