Singapore—With the resignation of longtime leader Chiam See Tong as the head of the Singapore People’s Party (SPP), along with new names making up a third of its central executive committee (CEC), the party is making its way forward as the country gets ready for the next General Election (GE).
And while the veteran opposition politician is stepping down from party leadership, his wife, party chair, has said that he is staying on as a member of the party.
She told the press after the SPP’s biennial Ordinary Party Conference on the evening of October 16, Wednesday, “Mr Chiam has given to politics for 40 years already, and I think it’s time for him to have a rest. I think he has given all he can for Singaporeans,” the Straits Times (ST) reports.
She continued, “The meeting went on very amicably. Everybody was like a family, and we all voted consciously and happily.”
Mrs Chiam had said in September that the time was “ripe to set the stage for leadership renewal.”
The conference was held at SPP’s headquarters in Sin Ming Drive and took nearly three hours. The 84-year-old Mr Chiam, who suffered two strokes as well as a hip injury some time ago, was not present at the meeting.
While Mrs Chiam was elected to the CEC on Wednesday night, it is not yet certain whether she will remain as party chair.
A third of those elected into the 12-member CEC are newly-elected to the committee. Among them is Jose Raymond, who, along with Steve Chia, former Non-Constituency MP from the National Solidarity Party, has been widely speculated to be a possible candidate to be the new SPP head.
Mr Raymond, the former press secretary of current Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan as well as former executive director of the Singapore Environment Council, is currently the head of a communications firm. Mr Chia is the SPP’s organising secretary.
The other new members of SPP’s CEC are Eman Lim, the director of a social enterprise; Ariffin Sha, a 22-year-old Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) law student and contributor to The Online Citizen, a socio-political website; and Jalil Wari, who is a longtime supporter of Mr Chiam, according to TODAY.
The other individuals who kept their places in SPP’s CEC are Mrs Chiam, Mr Chia, party treasurer Ng Theng Lim, assistant treasurer Shahir Shahfie, assistant organising secretary Mario Ong, assistant organising secretary Kathleen Cheong, Williamson Lee, and Yong Seng Fatt.
Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss, who had been the party’s vice-chair, stepped down on September 2.
Mrs Chiam said that who her husband’s successor will be revealed in the next three weeks, as the new CEC meets.
In a Facebook post, SPP wrote,