Singapore — The Workers’ Party is set to hold its central executive committee (CEC) election on Dec 27, according to the Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao.
The internal election is held once every two years. The last CEC election in 2018 was significant as it saw longtime party chief Low Thia Khiang step down as secretary-general in favour of Mr Pritam Singh as part of a leadership renewal effort.
Mr Low and fellow former incumbent MPs Png Eng Huat and Chen Show Mao also did not contest the 2020 General Election. Despite this, the WP won its best result in its first election under Mr Singh’s leadership and clinced a second multi-member ward on top of receiving a stronger mandate at its Aljunied-Hougang stronghold.
The coming CEC election, which takes place about five-and-a-half months after the July elections, may see more changes in the party’s leadership.
The 14 members who were elected in 2018 are Mr Low, Mr Png, Mr Chen, the five Aljunied GRC MPs — Mr Singh, Ms Sylvia Lim, Mr Muhamad Faisal Manap, Mr Gerald Giam and Mr Leon Perera — Hougang MP Dennis Tan Lip Fong, Mr Terence Tan, Ms Lee Li Lian, Mr Daniel Goh Pei Siong, Mr Firuz Khan and Mr John Yam.
Mr Singh and Ms Lim ran unopposed for the posts of secretary-general and chairman, while Mr Low and Mr Faisal received the highest votes in the hotly-contested election. It saw 23 members throwing the hat into the ring for 12 spots (excluding those of secretary-general and chairman).
There is speculation that Mr Low, Mr Png and Mr Chen may step down from the CEC in the coming election.
Four other CEC members did not contest the 2020 elections — former Punggol East MP Ms Lee, who mentored the Sengkang GRC team, former Non-Constituency MP Goh, who retired from politics due to a health condition, as well as Mr Khan and Mr Yam.
Mr Terence Tan was newly elected to the CEC in 2018 and narrowly lost in this year’s elections as part of the WP team in East Coast GRC with 47 per cent of the vote. He is considered part of the WP’s new generation of leaders.
There is a high chance that Mr Tan’s wife, Ms He Ting Ru, and her team mates who won Sengkang GRC — Associate Professor Jamus Lim, Ms Raeesah Khan and Mr Louis Chua Kheng Wee — may be elected in the internal election since they represent the party in Parliament. /TISG