Yaw Shin Leong was today expelled from the Workers party. His expulsion is an unfortunate event.
Yaw was a rising star. According to the WP statement, the 35 year old Shin Leong had been a core member of the Party leadership for more than
10 years, and had made significant and unique contributions towards WP's
growth. In the recent elections, Yaw rode the WP wave to win 64.8% of the votes in Hougang, the highest of all the opposition. There is no doubt that Yaw would continue to grow to become an anchor member of the WP in the years to come as MP of the workers party stronghold in Hougang, and given the obvious talent that he had in politics. Alas, that was not to be.
While the allegations remain allegations in the sense that no conclusive evidence has been found to validate the accusations of infidelity against Yaw, it doesn't take a genius to put two and two together to conclude that the allegations are true, for otherwise why would Yaw suddenly resign from the WP leadership and through his evasive behaviour, risk being expelled, in the process losing all that he has worked several years for.
Abraham Lincoln once said, "If you want to test a man's character, give him power." Yaw's ascension to power was the true test of his character and unfortunately, he succumbed to the sexual temptation that came his way for I am sure he had become sexually irresistible to females once he took on the mantle as MP for Hougang SMC. But what is surprising is the way he dealt with the news reports and the rumours surrounding his affairs, and his refusal to come clean on the issue and deal with it firmly and decisively. His constant no shows and evasiveness towards the media only served to raise more questions and suspicions and took a toll on the reputation of the WP while the issue was still hanging in limbo.
If Yaw's philandering was a grave mistake, then his choice to try to sweep things under the carpet was a fatal error, for it revealed Yaw's true character under adversity and forced the WP to take a stand on his evasive and irresponsible behaviour.
I can only imagine how disappointed and painful the decision was for Mr Low Thia Khiang, to see his up and coming protege be expelled from the party. But on its decision, I commend the WP on taking a stand and making this difficult decision. It shows that the WP is willing to stick to its principle and put its money where its mouth is, despite throwing its grip over Hougang SMC into uncertainty and risking losing that seat in parliament. Yaw's folly has been fully matched by the WP's principled stand and I am sure Hougang residents will recognise this and return the new WP candidate to parliament.
As for Yaw, I can only hope that he realises the gravity of his behaviour and chooses to turn over a new leaf. If he chooses to pick himself up and learn from this mistake, there may still be a chance for him to return to politics and serve Singapore the way he should be doing.