WP moves out of Syed Alwi headquarters

The Workers' Party held a final meeting at its Syed Alwi headquarters on Thursday night. The shophouse has been its base of operations for the last three general elections and two by-elections in 2012 and 2013.
The Workers' Party held a final meeting at its Syed Alwi headquarters on Thursday night. The shophouse has been its base of operations for the last three general elections and two by-elections in 2012 and 2013.ST FILE PHOTO

The Workers' Party (WP) moved out of its headquarters in Syed Alwi Road on Thursday, and will be buying a property to house its future base.

It held a final meeting at the Syed Alwi shophouse that night, when members voted to amend the party's constitution to allow the property purchase.

After the meeting, they cleared out the office - their base of operations for the last three general elections and two by-elections in 2012 and 2013 - as the lease expires at the end of the year.

In a Facebook post yesterday, former non-constituency MP Yee Jenn Jong reflected on the events he attended at the headquarters. "It was amazing how many people we could pack into such a small room for those press conferences, and especially for volunteers' briefings and signing of oaths for general election polling and counting agents," he wrote. "Sometimes 100 people, spilling into the corridors!"

The party held most of its major events there, from introducing election candidates to launching election manifestos.

Former Punggol East MP Lee Li Lian wrote in a Facebook post yesterday: "I can still remember the day I was first introduced as a WP candidate in 2011.

"The small office in the room offered us a place to cool down and practise our speeches."

Various groups in the party, such as the central executive council and the youth wing, also held regular meetings at the premises.

Weekly open houses also took place there. But this was discontinued in August as people now prefer other forms of engagement, such as attending Meet-the-People sessions to see the MP of their choice, a WP spokesman said.

"There is a sense of nostalgia and renewal as we leave the headquarters to write a new chapter... We have gone through many trials, but we have only one mind focused on Singapore and one heart set on Singaporeans," the party said in a Facebook post yesterday.

The WP is hoping to get its new premises by next year to coincide with its 60th anniversary, ideally in the north-east of Singapore, where the party is most active and the WP-held constituencies of Aljunied and Hougang are located.

The WP also thanked donors who contributed to funds for the new building and for the party.

"We are laying the bricks now and we hope to have good news to share with you soon," it said.

Chong Zi Liang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 17, 2016, with the headline 'WP moves out of Syed Alwi headquarters'. Print Edition | Subscribe