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Kenneth Jeyaretnam called out for “undemocratic stance” in making Charles Yeo Chairman of the Reform Party

The party's former chairman Andy Zhu wrote in a Facebook post that Yeo's appointment was undemocratic in view of the allegations against him

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After it was announced that Reform Party’s Charles Yeo was elected Chairman of the party, Andy Zhu, the former Chairman took to social media to call out Secretary-General Kenneth Jeyaretnam.

Mr Yeo made the announcement of his new role on an Instagram story posted on Monday (Aug 3).

This announcement comes after the recent harassment lawsuit filed against him for hurling sexual misconduct allegations and racially charged comments against a prominent lawyer, Mr Imran Rahim, 32, from Tan Kok Quan Partnership (TKQP). As such, the former chairman took to social media to publicly criticize the decision.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday (Aug 5), Mr Zhu wrote in a Facebook post that, “This is an undemocratic stance by the SG Kenneth Jeyaretnam to make this announcement of new appointments while the matters and allegations against the Party Chair and Treasurer are not finalised. To my understanding, the CEC are deliberating over the issues”.

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“In the meantime, there should not be any new appointments until a decision had been taken and the party constitution allows 14 days for the rights of appeal”, he added.

Mr Yeo put up videos and written posts on Instagram on July 21 accusing Mr Imran of improper conduct, being a traitor to race and highlighting that he is an active volunteer in the community who had previously been praised by Cabinet ministers in speeches.

Mr Imran said he does not know why Mr Yeo made the allegations, and that he is working with his company to assist in internal investigations.

Oil and gas company director Mahaboob Batcha has also been appointed as the new party treasurer.

The party had said in its post that Mr Zhu, 37, and outgoing treasurer Noraini Yunus, 52, will both be stepping down from its central executive committee (CEC).

In a Straits Times Online report, Mr Zhu said: “This is something like an unfair dismissal… I have refuted all the allegations against me.”

He said the Mr Jeyaretnam, 61, had levelled various allegations against him after the election, chief of which was that he had made changes to RP’s payment methods without official party approval.

The party’s rules require all cheques for payments to be signed by the treasurer and one other CEC member.

Mr Zhu said he had applied for Paynow and reactivated the party’s online banking account, because of the need to quickly make full payment to contractors for services such as printing posters and distributing fliers.

Mr Zhu said Mr Jeyaretnam then accused him of making payments to contractors using the wrong channels, instead of by cheque.

He added that Mr Jeyaretnam suspended him and Ms Noraini after the general election, and claimed the entire CEC had agreed to it – a point that he disputed.

Mr Zhu also said he is not challenging Mr Yeo’s appointment as chairman, but the manner in which Mr Jeyaretnam is forcing him out. /TISG

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