The Straits Times says

Measured renewal of WP's leadership

New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

The fluid transition of power within the Workers' Party would gratify its leaders, cadres and supporters as this generally confers stability and legitimacy to the renewal process adopted by a party. Dramatic change would not dovetail with the perspective of outgoing secretary-general Low Thia Khiang, who puts the party (once led by Mr David Marshall and Mr J. B. Jeyaretnam) above a party icon. "If a party is driven only by strong personality, then the party is very shallow," Mr Low declared in a WP book. "You need to build a team and an organisation."

In his measured, down-to-earth and shrewd way, Mr Low quietly built up a sufficient following to help the party win a group representation constituency in 2011. It was a victory that academic Derek da Cunha called "the most important electoral development in Singapore in at least one generation". That was mostly because Aljunied GRC is "almost a microcosm of Singapore", whereas Mr Jeyaretnam's breakthrough win in the Anson by-election of 1981 was fuelled by specific constituency issues which the opposition had exploited.

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 10, 2018, with the headline Measured renewal of WP's leadership. Subscribe