Yaw: I won't appeal expulsion

SINGAPORE - Expelled Workers' Party (WP) member Yaw Shin Leong has written to Parliament saying that he will not appeal against his expulsion from the party.

The Clerk of Parliament had received his letter on Monday, revealed a press statement issued yesterday by Speaker Michael Palmer.

At the sitting of Parliament last Friday, Mr Palmer informed Members of Parliament (MPs) that the decision on the status of Mr Yaw's seat would be taken when the Clerk was informed as to whether Mr Yaw would be appealing against or challenging his expulsion from WP.

He was given until tomorrow to respond.

Since Mr Yaw is not contesting the expulsion, the seat of the Member for Hougang is considered vacant from Feb 14, the date he was expelled from WP, said the statement.

Mr Palmer stated that he will be making a formal announcement about the vacancy to the House at its next sitting on Tuesday. Mr Yaw was sacked from WP for not coming clean on his alleged extramarital affairs.

He was said to have been involved with a married party colleague and a tuition teacher from China. He had been given several opportunities to explain himself, said WP chairman Sylvia Lim last week, but had not done so.

He resigned as the party's treasurer on Feb 7 and Non-Constituency MP Yee Jenn Jong took over the position.

On Valentine's Day, the party held a meeting to deliberate on the matter but Mr Yaw did not turn up. The central executive council then announced its decision to expel him from the party in a hastily called media briefing the next day.

By then, he had already switched off his mobile phone and was uncontactable, even to WP members. He is reported to have left Singapore.

Ms Lim and the party's secretary-general, Mr Low Thia Khiang, told the press then that they believed it was only fair that Hougang residents had a chance to re-elect their MP. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has yet to call a by-election.

In the meantime, Meet-the- People sessions in Hougang are being chaired by other party MPs. Town-council services continue to be provided under the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council.

Dr Chee Soon Juan, secretary-general of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), reiterated yesterday that it would not be contesting in a by-election in Hougang.

"It is our primary concern that Hougang remains in the hands of the opposition," he said on the sidelines of SDP's press conference on its Shadow Budget.

Among other suggestions, the 28-page SDP Shadow Budget proposed three funds to be set up under Spring Singapore.

These are to assist inventors; to help young entrepreneurs develop goods and services; and to enable small and medium-sized enterprises to raise productivity and improve technology.


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