Singaporeans have been getting a glimpse of another side of veteran politician Low Thia Khiang throughout the month of November. On 2 Nov, Workers’ Party (WP) member Daniel Goh revealed that while Mr Low is known for his seriousness in managing his estate and serving residents well, he is also very friendly:
“Mr Low is well known for his super seriousness when it comes to managing the estate well and serving the residents’ needs. He is also a very friendly MP genuinely interested in the lives of his constituents.”
Mr Goh gave Singaporeans a peek at Mr Low’s fun loving side and shared that Hougang residents and town council staff were amused to see the veteran MP showing off his cycling skills in the ward, during a community outreach event:
“I was driving out of the car park and saw a car turning in that suddenly stopped, the driver and his family transfixed by something around the corner. When I got closer, I saw Mr Low trying out his riding skills to the amusement of residents and Town Council staff. The driver and his family were laughing heartedly.”
Singaporeans also got to see Mr Low’s charisma and how friendly he is with people on the ground in photos of a party walkabout that took place on 17 Nov at a New Upper Changi Road food centre.
Sharing a candid photo of Mr Low charming a trio of middle-aged ladies who were gathered at the food centre, the WP Facebook page joked: “Mr Low terrorizing some aunties as they attempt to strike it big!”
This week, Mr Goh shared what could be another side of Mr Low that many may not be aware of – that Mr Low may share young Singaporeans’ taste for bubble tea.
In a Facebook post published on Tuesday (26 Nov), Mr Goh shared that he and Mr Low capped off a busy night of house visits with bubble tea. Alluding to the Kung Fu Tea brand of bubble tea that Mr Low can be seen drinking in the picture, Mr Goh added: “Kungfu Cha for Kungfu Master Low.”
Mr Low joined the WP in 1982 and was subsequently appointed as its Organising Secretary. At the 1984 general election, he was the election agent for the party’s secretary-general, J. B. Jeyaretnam, in his successful campaign to win Anson constituency.
After losing the 1988 General Election with 42.2 per cent of the vote, Mr Low won Hougang SMC in the 1991 General Election and entered Parliament. He was re-elected as MP for Hougang SMC in the 1997, 2001 and 2006 General Elections and became the Secretary-General of the Workers’ Party, replacing J. B. Jeyaretnam, in 2001.
Between 1997 and 2011, Mr Low and Singapore People’s Party leader Chiam See Tong were the only elected opposition MPs in Parliament. At the 2011 general election, both Mr Low and Mr Chiam left their seats in Hougang and Potong Pasir SMC respectively to contest in Aljunied GRC and Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC respectively, risking that there will be no elected opposition MPs in Parliament.
Mr Low’s gamble paid off as he led the Workers’ Party to a historic breakthrough in the election, with a victory in Aljunied GRC. The win marked the first time ever that an opposition party had won a GRC, bringing an additional five Workers’ Party MPs into Parliament. His previous seat in Hougang SMC was retained by the Workers’ party and is now held by Png Eng Huat.
The WP won and retained their seats in Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC during the 2015 General Election. This was Mr Low’s sixth continuous win as an elected opposition MP.
Mr Low did not contest the WP’s internal election in 2018, after being at its helm for 17 years, and fellow Aljunied GRC MP Pritam Singh eventually succeeded Mr Low as secretary-general. /TISG