Opposition politician Yee Jenn Jong is set to release a memoir chronicling his journey as a member of the Workers’ Party (WP). Entitled ‘Journey in Blue’, the 316-page volume is scheduled to be released in bookstores sometime next month.
Mr Yee entered the political fray nearly a decade ago, in 2011. He was fielded as the WP candidate for Joo Chiat SMC in that year’s election and faced off with veteran ruling party politician Charles Chong. It was an incredibly close fight but the first-time candidate lost the election by just over 1 per cent.
His impressive vote share of 48.99 per cent entitled Mr Yee to a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) seat, which he accepted. By the time the 2015 general election rolled around, the hotly contested Joo Chiat SMC was absorbed into the larger Marine Parade GRC which was anchored by former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.
Mr Yee led the WP’s team for Marine Parade GRC in the 2015 election, which was called in the same year founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew passed. The WP team lost the election with just under 36 per cent of the vote.
Undeterred, Mr Yee continued walking the ground at Marine Parade in and out of election season and re-contested the ward in the 2020 election. This time, his team garnered greater support but lost the ward once again with about 42 per cent of the vote.
In a Facebook post published yesterday (27 Nov), Mr Yee revealed that he started working on his latest book shortly after the July election. Sharing that his idea for the book was sparked by a casual conversation with a friend, the opposition party member recounted:
“It started as a casual conversation with a friend in the publishing business about 2 weeks after GE2020. Seeing his keen interest in the stories I had to tell about my GE campaigns, I said that I should write these into a book.”
Mr Yee’s friend connected him with noted Singapore-based publisher, World Scientific, which accepted Mr Yee’s book proposal after he submitted an outline and sample chapters.
The memoir came together quickly. After spending a mere week to write the outline and sample chapters, Mr Yee took just three weeks to write all ten chapters of the book, which ended up being longer than what he had planned for.
Mr Yee shared, “Thereafter, it took much longer than I had thought to have facts checked, to get comments from others and to do edits after edits based on inputs from people. Many thanks to all who had read the drafts and given me valuable comments.”
The book, which will retail for $28, looks at the WP through Mr Yee’s eyes and aims to provide readers with a better understanding of the nature of work opposition politicians in Singapore do.
The book, which will also include Mr Yee’s thoughts on the shape of Singapore’s politics moving forward, will cover Mr Yee’s life before he joined the WP, the reasons why he joined the opposition, his three contests in the general elections from 2011–2020 as well as his parliamentary work and other political activities.
Although the book is expected to hit bookstores sometime in mid-December, Mr Yee is intending to sell some of the copies he has as part of a pre-launch sale. Offering to autograph the book and deliver the copies he has for free, Mr Yee invited those who are interested to make an order on his website.