NSP acting sec-gen Hazel Poa resigns, says she strongly disagrees with decision to contest MacPherson

This is the second time Ms Poa has resigned from the NSP.
This is the second time Ms Poa has resigned from the NSP.ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE - The National Solidarity Party's (NSP) acting secretary-general Hazel Poa has resigned from the party and will not contest the next general election, she said in a statement on Wednesday.

The 44-year-old said she was stepping down because she "strongly disagreed" with the party's decision to reverse its decision to withdraw from MacPherson SMC.

She wrote in a statement: "On 17 Aug 2015, the CEC of NSP decided to support Steve Chia's request to contest in MacPherson SMC in a 3 cornered fight against WP and PAP.  It was a decision I strongly disagreed with, and hence not one I can implement.  As the direction that the party has decided to pursue deviates greatly from my own, I see no choice other than to resign from the NSP."

The statement came minutes after the party announced it was going to contest MacPherson SMC, setting up a possible three-cornered fight at the single-seat ward.

 

NSP central executive committee (CEC) member Steve Chia is said to have strongly pushed for the party to contest MacPherson SMC. This was put to a vote, with a majority of the CEC opting to support Mr Chia's request.

She said: "Whilst I disagree with the decision that has been taken, I respect the right of the CEC as the decision-making body of the Party to make that call.  I wish NSP all the best in the coming GE."

Ms Poa added that unlike in other political parties, the leader of NSP is the president and not the secretary-general, who "plays the role of media spokesperson for the party".

"Therefore, my departure will not result in a situation of the party being leaderless," she said.

She added that her resignation means she will not be contesting the next election.

" I would like to thank all who have encouraged me on my journey and given me helpful pointers, including members of NSP and other political parties, the public and the media. I apologise to all whom I have disappointed.  My own disappointment is no less.  For me, the coming months will be a time for reflection," she said.

This is the second time Ms Poa has resigned from the NSP.

Ms Poa, a former government scholarship holder and one of the party's star candidates in the 2011 General Election, had been elected as the party's secretary-general in June 2011 and again in April 2013, but stepped down suddenly in September 2013 citing health reasons.

She was appointed as acting secretary-general in June after Mr Tan Lam Siong resigned as party chief.