SINGAPORE — Workers’ Party (WP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Aljunied GRC, Leon Perera, and the party’s Youth Wing President, Nicole Seah, have resigned from their positions in the party, as revealed by WP Chief Pritam Singh on Wednesday (19 Jul).
During a press conference at 1 pm, Pritam Singh addressed allegations of improper relations between Mr. Perera and Ms. Seah, confirming both senior party member’s resignation.
Mr. Perera has informed the Acting Speaker of Parliament that he will be resigning his seat as the MP for Aljunied GRC.
Mr Singh shared that the two former party members have not been forthcoming with the affair when first confronted with the allegations.
“Leon’s conduct and not being truthful when asked by the party leadership about the allegations fell short of the standards expected of Workers’ Party MPs. This is unacceptable.”
When a video first surfaced on Monday, Mr. Singh confronted them again, and they confessed to the affair, which they claimed had ended some time ago.
Mr. Singh mentioned that had it not been for Mr. Perera’s letter of resignation, he would have recommended his expulsion from the CEC.
Driver informs Mr Singh about allegations against Mr Perera and Ms Seah
Mr. Singh clarified that around late 2020 and early 2021, the driver informed him through WhatsApp about the allegations, claiming that Mr. Perera and Ms. Seah frequently met in hotels and restaurants and were seen holding hands.
However, at that time, there was no evidence or corroborative information to support the allegation.
“Upon receiving the information, I asked Leon about the situation between him and Nicole. Leon denied the driver’s allegations,” Mr. Singh added that at the time, Mr. Perera stated that he had an ongoing dispute with the driver and was about to terminate his service and seek legal advice on the matter.
Over the next few months, the driver also shared the allegations with other WP members, including Sylvia Lim, Dennis Tan, Gerald Giam, and Jamus Lim. They sought verification with Mr. Perera, and he again denied the allegations.
Separately, other CEC members approached Ms. Seah after being informed about the same allegation by the driver, and Ms. Seah also denied the allegations.
“When the video of Nicole and Leon emerged on Monday (17 Jul), that was the first time all of us saw it,” said Mr. Singh, adding that he immediately contacted Mr. Perera upon viewing the video and arranged to meet him in the same afternoon.
“I also arrange to meet Nicole separately on the same afternoon. Both of them admitted they have an affair, which started after General Election 2020, but that it stopped some time ago.”
“When I met Leon on the afternoon of 17 July, he acknowledged that he should have been more forthcoming when I and other party members first approached him about the allegations made by his driver,” stated Mr. Singh.
“From the moment the party was made aware of the video, we moved as quickly as we could, bearing in mind that we needed to be fair to everyone, get to the bottom of matters, and put things right.”
Mr. Singah requested all Singaporeans to grant Mr. Perera and Ms. Seah, both married, the necessary space to heal and be with their families and loved ones.
On Tuesday, Mr. Singh received Ms. Seah’s resignation letter from the party, followed by Mr. Perera’s resignation letter on Wednesday.
Additionally, Mr. Perera informed the Acting Speaker of Parliament of his decision to resign his seat from Parliament.
Mr Perera’s ward will be taken care of by other MPs for Aljunied GRC
Party chairman Sylvia Lim addressed the handover arrangements in Aljunied GRC. Meet-the-People sessions would continue as usual, with alternate MPs already scheduled until year-end for Serangoon coverage.
The MPs will soon meet with Serangoon volunteers to coordinate other duties and groundwork.
Both Mr Perera and Ms Seah were CEC members of Workers’ Party
The decision was prompted by a video that surfaced on social media on the same day (17 Jul) as the announcement of Tan Chuan Jin and Cheng Li Hui’s affair by PM Lee Hsien Loong.
The video showed shows Perera (53) and Seah (37) in a restaurant, with the former appearing to caress the latter’s hand.
Some sources have suggested that the video was taken two years ago.
The Workers’ Party confirmed on Monday to look into the matter and the Central Executive Committee convened an emergency meeting that night.
Mr Perera and Ms Seah are CEC members of the Workers’ Party, with Perera serving as Chairman of the Media Group, and Seah as President of the WP Youth Wing.
Mr Perera represented the Workers’ Party in the East Coast GRC during the 2015 General Election.
Although the Workers’ Party team lost with 39.27% of the votes, he was subsequently appointed as a Non-Constituency MP. In the 2020 General Election, he switched to contest in the Aljunied GRC, where he was successfully elected. He is the president of a consultancy firm and is married with two children.
Ms Seah contested in the Marine Parade GRC under the National Solidarity Party banner in the 2011 General Election.
In 2015, she quietly aided the Workers’ Party as a volunteer, and subsequently represented the Workers’ Party to contest in the East Coast GRC in the 2020 General Election. She and her husband, who married in 2015, have two daughters. She currently co-founded and is the Chief Operating Officer of a tech company.