Low Thia Khiang says up to residents to ask him if he will return to politics to help WP

Mr Low Thia Khiang stepped down as secretary-general in 2018 and as an Aljunied GRC MP two years later. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE

SINGAPORE - Former Workers’ Party (WP) chief Low Thia Khiang  has sought to reassure concerned supporters, saying the party has plenty of talent within its ranks and there is no need to worry.

On whether he would come out of retirement to steer the WP through its current trouble, he said he would respond to residents should they ask him to do so.

These were Mr Low's first comments to the media after a parliamentary committee released an extensive report on Thursday (Feb 10), recommending sanctions for former WP MP Raeesah Khan and party leaders Pritam Singh and Faisal Manap for their roles in lies Ms Khan told in Parliament.

Speaking to Chinese-language publication Shin Min Daily News on Friday (Feb 11), Mr Low, who stepped down as secretary-general in 2018 and as an Aljunied GRC MP two years later, said he appreciated the sentiments of residents calling on him to return to politics to steady the WP ship through this difficult period.

"It's up to the residents to ask me, and I'll tell them more," said Mr Low in Mandarin. "In fact, everyone is very concerned. (But) there are many talents in the Workers' Party, so there is no need to worry."

Some observers have also raised the possibility of Mr Low making a comeback to salvage what they see as a worsening situation for the WP.

The Committee of Privileges has called for Ms Khan to be fined $35,000 and for Mr Singh and Mr Faisal to be referred to the Public Prosecutor for investigations, to consider if criminal proceedings ought to be instituted.

The eight-member panel, comprising seven ruling People's Action Party lawmakers and one WP MP, determined that Mr Singh had lied while giving evidence under oath and that this could amount to perjury, and that Mr Faisal's "flagrant" refusal to answer questions could amount to contempt of Parliament.

In a Facebook post shortly after the report was issued on Thursday, Mr Singh had raised the prospect of him and Mr Faisal - both Aljunied GRC MPs - losing their seats in Parliament, should they be fined $2,000 or more.

But Mr Singh, who was formally designated as the Leader of the Opposition after the 2020 General Election, said that until the resolution of these matters, he and Mr Faisal will continue their constituency work as per normal.

On Saturday, Mr Singh also took to Facebook to share a photo of himself with Mr Low, along with Hougang MP Dennis Tan and Mr Tan's predecessor Png Eng Huat.

The four of them had spent the morning attending a function held by residents of a condominium in Hougang.

Mr Singh, Mr Faisal and party chairman Sylvia Lim are expected to speak more on the committee's report on Tuesday (Feb 15), when Parliament debates it and MPs vote on whether to accept the recommendations.

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