The WP has finally taken the unpleasant decision that everyone was waiting for in sacking Yaw Shin Leong from the party for personal indiscretion. Though these are still yet to be confirmed, the rumour mills have reached a point that silence is no longer acceptable and a decision has to be made.
It is a very painful political decision as the precious seat of Hougang is now to be contested again and in any election, the final outcome is uncertain. What is pertinent in this case is that the WP has set a standard of conduct for its members standing for election and to tell the people what the party stands for. It is a party that believes in transparency and accountability and exemplary conduct from its MPs. It expects its MPs to come clean and explain if they have committed any violations. On the part of the party, it does not see a need to explain the nitty details of what, when, where and how. If the MP does not account for his own wrongdoings, the party will dismiss the MP.
This is quite similar to the judicial process. A guilty person will be punished and paid for his crime. There is no requirement for the guilty party to say sorry and explain the sordid details of his wrongdoings. And there is no need for his associates to explain in detail how, when and where the wrongdoings started. However, this is not the final position of the WP and they may come out with the details that they knew.
In the case of the PAP, presumably they will likewise sack their MPs for any misconduct or wrongdoing. They also believe in transparency and accountability and a high moral standard from their MPs. The PAP expects more, as what its Chairman Khaw Boon Wan said, ‘…the Worker’s Party needs to come out clean and clear, as I said, what did the know, what did they know in recent days, and how long did they know such information? And if they knew earlier, why did they still field such a candidate? Because otherwise, you are actually misleading the voters.’
Both parties’ positions are now quite clear and both will be held accountable to the standards they claimed to uphold. And they will be challenged and ridicule for failing to live up to their high standards and principles of moral conduct. As for whether the WP would square up with the PAP’s standard of the party having to explain more, this is still unclear. What is clear is that if PAP MPs are found wanting, the PAP as a party will make an explanation, very close to the party’s position that sorry must also explain.
Let’s hope that no more MPs will be caught in the same shit and no party needs to make any explanation according to the standard defined by Boon Wan.