Yaw Shin Leong should either come clean, or resign as MP

Written by Ng E-Jay
11 February 2012

As the furore over Hougang MP Yaw Shin Leong’s alleged extra-marital affairs grows, it has become very clear that now is the time for both the Worker’s Party (WP) as well as Mr Yaw to clean. If Mr Yaw fails to do so, he must be considered unfit for political office, and should resign from his MP position accordingly, triggering a by-election in Hougang.

The newspapers have been on the issue for more than a couple of weeks now. It would be fair for WP and for Mr Yaw to remain silent on the issue only if no new information had surfaced and public interest in the matter had quietened down, although I had previously opined that Mr Yaw has the duty to come clean with the public in order to put the matter to rest once and for all, and safeguard the women involved from further harassment.

Unfortunately, new developments since the scandal first broke have further implicated Mr Yaw and solidified public perception against him.

For example, a person claiming to be Mr Yaw’s neighbour had written an email dated 30 January to the media to suggest that the opposition MP may have had an affair with a married tuition teacher from China. This is over and above the alleged affair with the WP member who is supposedly named “Angela” last year, as well as an alleged affair with a woman from the same church as Mr Yaw who is supposedly one of the unidentified whistle blowers according to certain online rumours.

Speaking to New Paper reporters, the married PRC woman initially maintained that her relationship with Mr Yaw was strictly professional. However over the course of the media interview, she became emotional and broke down, admitting to having had an affair with Mr Yaw, in order “to prove her capacity“.

The PRC lady explained that she had worked with Mr Yaw for about two years, and had helped him on the translation of a Chinese speech meant for the ministerial salary debate in Parliament on 17 Jan.

Mr Yaw married his current wife, Madam Lau Wang Lin, in November 2008. According to mainstream media sources, Madam Lau had been Mr Yaw’s counting and polling agent in the 2006 General Elections. Madam Lau had initially posted a FaceBook message slamming the media for malicious reporting, but she later deleted the message. Apparently, Mr Yaw must had told her something she had not previously known, and that something could not have been very good.

In fact, this is Mr Yaw’s second marriage. He was previously married in 2004 to a certain Ms Ng Mei Sze, but it was a brief marriage lasting only a year. Ms Ng has since clarified to the media that infidelity was not the reason for their breakup. She did not, however, specify the actual reason for the divorce.

Before getting hitched to Ms Ng, Mr Yaw was said to have been engaged to a woman taking a master’s degree in linguistics when he was a student in NUS, but that relationship did not work out.

An alleged history of getting hitched with subordinates

Mr Yaw has allegedly been having affairs with women with whom there may be a conflict of interest as far as professional duties are concerned.

The PRC lady, for example, was working for Mr Yaw as a translator. This means she has to be constantly proving her ability to Mr Yaw, and as far as professional duties is concerned, Mr Yaw can be said to be in a position of authority, even if there is no formal employment contract. Remember, authority can be explicit and tangible, as well as subtle and intangible. It can often be a very fine line — and it takes a mature man not to cross that line. Mr Yaw crossed that line.

The alleged party member named “Angela” must also be in a subordinate position compared to Mr Yaw in WP, because the last time I checked, there was no one in WP’s CEC named “Angela”, and Mr Yaw had resigned from his CEC post only a few days ago.

In fact, Mr Yaw’s current wife was also in a subordinate position relative to Mr Yaw because she was an election helper in Mr Yaw’s Ang Mo Kio GRC team.

Mr Yaw: Either come clean, or resign

The act of remaining silent on the matter and subjecting the families of the women to further doubt and emotional agony is very ungentlemanly of Mr Yaw, and reflects badly on his upbringing and on his character.

Although this act of silence is in fact enforced at the party level, it should apply to other WP members and supporters, but not to Mr Yaw himself. This is because the whole issue revolves around Mr Yaw’s personal conduct, and WP has no right to dictate to Mr Yaw that he shield his personal conduct from public scrutiny. WP also has no right to subject the families of the women involved to further emotional trauma by unjustly enforcing an act of silence on Mr Yaw, and denying Mr Yaw the right as well as the obligation to absorb the full brunt of the media attack so that the families concerned can be spared.

In light of recent developments, I am forced to conclude that Mr Yaw’s alleged sexual behaviour has the potential to create conflicts of interests at both the party level as well as the constituency level.

As such, Mr Yaw should either come clean about the truth of his sexual indiscretions, whilst protecting the women involved from further embarrassment and harassment, or he should consider himself unfit for political office, and resign accordingly as MP of Hougang.

The people of Hougang deserve the right to make a choice as to whether they want another WP MP to serve their needs, or whether WP has failed as a party to be accountable and transparent, and as such should be given the boot.

  1. Liked you said no news or ANY edvidence had surfaced so far.
    So to you, yaw is already guilty.
    There is No concrete proof or anything? Just based on rumours from any Tom, dick and Harry.
    Besides, why did u or how did u found out about his first marriage?
    NG Mei sze or so?
    Why is there a need to mention his frst marriage or the need to mention whatwas the reason for their divorce?
    why are you attacking yaw’s ex-wife?
    You mean to said every politicians must come clean how many ex -girlfriends they had and why they separated must be make public?
    Or is it only WP politicans need to?

