Secretary General of National Solidarity Party (NSP), Hazel Poa has announced to the media, her resignation from the party due to her disagreement over the decision to contest in MacPherson SMC in a 3 cornered fight against Workers’ Party (WP) and People’s Action Party (PAP).
She cited that she sees no choice other than to resign from the party, as the direction of the party that it has decided to pursue has deviated greatly from hers.
Ms Poa also pointed out that the position of sec gen in NSP is merely the role of a media spokesperson while the real leader of the party is the President. The position of President is currently being held by 67-year old, Mr Sebastian Teo. He has been a stalwart of the party and has been president for some 6 terms, or 12 years.
Ms Poa was earlier appointed as the party’s Secretary-General on 25 June, making her stint as the sec-gen with a period of less than two months. She was former sec-gen from 2011 till September 2013 before resigning from the position, citing health concerns.
Ms Hazel Poa’s press statement in full
On 17 Aug 2015, the CEC of NSP decided to support Steve Chia’s request to contest in MacPherson SMC in a 3 cornered fight against WP and PAP. It was a decision I strongly disagreed with, and hence not one I can implement. As the direction that the party has decided to pursue deviates greatly from my own, I see no choice other than to resign from the NSP.
As I have mentioned before, in NSP, the leader of the party is the President, not the Secretary-General, unlike in other political parties. The Sec-Gen plays the role of media spokesperson for the party. Therefore, my departure will not result in a situation of the party being leaderless. Whilst I disagree with the decision that has been taken, I respect the right of the CEC as the decision making body of the Party to make that call. I wish NSP all the best in the coming GE.
I will therefore not be contesting in the coming GE. I would like to thank all who have encouraged me on my journey and given me helpful pointers, including members of NSP and other political parties, the public and the media. I apologise to all whom I have disappointed. My own disappointment is no less. For me, the coming months will be a time for reflection.
In the last five years, besides the exodus of ordinary members, which include Ms Nicole Seah, the party has seen a turnover of several sec-gens. All of them had had stints of less than two years each:
- Law Sin Ling: Aug 2006 – Feb 2008 (18 months)
- Ken Sunn: 2008 – 2009 (less than one year)
- Goh Meng Seng: Feb 2010 – June 2011 (16 months)
- Hazel Poa: June 2011 to September 2013 (15 months)
- Jeannette Chong: Oct 2013 – Jan 2015 (15 months)
- Tan Lam Siong: 26 Jan 2015 – 17 June 2015 (less than 5 months)
- Hazel Poa: 25 June 2015 – 19 August 2015 (less than 2 months)
When each sec-gen stepped down, diplomatic reasons were given by the sec-gens themselves and the party but not for this time round.