SINGAPORE - A key figure in the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) has stepped down as treasurer and member of the party's top decision-making body, the latest in a string of recent departures and controversies to have hit the opposition party founded by former People's Action Party MP Tan Cheng Bock.
Chartered accountant Kayla Low told The Straits Times on Monday (Oct 25) that she has stepped down because her new job required her to take long business trips.
"Because of the nature of the new job, it'll be difficult for me to attend to the party's treasury matters in an efficient and effective way. I would like to take this opportunity to wish the party all the success in its endeavours," she said.
PSP secretary-general Francis Yuen, who took over from Dr Tan after the party's maiden run in the general election last year, confirmed Ms Low's exit and said the 44-year-old had "requested that she be relieved of her duties".
The party announced on Facebook that her replacement would be two-term central executive committee (CEC) member Peggie Chua.
ST understands Ms Low has also relinquished her party membership but will remain involved with the PSP as a volunteer.
Only members can contest elections, and volunteers must walk the ground and contribute for six months before being put up for membership.
Ms Low was elected to PSP's CEC in March this year and named treasurer a few days later.
The chartered accountant contested last year's polls in the newly formed Yio Chu Kang single seat ward and garnered 39 per cent of the vote, losing to first-time People's Action Party candidate Yip Hon Weng.
Ms Low had introduced herself then as chief operating officer and chief financial officer of a group running 11 local companies across the retail, manufacturing, transportation and travel industries.
Her profile on the career platform LinkedIn indicates that she left these roles in July this year and became managing director of an e-commerce platform.
On the PSP website, Ms Low is described as "an entrepreneur and business owner of five local companies dealing with consulting, accounting services, investments, wholesale, food and beverage and online businesses".
She was a former prisons officer and volunteers with low-income families and the elderly in her spare time.
Party sources said Ms Low was popular with her PSP Yio Chu Kang team as well as residents , and described her departure from the party as significant.
It follows the resignation in August of another former PSP election candidate, Mr Brad Bowyer, in the wake of a backlash over social media posts comparing vaccination-differentiated measures with the Holocaust.
In April, the party's youth wing head Terence Soon quit, similarly citing overseas job opportunities.
Mr Bowyer also feuded publicly with then fellow party member Kala Manickam in December last year over pandemic measures, before Ms Manickam and the PSP parted ways.
Media reports in July quoted members who were concerned with how the PSP's stance on the free trade agreement between Singapore and India, or Ceca, was singling out a race and nationality. Party leaders have rejected these claims.
The PSP subsequently filed a parliamentary motion on related issues around employment and foreign workforce policy.
It sparked a marathon debate in the House that concluded with PSP Non-Constituency MP Leong Mun Wai maintaining that foreigners were the primary cause of job-related anxieties among Singaporeans.