Although they retired from electoral politics ahead of the 2020 general election, former Workers’ Party (WP) members of parliament (MPs) Low Thia Khiang and Png Eng Huat gave their support to the WP MPs who were elected to the 14th Parliament of Singapore. The pair were present at Parliament House when the MPs were sworn in and joined some of the MPs for supper after the first session concluded.
WP secretary-general Pritam Singh shared a selfie of Mr Low and Mr Png in Parliament House as President Halimah Yacob delivered her opening address. Party chairman Sylvia Lim later shared a photo of the retired MPs sharing a meal with her, new Hougang SMC MP Dennis Tan Lip Fong and their partners, later that night.
Ms Lim wrote on Facebook: “Parliament swearing in this evening… a happy day for Mr Low Thia Khiang and Png Eng Huat as well. What a skyline…” Her post drew over 3,000 reactions on social media:
Parliament swearing in this evening… a happy day for Mr Low Thia Khiang and Png Eng Huat as well. What a skyline…
Mr Low and Mr Png, who were the MPs for Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC in the 13th Parliament of Singapore, announced that they would not be standing for re-election prior to the 2020 polls.
Mr Low, who served as the MP for Hougang SMC for two decades, left the ward in 2011 and led the team contesting Aljunied GRC in that year’s general election. In a stunning upset, the WP won Aljunied, becoming the very first opposition party to win a multi-member ward in Singapore’s history. Mr Low and his team were re-elected in the 2015 general election.
The 2020 polls marked the first time Mr Low did not contest elections in 32 years. The opposition legend said that he was retiring from electoral politics with no regrets since he felt his work was done.
Similarly, Mr Png – who served as Hougang SMC MP for about eight years since 2012 – said that he was stepping down to make way for early leadership renewal.
The WP was elected to an unprecedented 10 seats in Parliament in its maiden election campaign under Mr Pritam Singh’s leadership, despite the absence of Mr Low, Mr Png and fellow former incumbent WP MP Chen Show Mao who had served at Aljunied GRC alongside Mr Low for close to a decade.