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Yaw Shin Leong (Template:Zh; born 2 June 1976) was the Treasurer of The Workers' Party of Singapore,[1] and was a Member of Parliament representing the constituency of Hougang after the 2011 Singapore General Elections until he was expelled by the Worker's Party in February 2012.

Political careerEdit

Yaw joined the Workers' Party in June 2001. He was a promising young man who was elected into Central Executive Council (CEC) a year later. He remained in CEC until 7 February 2012 when he suddenly stepped down from the post of Treasurer.[2]

In the 2006 Singapore General Election, Yaw was candidate and leader of The Workers' Party team that contested the Prime Minister's seat of Ang Mo Kio Group Representative Constituency. Made up largely of young, first-time candidates under the age of 35, the team was dubbed the "suicide squad" by the media, and the People's Action Party chairman Lim Boon Heng boldly predicted that the Prime Minister's team would win 80 to 85% of the votes, putting the "suicide squad" at risk of losing their deposits. However, Yaw's team managed to secure more than one-third of the votes against the PAP team led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.[3]

Yaw became the Workers' Party candidate for Hougang Single Member Constituency during the 2011 Singapore General Election after the former MP, party leader Low Thia Khiang, opted to vacate his seat of 20 years to contest in Aljunied Group Representation Constituency with other Workers' Party candidates. Low gave Yaw his strong personal endorsement after explaining to the voters of Hougang that his decision to leave was one of the most difficult decisions in his life, saying that he needed to do so in order to break the PAP's monopoly on Parliament.

On 7 May 2011, Yaw won the Hougang Single Member Constituency with 64.8% of the vote beating Desmond Choo of the PAP, who took 35.1% of the vote. His margin of victory was the highest-ever achieved by the Workers' Party since it first won the constituency in 1991. Yaw, along with fellow MP, Dr Chia Shi-Lu and Mr Ong Teng Koon, was invited to join the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (Accord) which he accepted.[4]

Appointments Held in Workers' Party[1]Edit

Expulsion from PartyEdit

In January 2012, news of a rumoured extramarital affair with a fellow member of the Workers' Party broke out.[5] Yaw said he did not intend to respond to the rumours.[6] In another report, a married PRC woman claimed to have had an affair with Yaw.[7]

After Yaw's resignation of his treasurer post, netizens queried and speculated his resignation.[8]

On 15 February 2012, the Workers' Party announced that Yaw has been expelled with immediate effect, citing 'indiscretions in personal life' as reasons for expulsion.[9][10] Prior to his expulsion, the Worker's Party's Central Executive Council invited Yaw to explain himself several times, but he failed to attend the meetings. [11] Yaw is the first MP to be ousted for "[breaking] the faith, trust and expectations of the Party and People".[12]

On 22 February 2012, Yaw emailed the then Speaker of Parliament, Michael Palmer, that he will not be contesting his expulsion. As a result, his seat will be deemed vacant as from the date of his expulsion on 14 February 2012.

Personal profileEdit

Yaw's father died when he was 13. His widowed mother then struggled to bring up both his younger sister and himself, supporting them through tertiary education. He is the Programme Director of Eduhearts Consultancy and a Managing Partner of Easto Global LLP. He is also an adjunct Lecturer in Business Studies. He used to be a full-time Business Management lecturer in Raffles College of Higher Education from 2008 to 2010.

Yaw had his secondary and pre-university education in Bukit Panjang Government High School and Jurong Junior College. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA, Merit) degree in Political Science & Sociology from National University of Singapore. He also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from University of Western Sydney.[3]

Yaw served as a combat medic during his National Service. He is currently with the Singapore Armed Forces' ROVERS (Reservist On Voluntary Extended Reserve Service) program. He is a Teochew clansman of the Nanyang Pho Leng Hui Kuan and a member of the Singapore Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan. He is married.[3]

Yaw's first marriage in 2004 to 35-year-old Ng Mei Sze, a teacher and a head of department at a top school, lasted for only about a year. In 2006, Yaw reportedly became attached to his current wife, Lau Wang Lin, and married her in November 2008. It has also surfaced that Yaw had been engaged to a fellow student during his university days, but they later broke up. There were some rumors that Yaw had some inappropriate actions to some of his female students in Raffles College of Higher Education. However, the students have remained silent about what actually happened between them and Yaw.

In December 2010, Yaw published a Chinese book ‘Towards Political Vibrancy & Development’ (迈向政治发展与繁荣) a translation of his selected English blog posts which include reflections on his 10-odd years of political participation.[3]


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