With the Workers’ Party (WP)’s Secretary-General and Chairman positions elected unopposed, the real election on Sunday (April 9) became the voting in of the 12 members of the Central Executive Committee (CEC).
The 14-member CEC, together with new Sec-Gen Pritam Singh and Chairman Sylvia Lim, is the highest decision-making body of the WP.
The CEC election was a hotly contested one, with 23 party cadres vying for the 12 spots. Two years ago, 21 people put their names down for them.
Here's the vote count, confirmed by separate WP sources:
(Blue indicates a rise in placing, red indicates a drop in placing).
1. Ex WP Chief Low Thia Khiang – 70 votes. Premier League Leader.
(CEC 2016 results: NA, because Low was the Secretary-General)
1. Aljunied GRC MP Muhamad Faisal bin Abdul Manap – 70 votes. Premier League Leader.
(2016: 63 votes, 6th place)
3. Non-Constituency MP Dennis Tan – 67 votes.
Second runner-up. Up one place.
(2016: 64 votes, 4th place)
4. Aljunied GRC MP Chen Show Mao – 60 votes.
Chen continued his descent from top performer in the 2012 CEC election, dropping from second to fourth place.
(2016: 68 votes, 2nd place)
4. Hougang SMC MP Png Eng Huat – 60 votes.
Maintained his 4th/5th position.
(2016: 63 votes, 5th place)
6. NCMP Leon Perera – 59 votes.
Like Chen, received eight fewer votes.
(2016: 67 votes, 3rd place)
7. Ex Punggol East SMC MP Lee Li Lian – 56 votes.
Received fewer votes but rose one place.
(2016: 60 votes, 8th place)
8. NCMP Daniel Goh – 54 votes.
Lost votes but rose three places.
(2016: 57 votes, 11th place)
9. John Yam – 48 votes.
Made a comeback into the 2018 CEC. Was a CEC member in 2014 but was not voted into the 2016 CEC.
(2016: 50 votes, joint 13th place)
10. Firuz Khan – 48 votes.
Lost quite a number of votes, and dropped one place.
(2016: 59 votes, 9th place)
11. Ex NCMP Gerald Giam – 45 votes.
Dropped one place but experienced a huge drop in votes.
(2016: 58 votes, 10th place)
12. Terence Tan – 42 votes
(2016: Didn’t contest)
And here are 10 quick observations from the results:
1. It is a status-quo CEC for the WP. There were just two changes among the 14 members and only one new face among the 14.
2. It’s no surprise that Low is the top scorer, beating Pritam Singh’s top score of 69 votes in 2016.
3. Faisal Manap, WP’s Vice-Chairman, did surprisingly well to finish joint-first with Low.
4. Dennis Tan, WP’s Treasurer, continues to be gaining popularity within the party. Quietly. Or is it the Treasurer’s luck? Chen Show Mao was Treasurer in 2014 and 2016, and finished among the top three vote-getters.
5. Besides the top three performers, all the remaining seven 2016 CEC members who were re-elected lost votes.
6. Who lost the most votes from two years ago? Youth Wing President Gerald Giam lost 13 votes, Firuz Khan lost 11 votes, and both Chen Show Mao and Leon Perera lost eight votes each.
7. The biggest loser though is Tan Kong Soon, who is no longer in the CEC. Within two years, the former Youth Wing Vice President lost a massive 38 votes to finish dead last (22 votes) among the 23 contenders.
8. Terence Tan might well be the new WP star. The former Marine Parade GRC candidate didn’t run in the previous CECs, but made an immediate impact on his first try.
9. Cheryl Loh is the next big female hope after Sylvia Lim and Lee Li Lian. In 2016, she was nine votes short of reaching the CEC. This time, she fell three votes short.
10. The average age of the CEC has increased. This is because its new members – Low and John Yam – are older. Moreover, the CEC lost two younger CEC members in Tan and Kenneth Foo.
Top photo by Sulaiman Daud.