SINGAPORE: The Workers’ Party announced during a press conference on Wednesday (Jul 19) that Aljunied GRC MP Leon Perera and senior Workers’ Party (WP) member Nicole Seah were asked to resign and step down from their positions.
This decision came after a video circulating online suggested “an inappropriate exchange between two senior party members”.
Allegations about the duo frequenting hotels and behaving inappropriately with each other since mid-2020 had made their rounds among WP members, and the issue was brought up to party leaders around early 2021. Perera was mentoring Seah at the time, and while it was expected that they would spend more time with each other, rumours circulating at the time said some felt there was more happening between the pair.
Leon and Seah were not present at the press conference, while Party leaders Pritam Singh, Sylvia Lim, Faisal Manap and Gerald Giam were present.
During his address, Workers’ Party Chief Pritam Singh said:
Sometime around late 2020 and early 2021, he was informed by Leon’s driver that they were frequenting hotels, and they were seen hugging each other and holding hands. Upon receipt of this information, he asked Leon, who said the allegations were untrue. Leon’s driver also shared information with other members of the party. When the others in the party received these messages from the driver, they verified with Leon, who said there was no truth to the matter.
They approached Nicole, who also said there was no truth to the matter.
When the video was circulated on Jul 17, Pritam met with Leon and Nicole, who both admitted to an affair.
It started in 2020 but “stopped sometime ago”. Leon said he should have been more forthcoming with information.
On Jul 18, Leon resigned from the party, and he also resigned his seat in Parliament.
Leon Perera made his first political appearance when he ran as a candidate for East Coast during the 2015 general election. He subsequently became a Non-Constituency MP before joining the WP’s winning slate for its Aljunied stronghold at the 2020 polls.
Prior to politics, he was a civil servant and later co-founder and chief executive officer of a business research and consulting agency. An archived online version of a 2015 WP biography of Perera states that he has a daughter and a son, with a wife named Carol, in previous media reports.
Seah, 36, joined the WP in 2015 after stints with the Reform Party and National Solidarity Party. She shot to online fame as the youngest female candidate at the 2011 general election and went on a hiatus before returning as a WP candidate for East Coast at the 2020 polls.
She and her husband Bryan had their second daughter in April last year. Ms Seah was last reported in 2020 to be working at a multinational marketing firm.
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