    You are a just a bloody hypocrite.
    Attacking yaw upbringing, his ex-wife and WP without any facts?

  2. The fact is his marriage in the history and the present has similar trend. He has relationships with women that have conflict of interest. I don’t see this as an attack since Mr. Yaw is remaining silent. If there is nothing to hide, why remain silent?

  3. Yaw has basely betrayed the trust of his electorates. He is dishonest, immoral, cowardice and without integrity for not owning up or categorically denying allegations of his infidelity.

    Yaw should be castrated before being allowed to continue his MPship as he has beccome a liability to especially married women in his ward. Women of Hougang beware – you seek help from Yaw and remember there is a personal price to pay as the PRC translator has made flesh.

  4. Definition of Rumor : hearsay, unconfirmed to 3rd party. So when WP, LTK & SL says its “rumors”, they are correct & they needn’t comment on these “rumors”. YSL, on the othe hand, is 1st party to the events of EMA, & when YSL said that he doesn’t comment on “rumors”, YSL was using wrong terminology…! The allegations put YSL as 1st party, directly involved in EMA events. YSL, of all people, should & would know exactly if the EMA actually happened or not. Therefore, to YSL, this is not rumors….they either did happened or they didn’t… If all these allegations leveled at YSL are pure fabrication, & without merit, he should just come out & vehemently deny them & threaten to sue the weavers of these Grand Tales for defamation… YSL could be a rich man…! Else, if YSL did do all that that were alleged, he should come clean, apologize to his wife, family, the other families, & to his supporters & voters in his constituency.
    His actions or inaction thus far serves only to destroy his credibility to the point of no possibility for redemption.
    We must not be blinded; YSL did cheat the closest person to him, his wife. What’s there to stop him from cheating his constituents, many may still be YSL’s Ardent Diehard Fans, who YSL may not even be at all close to…?? Do ponder on this…

  5. By your ‘logic’ therefore Tony Tan should also resign his post as elected president since he has to date not come clean about the ‘rumours’ surrounding his son, Patrick Tan’s scholarship and NS preferential treatment – including that of his other sons-unless his denials counted as appropriate and adequate response.

    But there is a fundamental difference between TT’s case and YSL’s case. TT’s case is VERY definitely of public interest while Yaw’s case is very much his own private morals and affairs.

    IMO you have NO grounds for some of the stuffs you have said here unless you have proof that YSL’s duty as an MP has been utterly compromised. You are threading a thin line between what is fair comment and what is defamation in the manner you have juxtaposed this issue with his fitness to be an MP and conclude outright that he should resign. Do you speak for the rest of the voters in his ward? In which case you have been very presumptuous in your words.

    I hope it has not into your head by being voted as the best blogger or something.

  6. If one is not guilty, there is nothing to hide. There is nothing to step down from. If one is already fighting hard and sacrificing for the electorate, for the believe systems of the opposition for so many years, there is NO reason AT ALL not to fight on if the accusations are not true.

  7. Don’t be a politician if you wish to have your private life. Public figures are required to keep above board, and they need to come clean either to refute or admit to the allegation. Suspension of information is not any cornerstone of transparency, the very fundamental of 1st world parliamentary many Singaporeans wish for…

  8. Agree with Jolli & Disappointed. Disagree with George. MPs, as all leaders are voted in by the ppl of S’pore & examplary character is one trait that’s important. By George’s logic: if we assume that George’s wife is an active WP member, she gets involved with YSL. George, who worships YSL as a Hero or Champion who can do no wrong, takes it as a fair & justified sacrifice that a YSL supporter is duty-bound to do & since by George, YSL’s duty as an MP, affair with George’s wife not withstanding, is and never will be compromised….get the point…?? George, by being so supportive of your Hero, YSL, please do the honor of telling all the estranged husbands of the women who were involved with YSL, that YSL, as their MP has not compromised his duty as their MP. Can’t figure out your twisted logic, George. U still got conscience, I hope. Hope that u don’t just adopt blind faith with YSL, your leader that can do no wrong…???

  9. Let me say it now. Perhaps, I should have included it in my comments above, which is that, I am NO admirer of YSL although I have a healthy regard for the WP for helping to provide Singaporeans with an alternative voice in parliament and politics in general. I say that too of the rest of the opposition parties.

    And I certainly DON’T condone his alleged private misconduct any more that you or anyone else following the thread. But I do recognize. like it or not, that it is his private personal affairs because otherwise the law or parliament would have reasons to intervene.

    And if you decide not to support Yaw because of this, it is entirely within your right to do so, just as it is my right not to see issues in the terms that you have chosen to colour them.

    The PAP has been given ample opportunities to prove itself all these 40 odd years, but sadly like all human endeavors of this nature, it too has not been able to escape the bane of the corruption that inevitably comes with ABSOLUTE power. IMO, it too has succumbed to the inevitable weakness that come with too much power ‘high’. If it does not have the good sense to reign in their horses, a tumble down the precipes appears to be inevitable. They have been given lots of rope by the people, but if they choose to hang themselves with it, so be it. No party is indispensable.

