On Wednesday morning, the Singapore People’s Party (SPP) announced that it would be conducting its next Ordinary Party Conference on 16 October 2019 where it would be electing a new Central Executive Committee (CEC).
Currently, the Secretary-General of the party is veteran opposition politician Chiam See Tong and his wife, Lina Chiam, is the Chairman of the party.
In the statement, Mrs Chiam, hinted at leadership renewal by stating that: “SPP will be 25-years old in November. As we reach this important landmark, it heartens us to see so many compassionate, competent and caring young leaders who are coming forward to serve the country.”
It added, “The party’s Ordinary Party Conference (OPC) in October will provide the SPP an opportunity to rejuvenate and elect its new leadership team and inject a set of passionate leaders who will take help us take the party forward.”
This announcement shows a strong indication the Chiams will step down from their respective posts. If that’s not all, SPP’s latest announcement is also much welcomed news for the party, which has been subjected to criticism of stagnant leadership from certain quarters in recent years.
According to a report by the Straits Times (ST), Mr Chiam’s decision to step down from his post was made during a CEC meeting on Tuesday (3 September) at the party’s headquarters in Sin Ming Drive.
Mr Chiam has led SPP for almost a quarter of a century, and he served as the Member of Parliament for Potong Pasir for 27 years from his election in 1984. The veteran politician’s last public appearance was at the Chiam See Tong’s Sports Foundation Dinner held on 22 August 2019.
On the other hand, Mrs Chiam served as an NCMP from 2011 to 2015 and contested in two general elections in Potong Pasir SMC. She has also served as the Chairwoman of the SPP for at least four terms now. In 2011, Mrs Chiam became a NCMP after losing to Sitoh Yi Pin by a razor-thin margin of 114 votes.
During her time as NCMP, she was known to be one of the most hardworking MPs as she consistently spoke up on a plethora of issues in Parliament. Some of her more notable speeches include the one she made during the passing of the liquor related laws following the riots in Little India and on MDA Regulations.
Upon reading the news of the Chiams departure as leaders in SPP, many netizens showered their praises for the renowned politicians in the Facebook pages of ST and Yahoo Singapore. They thanked the couple for all their contributions and services over the years. In addition, a group of online users also wished them all the best for their future plans.
If that is not all, some also mentioned that they are great politicians known for their integrity, compassion, steadfastness, humility and loyalty to the country. The public also felt that Mr Chiam is resilient and a good fighter for his beliefs, and no one will come close to his calibre.