Workers’ Party (WP) secretary-general Pritam Singh revealed that the new MPs-elect who won Sengkang Group Representation Constituency (GRC) met with him and veteran politician Low Thia Khiang days after the recent General Election, in a recent Facebook post.
The 2020 election saw the WP make significant inroads even though Mr Low, its longtime leader, stepped down from electoral politics. It was the first election in 32 years that Mr Low did not contest but he told the press that he was stepping down with no regrets as he feels that his work is done.
The 63-year-old said that he had set two goals for himself when he took over as party chief: To secure a and renew the leadership of the party. He said he has achieved these goals.
In 2011, Mr Low left the Hougang Single-Member Constituency (SMC) — where he had served as Member of Parliament (MP) since 1991 — and led a team to run in Aljunied GRC. He was successful and the party was elected in both Hougang SMC and Aljunied GRC in 2011 and 2015. In 2018, he handed over the reins of the party to Pritam Singh.
The latest election was the first election that the WP contested under the leadership of Mr Pritam. Even though Mr Low, fellow ex-Aljunied GRC MP Chen Show Mao and ex-Hougang SMC MP Png Eng Huat stepped down ahead of the election, the WP held on to its Aljunied-Hougang stronghold and scored better than it did in the 2015 general election.
In a stunning upset, the WP team at Sengkang GRC won and unseated three political office-holders. The four-member ward was newly carved out ahead of the election and was contested by three fresh faces – Jamus Lim, Raeesah Khan and Louis Chua – and one candidate who had run in one previous election, He Ting Ru, from the WP ticket.
The WP team faced off with the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) team that included three political office-holders and one new candidate. The PAP team for Sengkang included Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and labour chief Ng Chee Meng, Senior Minister of State Lam Pin Min and beloved grassroots MP Amrin Amin.
The opposition pulled off what seemed like an impossible feat when the WP team emerged the victor at the polls, ousting Mr Ng, Mr Lam and Mr Amrin from Parliament. The defeat reportedly put the PAP’s succession plans in disarray since Mr Ng was a prominent fourth-generation minister.
The new Sengkang GRC MPs-elect paid a visit to Mr Low, over the weekend. Posting a photo with Mr Low, Mr Pritam wrote on Facebook last Saturday (18 July): “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. 千里之行，始於足下”
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. 千里之行，始於足下.
The MPs quickly threw themselves into constituency work after the election concluded. Revealing that they would run their own town council and not merge with the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council, the WP politicians said that He Ting Ru would chair the new town council.
Ms He will represent the Buangkok division of Sengkang while Jamus Lim, Raeesah Khan and Louis Chua will represent the Anchorvale, Compassvale and Rivervale divisions respectively.