Singapore—When Low Thia Khiang, the former Secretary-General of the Workers’ Party (WP) suffered a bad fall on Sunday (May 3), leaders from opposition parties, as well as those from the ruling party, sent wishes for a speedy recovery. Mr Low, after all, has been a part of the country’s political landscape for many years.

The 63-year-old opposition leader had fallen in his home and suffered a head injury, and was brought to a hospital’s intensive care unit for monitoring, but remained conscious.

One greeting, however, did not sit well with the public and has drawn criticism from netizens.

Late on Sunday evening, the Reform Party posted the following message on its Facebook account as a caption to the media statement from WP announcing Mr Low’s fall.

“We are sorry to hear of Mr Low’s accident. He and his family are in our thoughts. We hope he makes a swift recovery. This fall bears a troubling resemblance to the circumstances in which Danny Loh, who was managing agent of Aljunied Town Council passed away. We wonder whether stress caused by Gov investigations has been a factor.”

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Netizens were surprised to see that the Reform Party had not only added a reference to the passing of Danny Loh, but also openly speculated about whether he had been under “stress” due to government investigations, which did not sit well with them.

Mr Loh had been the managing director of FM Solutions and Services (FMSS), the estate management company involved in the lawsuit that the WP found themselves embroiled in for the past few years. Last October, three leaders from the party were found liable for part of S$33.7 million in claims, including Mr Low.

According to High Court judge Kannan Ramesh, Mr Low, along with fellow WP leader Sylvia Lim, had “failed to act in AHTC’s (Aljunied Hougang Town Council) best interests and had acted for extraneous purposes.”

In 2015, Danny Loh died in Japan after an accidental fall. He had served as a town council secretary under the WP for some years, and he and his wife had been long-time supporters of the party.

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Netizens apparently found the Reform Party’s post in bad taste.

The Reform Party is led by Kenneth Jeyaretnam, who also shared the controversial post.

In contrast, many other political figures sent kind wishes for Mr Low’s recovery.

Progress Singapore Party’s Dr Tan Cheng Bock wrote, “My thoughts and prayers are with Low Thia Kiang and his family today. Praying that he recovers quickly and is back to full health soon.” Chee Soon Juan, leader of the Singapore Democratic Party, wrote, “We hope Mr Low Thia Kiang’s accident is not serious and wish him a speedy recovery.”

And from the ruling People’s Action Party, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat wrote, “Just heard that Mr Low Thia Khiang is in intensive care after a recent fall. Wishing him a speedy recovery and hoping to see him back to Parliament soon,” while Parliamentary Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin had written that he was sorry to hear of Mr Low’s fall and that he wished him a speedy recovery.
The Workers’ Party also said in its statement that the Aljunied GRC MPs would cover Mr Low’s constituency duties, assisted by former NCMP Gerald Giam, during his absence. -/TISG