SINGAPORE: A man claiming to be Workers’ Party MP Leon Perera’s former driver has alleged that party leaders knew of the inappropriate relationship between the Aljunied GRC MP and fellow senior party member Nicole Seah and that he was fired after he brought the issue up to party chief and Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh.
A video of the man making these claims was published online by Singapore Press Holdings-run publication AsiaOne.
The claims come a day after the WP confirmed it is looking into a video circulating online of Mr Perera caressing Ms Seah’s hand while the pair have dinner together.
Both Mr Perera and Ms Seah are married with two children each. The Independent Singapore‘s request to comment from both WP members has gone unanswered.
The alleged ex-driver claimed he had worked for Mr Perera for over a decade. He alleged that Mr Perera and Ms Seah saw each other frequently, almost every day, and went out together to hotels and restaurants.
AsiaOne’s source added that other WP MPs familiar with the matter asked him to bring the relationship up to Mr Singh. He alleged that the secretary-general said “Okay” when he was informed of the alleged affair. Three or four months later, Mr Perera allegedly terminated his contract.
Claiming that he was only trying to help Mr Perera, the anonymous source told AsiaOne that he told the MP, “you better take care of your family” before he left. He added, “He then looked at me angrily and looked like he wanted to fight.”
The WP has yet to update Singaporeans on the outcome of its probe into this matter.
While some have taken the claims to be true, some critics are questioning the authenticity of the claims circulating online and are asking if the scandal is timed to distract from the resignations of ruling party politicians Tan Chuan-Jin and Cheng Li Hui.
The People’s Action Party (PAP) MPs are believed to have abruptly resigned from their party and their seats in Parliament due to an affair.
Mr Tan, who was Speaker of Parliament and once a frontrunner to be Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s successor, has deactivated all his social media accounts and has told PM Lee that he needs time to heal his family. He has also apologised for making a “mistake in Parliament” – referring to his use of the F-word to refer to WP MP Jamus Lim in Parliament.
PM Lee also indicated that he has been aware of the affair for some time and asked Mr Tan to end the affair in February, but he did not.
With Mr Tan and Ms Cheng’s resignations, five parliamentary seats are now vacant. Transport Minister S Iswaran was arrested in an ongoing corruption probe while former Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam retired from politics in the middle of the parliamentary term to put in a bid for the Presidential Election.
In 2021, WP MP Raeesah Khan resigned from Parliament after admitting to lying in Parliament.
The ruling party has established a precedent of not calling for a by-election when a sitting MP in a Group Representation Constituency (GRC) vacates his seat. This is despite the fact that both Mr Tharman and Mr Iswaran are the designated minority MPs for Jurong GRC and West Coast GRC, respectively.
The WP appears to have followed the ruling party’s lead. It did not request a by-election in Sengkang GRC after Ms Khan resigned, even though she was the minority candidate for the ward.