NCMP Daniel Goh rules himself out as Workers' Party's next chief, says Pritam Singh more qualified

Non-constituency MP (NCMP) Daniel Goh (left) stated that Aljunied GRC MP Pritam Singh is more qualified to be the Workers' Party's next secretary-general. PHOTOS: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Workers' Party (WP) non-constituency MP (NCMP) Daniel Goh has ruled himself out as the party's next chief, stating in a Facebook post on Monday (Feb 12) that Aljunied GRC MP Pritam Singh is more qualified for the role.

WP is slated to hold its next leadership election on April 8, in time for Parliament's new session in May.

Mr Singh, 41, the party's assistant secretary-general, is tipped to take over current head Low Thia Khiang, 61, who had said in November that he will be stepping down as WP secretary-general - a position he has held for 17 years - to make way for new blood.

However, political observers who spoke earlier to The Sunday Times suggested it was possible that the WP would elect one of its NCMPs to the top role instead. The party's NCMPs are Dr Goh, 44, Mr Leon Perera, 46 and Mr Dennis Tan, 47.

On Sunday, Dr Goh, an associate professor of sociology at the National University of Singapore, referred to The Sunday Times article on Facebook with a one-word comment: "Nope."

Elaborating on that comment in another Facebook post on Monday, Dr Goh said he believed that WP, to further develop as a viable opposition party, needed a leader who is "an MP, with good experience of speaking and debating in Parliament, and able to lead the other WP MPs".

The new chief should also be an MP who works with his constituents, has their confidence and support and has good experience in leading town council management.

Finally, Dr Goh said, the next WP secretary-general should be a "humble servant-leader who knows his own flaws, works closely with the party grassroots and exhorts them to unite for the common good of Singapore and Singaporeans".

He noted that he had worked closely with Mr Singh on the organising committee of the WP's 60th anniversary and was convinced Mr Singh is such a servant-leader.

"On the first three counts, I am only a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament with two years of real political experience. I have a lot more to learn," he added.

"Pritam, on the other hand, is a proven MP in these respects."

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