The PAP co-opted four new members into its CEC on 19 Nov 2020. They are Edwin Tong, Alex Yam, and Aljunied grassroots leader Victor Lye and NTUC Chief Ng Chee Meng. The co-opting of Victor Lye and Ng Chee Meng was a move which stunned political pundits and party members.
Victor Lye and Ng Chee Meng are non-elected Members of Parliament but yet managed to wriggle their way into the top decision-making body of the PAP. Victor Lye is infamous for unsuccessfully trying to contest in Aljunied GRC against The Workers’ Party (WP). Ng Chee Meng utterly lost Sengkang GRC to WP despite two Ministers being fielded in the constituency.
The presence of non-MPs in the PAP CEC is something that has not happened for at least two decades. According to political pundits, this move only occurred during the early days of the PAP during the 1950s.
While the state media presented this move as PAP’s way of recognising the “hard work” put in by their activists, could this unconventional move also be a sign that PAP is lacking appropriate talent among its ranks?
Victor Lye is known to many netizens as a thick-skinned candidate who miserably failed to win Aljunied. His unwavering effort to contest under the PAP banner could be a sign of his blind loyalty to a party who abandoned him to a WP stronghold.
On the other hand Ng Chee Meng’s ouster from politics is symbolic of Singaporeans’ lack of confidence in his capability as a politician. Bringing him back on board would be a slap to the face of Sengkang voters as he will still have influence over policies which affect them, as well as a say in their ward’s concerns through the backdoor method as a grassroots advisor.
The question Singaporeans should ask themselves is whether they want the PAP’s top decision-making to include losing candidates who did not get the voters’ mandate and also more of those “yes” men.