The pioneers of Hougang

~ By Herman Yzelman ~

I am 60 years old now and watching this by-election brings me memories of my involvement with Hougang from 1988 to 1994. I have retired from politics since and now I lead a private and quiet life. I was inspired by Mr J. B Jeyaretnam’s political philosophy and speeches and hence was drawn to his party. The years that I spent with WP, though not so long, was crucial and pivotal to the rise of WP in Hougang in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.  

My key role with WP was to come up with a strategy for Hougang. Back in 1989, Hougang was a PAP stronghold, but however, with JBJ becoming a political force in Singapore, there were pockets of supporters in Hougang, Paya Lebar, Punggol, Chengsan and Eunos who were helping us with our ground operations.

Regrettably, some of my colleagues in WP have passed away – the late Mr. Anuar bin Mohd Ali, Mr. Mariappan and Mr Justus Marian have made huge contributions to the initial success of WP in Hougang and I would like convey to their families that they have my deepest respect and appreciation. To my other peers in WP, I am proud that you have built on our work and success.

Below is the first page of the minutes of meeting of the Hougang Area Committee held on Wednesday 19th December 1990:

The full document: Hougang Area Committee Meeting Minutes on 19th Dec 1990

Hougang Town Council Opening Ceremony

p/s- Whatever has happened in the past, we shall never regret doing our part for the rise of WP in Hougang. 

This article is published by The Online Citizen, 20 Maxwell Road, #09-17 Maxwell House, Singapore 069113.