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How would Hoh Kah Leong interpret Goh Chok Tong's resignation after being elected in GE 1991?

February 21
00:38 2012

the following is Mr Low Thia Khiang’s response to Forum letter on Lianhe Zaobao. 刘程强答覆早报读者来信

 

致:联合早报交流版主编

感谢何家良君今天在联合早报交流站所发表《我对饶欣龙事件的解读》,关心工人党,认为工人党的决定是仓促和草率的。

首先,工人党在传媒报道有关谣言到决定开除饶欣龙,接近一个月的时间。饶欣龙始终不出来表态,也拒绝向中央执委解释。工人党在别无选择之下,依据工人党党章第22(a)条开除他,何来仓促草率?

第二,虽然我和饶欣龙共事多年,但对于报章对他的指控,我和党选举委员会成员之前都毫不知情。如我在记者招待会上所说,“工人党有一套遴选候选人的制度,我跟饶欣龙的关系基本上是在党工作上的关系”。(二月十六日,早报第四页) 我虽然对饶欣龙的背景有所认识,也见过他的家人和出席他两段婚姻的典礼,但我无法也无权力调查个人的隐私和私生活。我是国会议员,不是私家侦探!何家良君说我应该对饶欣龙事件负责,请问我应该怎么负责?

第三,我同意国会选举是严肃的事,且又是“耗费大量财力、人力和物力的事”。如果这次工人党为了饶欣龙不负责任、丧失公信力而开除他,因此造成补选,是“滥用此民主制度的行径”;在1992年,当时的吴作栋总理自动辞职,造成马林百列集选区补选。请问何家良君对身为一国总理在1991年大选中选後辞去国会议席来举行补选又有何解读呢?

刘程强
工人党秘书长,阿裕尼集选区国会议员

备注:
依据新明日报2012年2月20日的报导透露,作者何家良就是前高级政务次长。


Translated Text of the letter to Lianhe Zaobao dated 18 Feb 2012
To: The Editor of the Lianhe Zaobao Forum Page

I thank Mr He Jialiang for his Zaobao forum letter (“My interpretation of the matters regarding Yaw Shin Leong”, 18 Feb 2012), showing his concern for the Workers’ Party (WP). Mr He was of the opinion that the WP’s decision was a rash and hurried one.

Firstly, almost a month had passed between the first media allegations and the WP’s decision to expel Mr Yaw Shin Leong. Mr Yaw continued to remain silent on the matter, and refused to account to the WP Central Executive Council (CEC). The WP had no choice but to invoke clause 22(a) of the WP Constitution to expel him. In what way was this decision rash and hurried?

Secondly, although I have worked with Mr Yaw for many years, the members of the Party’s election committee and I had no knowledge of the allegations about him. As I said during the media conference, “The Workers’ Party has a system to select its candidates, and my relationship with Mr Yaw is basically a working relationship within the Party.” (16 Feb 2012, Zaobao page 4.) Although I know Mr Yaw’s background, have met his family, and attended the wedding ceremonies of his two marriages, I have neither the means nor the right to investigate his private matters and private life. I am a Member of Parliament, not a private investigator! Mr He said that I should take responsibility for the matters regarding Mr Yaw. May I know how he thinks I should take responsibility?

Thirdly, I agree that an election is a serious matter, and it “expends a large amount of money, manpower and resources”. If the WP has “abused the democratic system” by causing a by-election, as a result of expelling Mr Yaw due to his failure to account to the Party and loss of public trust, then consider the events of 1992, when the then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong voluntarily resigned and caused a by-election in Marine Parade GRC. May I ask Mr He how would he interpret the matter of a Prime Minister resigning from his Parliamentary seat after being elected in the 1991 General Elections to trigger a by-election?

Low Thia Khiang
Secretary-General, Workers’ Party
MP for Aljunied GRC


Note: It was later revealed in Shin Min Daily News report on 20 Feb 2012, that the writer He Jialiang is the former Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Ho Kah Leong

 

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