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Workers' Party expels Yaw Shin Leong
SINGAPORE : The Workers' Party has expelled its Member of Parliament (MP) for Hougang, Yaw Shin Leong, with immediate effect.

Party Chairman Sylvia Lim said at a media conference on Wednesday that the party believes strongly in transparency and accountability, and expects no less from party members, especially an MP.

She said transparency and accountability are key but these have not been met.

She said Mr Yaw has been accused of several indiscretions in his private life.

She said by continuing not to account to the party and the people, especially the residents of Hougang, he has broken the faith, trust and expectations of the party and the people.

The shocking announcement came after weeks of speculation and rumours that Mr Yaw has had an alleged extra-marital affair with a fellow opposition member.

Other WP MPs will cover his duties in Hougang.

Ms Lim said the decision was difficult and painful for the party.

She said Mr Yaw has been a core member of the party leadership for more than 10 years and has made significant and unique contributions to the party's growth.

She said he has also served residents of Hougang diligently.

However, the council has decided that it is in the public interest to take this step.

Ms Lim said the party believes it is only fair to Hougang residents that they have another opportunity to elect their MP.

She said the party apologises for having to put them through a by-election.

She also assured Hougang residents that they will continue to be served by the party until the by-election is called.

The Meet-the-People sessions in Hougang will continue, with other WP MPs covering.

Ms Lim said Mr Yaw was invited to attend the party's Central Executive Council meeting on Tuesday night to discuss the allegations but he did not show up.

WP Secretary-General Low Thia Khiang announced the shocking news in Mandarin.

He said the decision to expel Mr Yaw was painful but stressed that the party has to act so that its MPs can stand tall and take the People's Action Party government to account.

Also present at the media conference were Aljunied GRC MP Pritam Singh and Non-Constituency MP Gerald Giam.

Political watcher Zulkifli Baharudin said the WP's move to expel Mr Yaw shows the party holds itself accountable to the public.

Mr Zulkifli said Singaporeans expect their politicians to have clean and responsible values in both public and private life.

He said: "One signal that the WP is sending is that they are here; perhaps they are making a significant compromise in the short term, knowing that they fought very hard to have Hougang as their foothold, and entrusted that to a young member of their leadership.

"And I think they are making a huge sacrifice in this effort, simply because they are clearly focused on the long term and want to get the support of Singaporeans at large."

Meanwhile, Singaporeans Channel NewsAsia spoke to expressed shock and disbelief over WP's decision.

One Hougang resident said it is good that the party has cleared the air on the issue but felt that it should have made its position clear earlier.

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