Here is Mr Low’s speech in full. Transcripts are below:
Dear voters of Hougang and supporters,
This Hougang by-election is full of surprises. Let me now explain NCMP selection of the Workers’ Party and put it in perspective.
Png Eng Huat’s statement to the CNA (Channelnewsasia), during the interview, said that he took his name out of the ballot. He was not referring to the ballot paper but the ballot, as in the voting process, and running for the NCMP position.
I had anticipated that there could be differences of opinion about how NCMP seats should be fielded.
Hence, in Jan 2010, after Parliament passed the amendments to the Constitution to increase the NCMP seats from 3 to 9, the CEC passed a resolution to set up the process of NCMP selection via secret voting.
I had prepared the ballot paper for the Extraordinary Meeting. [Holds up ballot paper] This is the ballot which I prepared, with all the names of the team on the ballot paper.
Png Eng HUat had told me before and after the General Election that he was strongly against the NCMP scheme and did not want to be considered for the NCMP position. Just as Eric Tan had told me of his desire to be NCMP.
However, I still listed the names of the whole East Coast GRC team because they were all part of the team. Personal preferences had to be set aside. The selection of the NCMP lies solely with the CEC.
Therefore, whether a candidate wanted personally to be an NCMP or not, the decision is not his. It would be the collective decision of the CEC. This is how, I believe, a collective leadership should function in a political party.
I confirm that the minutes circulating over the Internet and published by the papers is the minutes of the Workers’ Party on the selection of the NCMPs. I do not want to speculate how the anonymous source obtained the minutes. However, this is obviously a calculated move made at this point of time to intentionally damage the Workers’ Party and sabotage the Workers’ Party candidate in Hougang.
But this is a weak attempt at discrediting the Workers’ Party.
In fact, I would invite all of you to take a look at the minutes. It shows that the Workers’ Party functions in a fair and transparent manner, where decisions are made collectively. In addition, it also dispels rumours that the CEC is made up of “yes-men” and “women”, or fully controlled by Low Thia Khiang.
In this case the CEC was not unanimous in its decision.
Png Eng Huat had previously stated his stand against the NCMP position to me and some other members of the CEC but he still got one vote. The majority voted for Gerald Giam. When the voting result was concluded, only Eric Tan decided to resign. The other CEC members stayed united and on course with the Workers’ Party. This shows that the Workers’ Party, as a credible party, can embrace different opinions while working together as a team, and moving forward.
I urge the voters in Hougang to focus on the by-election and not to be distracted by the issue.
I stand by what I said when I introduced Png Eng Huat to you last Saturday. Png Eng Huat is a man of integrity.
Vote for Png Eng Huat!
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