Pritam Singh frontrunner to be next Workers' Party leader

This article is more than 12 months old

3 Workers' Party MPs pull out of race

Mr Pritam Singh is emerging as the top choice to be the next leader of the Workers' Party, with three of its MPs publicly ruling themselves out of the race and endorsing him.

They are Non-Constituency MPs Daniel Goh, Leon Perera and Dennis Tan. Ms Sylvia Lim has also made it clear she is not interested in the position, saying she intends to run for her current role as party chairman.

Party insiders said Mr Singh, WP's assistant secretary-general, is also the clear choice of current secretary-general Low Thia Khiang. Mr Low, 61, announced last November that he would be stepping down to make way for new blood.

However, a question mark hangs over whether fellow Aljunied GRC MP Chen Show Mao will challenge Mr Singh for the role. When approached last night on whether he would stand for election as party secretary-general, Mr Chen, 57, declined comment.

During the last round of the biennial central executive committee elections, in 2016, Mr Chen mounted an unprecedented challenge against Mr Low. He lost, with 45 votes to Mr Low's 61.

While Mr Singh, 41, a lawyer, is generally seen as the front runner, Dr Goh and Mr Tan have also been thrown up as possible candidates. Yesterday, they were unequivocal in stating that Mr Singh is the best person for the job.

In a Facebook post, Dr Goh, 44, a sociologist, described him as a "humble servant-leader who knows his own flaws, works closely with the party grassroots and exhorts them to unite for the common good of Singapore and Singaporeans".

Mr Tan, 47, told The Straits Times: "I fully agree with Daniel that Pritam is more worthy to be the next secretary-general.

"My view is that the secretary-general must be able to lead us in Parliament since we are the only opposition party. To me, experience in Parliament and being able to speak on issues is very important."

Also throwing his support behind Mr Singh, Mr Perera, 46, said: "He is a tried and tested leader who has served creditably in many roles in the party and town council, is effective at the grassroots and has performed well in Parliament."

When approached yesterday, Mr Singh simply said: " Ultimately, the cadres have to decide who they want to lead them as the next secretary-general."

The party elections will be held on April 8.

Singapore Politics