SINGAPORE: Progress Singapore Party’s (PSP) secretary-general Francis Yuen stepped down from his post today (Mar 26), as the party elected a new Central Executive Committee (CEC) in its third party conference.

A new job is said to be why Mr Yuen, who was elected by unanimous choice at the party’s sophomore internal election in 2021, did not stand for re-election.

He reportedly made the difficult decision to step down as he believes his commitments as the newly-appointed Executive Chairman of an overseas public listed company will make it difficult for him to lead the party. He continues to be a party member.

While the PSP has not officially announced who Mr Yuen’s successor will be, rumours are already swirling on messaging platforms that Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) Leong Mun Wai may walk away with the top spot.

A senior party member told The Independent Singapore on the condition of anonymity: “There is going to be leadership renewal at PSP, we’re expecting Mr Leong Mun Wai to take on a more prominent role in the party; he definitely has my support as the next Sec-Gen.”

Mr Yuen is not the only one who stepped down from the previous CEC. Vice-chairman Wang Swee Chuang and Youth Wing head Jess Chua also did not run for re-election, though they remain members.

The 12 members of the new CEC are chairman Tan Cheng Bock, NCMPs Hazel Poa and Leong Mun Wai, A’bas Bin Kasmani, Ang Yong Guan, Harish Pillay, Jeffrey Khoo, Nadarajah Loganathan, Peggie Chua, Phang Yew Huat, Tan Chika, Wendy Low Wei Ling. The new CEC will serve for two years until March 2025.

At least eight members, or two-thirds of the CEC, are above the age of 50 with some even being in their sixties. Chairman Dr Tan Cheng Bock, who turns 83 next month, said earlier that it is a “myth” that all leaders must be young.

He told the press in 2021: “It is a pity if we don’t use our retirees with so much experience and just push them aside to say that the young people must come out… We’re not looking for young people just to make everybody happy.”

PSP may vote new faces into CEC at party conference next week