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
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