    If you think for one moment that you are on a higher moral plane based on the strength of your presumptuous and bad mannered gibberish, think again! Sensible, rational and mature people don’t spew the sort of sanctimonious crap that you did on me, merely because I happen not to see it your way.

    Go and re-read, scrutinize, what I have written above and you should realize the fool you have made yourself out to be with your self-righteous outburst against me or anyone else who sees things differently.

    Nothing that I have said in my post, save perhaps for the last sentence, was not based on the need to be objective. On the other hand, your lack of objectivity is exposed by the liberty you have taken to insult my moniker. Is it necessary to be so personal?

    I am NOT the ‘protagonist’ or even a bit actor in this matter, so why resort to that load of rubbish, except to satisfy a psychological craving to vacariously ‘hit’ or jeer at someone who don’t agree with you?

    And clearly the allegations about Tony Tan’s son are a fundamentally different kettle of fish altogether. A sensible and rational person will see that, who can separate the goats from the sheep. Why don’t you respond to that – if you have a different take?

    And while at it can I hear your views about that PAP ex-MP Choo Wee Khiang (name correct?) erstwhile MP of Geylang GRC who was convicted in court of crimes twice. How much of MSM coverage was there of this person? Do you recall him being hounded by the press to speak up and reveal his thoughts on committing those offences? Based on your logic, it is not sufficient that his offences were well known and publicised. In your books it seems he must also speak up and explain himself. Did ex-MP Choo? Did YOU pursue it like the way you seem to be pursuing Yaw’s transgression?

    Speak up, man.

    You talk of exemplary character. Do you even know by half how exemplary is your own conduct in your comments here? Do you know how ‘exemplary’ in conduct have some of our most senior leaders been? Let me tell you there had been lots of gossips too, only the difference is, the MSM are not at liberty to push them out in prints out of self preservation, if they ever dare to offend the local ‘gods’.

  10. While I have enjoyed your principled articles in the past, this one is patently unhelpful to the opposition cause, being based largely on conjecture from dirt dug up by our infamous MSM.

  11. George boy, I understand your need to get even with my exposé of your erroneous logic. But, be reminded that this forum is not about me being right & you being wrong! It’s bigger than you & me, boy… Can’t u just fathom the depth of what defines corruption? Is Moral Corruption corruption? I say boy, wake up! How do u even justify YSL’s acts by concluding that, as deplorable an act as has been done by YSL against the husbands of the women that he has defiled, his role as an MP is Not Compromised?? I, & I believe many others would like to hear you explain away with your own definition of logic, as illogical as it may be. Is YSL not also the MP of the estranged husbands & their repective hounded wife..?? Have we descended to such a state of Moral Bankcruptcy that we are totally blinded to & unable to see the plights of men whose wives have been covertly coveted by the very one who should be their champion championing their plights…? I assume that you must assume that you are wise beyond your age, having experienced life & yet not know that your spouse needs not only your love, but your protection as well, against such a covetous cad?? I am a little curious, & one would wonder why George boy would bring in Tony Tan, his son, PAP etc into this forum & discussion about YSL’s obligation to come clean or resign…? Unless those are red herrings introduced to distract us & shield YSL (George secret hero?) against further scrutiny. I do understand George boy’s needs to support WP, & even all opposition parties as declared loudly & clearly. I do accept that there are contrarians in all societies. I do respect them having their own beliefs. What deplores me is Blind Faith. George boy obviously supports & protects YSL because YSL is, in fact an Opposition MP, whom George boy is just so elated to have… Imagine, an MP from an opposition party no less…! Grow up already George boy… We must not play with our children’s future..be guarded against thieves who may rob you of your children’s future. Regardless of YSL’s party affiliation, which happens to be the opposition WP, you, yes you, George boy, & all concerned citizens should demand no less than a full disclosure of the truth. We should not be so overtly fearful of the truth, for with knowledge of truth, truth will free you of your burden of carrying such a heavy sack full of justifications & excuses & false associations once & for all. See my point, George boy? It’s not about u & not abt me. It’s abt YSL…

  12. I too disagree with George’s comments.

    With regards to Tony Tan and his son’s NS issue, there were official statements made. Whether the public choose to believe it or not, it is another matter. (And, as VoteWisely said, why bring up TT in an article on YSL.)

    Whereas, in YSL’s case, there were no explanatory statements made.

    Many, including the author of this article, are calling for YSL’s resignation. Actually, I am a little more forgiving in this matter. Up until a few days ago, I had felt that this is a personal matter and thus should let him serve out his term as MP, and let the electorate decide on his re-election come next GE.

    However, with the recent news of a school principal and some civil servants having to step down because of certain personal “lifestyle choices”, I think the expectations of office bearers (who may not be public figures) now extends to their personal life too. Going by that set of moral standards, then YSL should consider stepping down, in line with what others had to do too. Or come out to categorically deny the allegations.