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Workers' Party refutes claim by former MP Yaw Shin Leong that he was told to 'stay silent' after alleged affair

Workers' Party refutes claim by former MP Yaw Shin Leong that he was told to 'stay silent' after alleged affair

File photo of Yaw Shin Leong, who was sacked by the Workers' Party on Feb 15, 2012.

SINGAPORE: Workers' Party (WP) leaders did not advise former WP Member of Parliament Yaw Shin Leong to "stay silent" after allegations about him emerged in 2012, said the party's media chair Leon Perera on Tuesday (Dec 7).

The statement on the WP's Facebook page came a day after Mr Yaw, posting on Facebook under the alias Amos Rao, said he "immediately accounted" to then party chief Low Thia Khiang and chair Sylvia Lim when the allegations of an extramarital affair surfaced.

He was "advised to stay silent", he added.

"Mr Low and Ms Lim categorically state that they did not advise Mr Yaw to stay silent. In fact, he was summoned to appear before the Workers' Party CEC (Central Executive Committee) to account for the matter, but chose not to do so," said the WP's Facebook post, which was attributed to Mr Perera.

Mr Yaw was elected MP for Hougang SMC in the 2011 General Election. In January 2012, rumours emerged that he was involved in an extramarital affair. 

In February 2012, he was expelled from the party, triggering a by-election.

The party said in 2012 that he was expelled for "failing to uphold transparency and accountability" after he failed to present himself to the CEC to "explain and discuss" the allegations.

In his Facebook post on Monday, Mr Yaw said the comments about him that were made on Dec 2 by current party chief Pritam Singh were untrue.

WP leaders held a press conference on Dec 2 about the resignation of former MP Raeesah Khan after she admitted to lying in Parliament.

Mr Singh said at the press conference: "Yaw Shin Leong did not account himself to the party after the allegations were made. I think he did not address the media, he did not address the party.

"The party was willing to give him some space to get himself organised, but this just went on and it went on, to a point where this was just unreasonable conduct, this was not acceptable. And so, the party took the decision to fire him, to sack him.”

According to Mr Yaw, he had "accounted the situation candidly" to Mr Low before allegations surfaced, and to Mr Low and Ms Lim once the allegations were made known.

"I placed party first before self and to minimise the fallout, I kept silent and resigned from WP CEC. My intention was to give WP CEC a blank cheque to paint the narrative required. To facilitate the process, I travelled out of Singapore voluntarily," he wrote on Dec 6.

"On Feb 14, 2012, I was expelled from WP for 'breaking the faith, trust and expectations of the party and people'. I am okay with this narrative, but I am not okay with what Pritam said, for I did account myself."

Source: CNA/hm(mi)

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