29 December 2012 09:00 | By Ang Kai Fong
Singapore's top newsmakers of 2012

Yaw Shin Leong

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6. Yaw Shin Leong

After his alleged affair with a married female party member was exposed, former MP for Hougang Yaw Shin Leong chose to keep mum about the matter and subsequently pulled a vanishing act. He was expelled from the Workers’ Party (WP) in February this year. Yaw had been MP for just nine months.

News of the scandal first broke in January. To date, the former WP treasurer and his alleged lover(s) have neither confirmed nor denied the rumours. He was reportedly last seen at Changi Airport in February, luggage in hand.

Yaw only broke his silence months later in mid-May, when he penned a personal letter to Hougang voters and issued it to the media, apologising “for the whole episode” and urging them to continue supporting the WP. He also confirmed that he had left Singapore with his wife in an attempt to rebuild their lives.

Hougang by-election

Yaw’s expulsion eventually paved the way for a by-election in the single-seat constituency, which WP’s Png Eng Huat retained with 62.09 per cent of the vote on 26 May, against the ruling People Action Party’s Desmond Choo’s 37.91 per cent. Hougang has been a stronghold of WP since 1991.

Meanwhile, the question of whether holding a by-election is at the PM’s discretion was also brought up in court. The courts said yes, and also ruled that the Hougang resident who took it upon herself to raise the issue of public interest would not have to pay legal costs even though she lost her bid.

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