TODAY: New blood in Workers’ Party

ZUL OTHMAN
zul@mediacorp.com.sg

THEY were the two youngest Workers’ Party candidates and stood against the Prime Minister’s team in the Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency at the last General Election.

On Sunday, editorial and translation executive Lee Wai Leng, 28, and sales personnel Abdul Salim bin Harun, 26, were replaced in the WP leadership by newer but older members, who joined the party around or after the time of the polls.

With 11 WP Central Executive Committee members voted back to the fold – including secretary-general Low Thia Khiang, chairman Sylvia Lim and organising secretary Yaw Shin Leong – the injection of new blood came in the form of three new CEC members.

Mr Koh Choong Yong, 34, who runs his own IT consultancy, recruitment manager Lee Li Lian, 29, and businessman Png Eng Huat, 47, were voted in after a three-hour closed-door meeting at the party’s headquarters at Syed Alwi Road.

WP chairman Ms Lim declined to “speculate” about the reasons for the change, as “I am unable to tell you what was in each cadre member’s mind when he or she voted”, but the new faces have become well-known figures within the WP since they joined.

Mr Koh and Ms Lee are members of the WP Youth Wing Executive Committee while Mr Png is one of the grassroots members at the Hougang constituency.

When contacted about his election, Mr Png told Today: “Last time, I was just helping out; now I need to put in more effort because there is a lot of responsibility to institutionalise political diversity and to make Singapore aware that there are always two sides to a coin.”

Making a return to the CEC are Ms Glenda Han, 30, Ms Jane Leong, 45, Mr Mohd Rahizan bin Yaacob, 50, Ms Ng Swee Bee, 26, Dr Poh Lee Guan, 44, Mr Brandon Siow, 31, Mr Eric Tan, 50, Mr Perry Tong, 35 and Mr Yaw, 32.

The exacts posts of the 14 members – all of whom were present at Sunday’s meeting – will only be decided at a CEC meeting tonight.

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