On Monday (14 Oct), after the High Court found Workers Party Members of Parliament of Aljunied GRC, Pritam Singh, Sylvia Lim and Low Thia Khiang liable for damages against Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) and the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC), People’s Power Party Secretary-General Goh Meng Seng said on his Facebook page that he won’t support WP anymore.
“I cannot ‘support’ WP’s incompetency and mismanagement in the whole TC saga. All politics boils down to one simple aim, good governance for our country, not just our TC. Good Governance needs both competency as well as proper checks and balances. Both are lacking in WP,” he said.
“I will definitely not ‘support’ them anymore, definitely will not donate to these people to pay for their own mistakes and incompetency.”
Mr Goh also took the opportunity to clarify that voting for a party like WP does not equate to “support”. He said he was asked many times if he would vote for WP.
“I am always consistent in my reply, I will still vote for WP if it is a straight one to one fight, but that doesn’t mean I ‘support’ them,” he said.
“This vote may just be a ‘protest vote’ against PAP or rather, a vote to lower PAP vote so that they won’t get ‘big mandate’ that will screw their head high. A vote to keep PAP in checks.”
“If there is three corners or multi corners fight, then obviously both PAP and WP won’t get my vote,” he added. “Simply put, my vote doesn’t equal to my support.”
But of course, there could arise a situation where in a 3-corner fight, PAP wins because votes were split between WP and the third party. If most of the votes for the third party had gone to WP, WP would have won. So, in this scenario, Mr Goh’s vote going to the third party, in fact, helped PAP to win, contradicting his desire to keep PAP in-check.
Goh Meng Seng a former “A team” candidate for WP
Mr Goh first joined politics through WP in 2001. He became a WP CEC member later.
He first contested in 2006 GE in Aljunied GRC. He was part of WP’s “A team”, contesting together with Sylvia Lim. The team garnered 43.9% of the votes, finished as one of the top performers among the oppositions. Ms Lim became an Non-constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) as a result.
Shortly after 2006 GE, Mr Goh was embroiled in an Internet forum “brawl”, with mudslinging and name-calling aplenty (‘Workers’ Party netiquette comes under fire’, TODAY, 25 Oct 2006).
A netizen subsequently sent a complaint letter to WP, complaining about Mr Goh’s unruly conduct online. He commented that Mr Goh was narrow-minded to have called a forum participant “scheming” and “lacking in integrity” after “losing an argument”. He also thought Mr Goh had threatened to sue another forum participant for implying that Mr Goh visited the www.sggirls.com forum.
Defending his actions, Mr Goh told the media at the time, “What I said could have been harsh but you have to look at it in context. People who argue with me will find me argumentative. But since his agenda is questionable, I am not going to engage him in discussions any more.”
Following the online fracas, Mr Goh resigned to take responsibility for tarnishing the reputation of WP (‘Senior WP member quits over Net fracas’, ST, 8 Nov 2006). In fact, had he not involved in the online squabble and continued to stay in WP, he would likely have been fielded again in the following 2011 GE in Aljunied and win the election to enter Parliament with Sylvia Lim and Low Thia Khiang together.
In any case, after leaving WP, he joined NSP to become its Secretary-General. He contested in 2011 GE in Tampines GRC but still lost to the then unpopular PAP Minister Mah Bow Tan. He later stepped down as Secretary-General of NSP “for a breather and to take stock of his future”. He subsequently left NSP and went to help Presidential hopeful Tan Kin Lian in his bid for presidency. In 2015, he suddenly announced that he was starting a new political party called the People’s Power Party, just few months before 2015 GE. He contested in 2015, garnering 23.1% in Chua Chu Kang GRC.
After 2015 GE, he returned to continue to live with his family in Hong Kong. In an interview with asianthinkers.com, he said he likes Hong Kong “because the air smells differently”. He also praised Hong Kong’s democratic core values saying that they are very much similar to those he embraced. He even got his daughter to study in Hong Kong. “The Chinese education system is much more advanced that in Singapore. I am happy here,” he said.
Meanwhile, he continued to take potshots at WP through his postings on Facebook while residing in Hong Kong.