WP co-opts three fresh faces into leadership

Mr Kenneth Foo, Mr Leon Perera and Mr Mohamed Fairoz Shariff were co-opted into the Workers' Party's central executive council on Tuesday.
Mr Kenneth Foo ( above), Mr Leon Perera and Mr Mohamed Fairoz Shariff were co-opted into the Workers' Party's central executive council on Tuesday.ST FILE PHOTOS
Mr Kenneth Foo, Mr Leon Perera and Mr Mohamed Fairoz Shariff were co-opted into the Workers' Party's central executive council on Tuesday.
Mr Kenneth Foo, Mr Leon Perera (above)and Mr Mohamed Fairoz Shariff were co-opted into the Workers' Party's central executive council on Tuesday.ST FILE PHOTOS
Mr Kenneth Foo, Mr Leon Perera and Mr Mohamed Fairoz Shariff were co-opted into the Workers' Party's central executive council on Tuesday.
Mr Kenneth Foo, Mr Leon Perera and Mr Mohamed Fairoz Shariff (above) were co-opted into the Workers' Party's central executive council on Tuesday.ST FILE PHOTOS

Leon Perera, Mohamed Fairoz Shariff and Kenneth Foo join top decision-making body

The Workers' Party (WP), pressing on with its succession plans despite the setback at the Sept 11 General Election, has co-opted three men who contested the polls into its top decision-making body.

Two of the three appointed to the central executive council (CEC) are Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) and consultancy firm chief executive Leon Perera, 45, and former librarian Mohamed Fairoz Shariff, 36.

Both were in the WP's four-man team in East Coast GRC that got 39.3 per cent of the vote in last month's general election.

The third is voluntary welfare organisation manager Kenneth Foo, 38, who led a team in Nee Soon GRC that garnered 33.2 per cent of the vote.

All three were appointed on Tuesday night at the council's monthly meeting, the party's first since the polls.

The move injects new blood into the party's top echelon as well as signals that it is going ahead with the renewal plans its leaders had spoken about on the hustings.

The WP fielded 28 candidates in the general election, most of whom were aged between 29 and 45. Of these, 16 were new faces.

During the hustings, party chief Low Thia Khiang praised the East Coast GRC team and the candidate for single-seat Fengshan, saying they were part of the core of the party's next-generation leadership.

The other two East Coast GRC candidates - IT consultant Gerald Giam, 37, and sociology professor Daniel Goh, 42 - as well as the party's Fengshan candidate, shipping law firm partner Dennis Tan, 45, are already in the CEC. Mr Tan is also an NCMP, as one of the best performers among those who lost at the elections. He got 42.5 per cent of the vote in Fengshan.

At Tuesday's meeting, several CEC members were also appointed to head various sub-committees.

Dr Goh will be the WP's new media chair, taking over from Mr Giam, and Mr Fairoz, its webmaster.

Mr Foo was appointed deputy organising secretary, helping former Punggol East MP Lee Li Lian, 37, and Aljunied GRC MP Pritam Singh, 39, both of whom are organising secretaries.

The CEC is mid-way through its two-year term after being elected at the Organising Members' Conference in July last year.

The last time the CEC co-opted members was in 2013, when it brought in Dr Goh, Mr Tan and Mr Toh Hong Boon, 35, a project coordinator in a global agrochemicals firm. Mr Toh was not elected at last year's party conference.

After the 2011 polls, the WP CEC co-opted Aljunied MPs Chen Show Mao, 54, and Mr Singh, as well as Mr Yee Jenn Jong, 50, who was an NCMP.

Mr Singh recently became chairman of the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council.

• Additional reporting by Tham Yuen-C

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 08, 2015, with the headline 'WP co-opts three fresh faces into leadership'. Print Edition | Subscribe