Three Workers' Party candidates who vied in East Coast GRC, Nee Soon GRC co-opted into party CEC

Leon Perera speaking at the Hougang Stadium during this year's General Election. He is one of the three co-opted on Oct 6 into the Central Executive Council (CEC).
Leon Perera speaking at the Hougang Stadium during this year's General Election. He is one of the three co-opted on Oct 6 into the Central Executive Council (CEC). PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

SINGAPORE - The Workers' Party (WP) has pressed on with succession plans despite a setback at the Sept 11 general election by co-opting three candidates who contested the polls into its top decision-making body.

Two of the three co-opted on Tuesday night into the Central Executive Council (CEC) are Non-Constituency MP and consultancy firm chief executive Leon Perera, 45; and former librarian Mohamed Fairoz Shariff, 36.

Both were part of the WP's four-man East Coast GRC slate that garnered 39.3 per cent of the vote at last month's general election.

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

All three were appointed during the council's monthly meeting - the first to be held since the general election.

The move signals that the party is proceeding with renewal plans, which WP leaders touched on during the election campaign, and is injecting fresh blood into its top echelon.

The party fielded 28 candidates, most of them between aged between 29 and 45, at the general election. Of these 16 were new faces.

During the hustings, party chief Low Thia Khiang singled out the WP candidates in East Coast GRC and the single-seat ward of Fengshan for praise, and introduced them as being at the core of the party's next generation leadership.

The other two East Coast candidates - IT consultant Gerald Giam, 37, and sociology professor Daniel Goh, 42 - as well as 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 performing losers at the election. He polled 42.5 per cent of vote in Fengshan.

At Tuesday night's meeting, several from the group were also made office holders.

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

Mr Foo, meanwhile, was appointed to the post of deputy organising secretary, and will assist former Punggol East MP Lee Li Lian, 37, and Aljunied GRC MP Pritam Singh, 39, who are both organising secretaries.

The party 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 failed to get elected at last year's party conference.

That both Dr Goh and Mr Tan, have played key roles in the party, such as by putting out the election manifesto, is an indication of the plans that the WP has in store for those appointed this year.

After the 2011 general election, the WP 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 assumed the chairmanship of the party's Aljunied-Hougang town council.