Eric Tan drops the hammer ... and quits Workers' Party in disgust

What a pitiful plight of Mr. Eric Tan who's bypassed by his own Workers' Party such that the NCMP position is not offered to him--who is the lead of the Workers' Party candidates battling for East Coast GRC!

Instead the post is offered to the younger 34-year-old Gerald Giam.

So it's official that Workers' Party is age-ist? Mr. Tan is barely 55 years old & have been contributing to Workers' Party longer than Mr. Giam. Yet, he's treated this way?!

With an eye on the next General Election (GE), the Workers' Party's (WP) top leadership made a strategic decision late Thursday night to select a younger member for its second Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) seat.

Unfortunately, the move prompted veteran central executive committee member and party treasurer Eric Tan to quit.

In an exclusive interview with Today late Thursday night, as he drafted a statement for the media, he said: "I feel betrayed."

The WP is expected to officially announce on Friday which of its candidates will be accepting the NCMP seats.

The WP is entitled to two NCMP seats - one for 46-year-old Yee Jenn Jong, who lost narrowly in the single-seat of Joo Chiat and the other for one of the five members of its East Coast Group Representation Constituency (GRC) team.

The Thursday night meeting at Hougang Town Council saw the WP's central executive committee vote to hand the second NCMP seat to the party's assistant webmaster, 34-year-old Gerald Giam.

This was the first election the IT consultant, who joined WP in 2009, has contested.

He was part of the team in East Coast GRC which was led by 55-year-old Mr Tan.

Mr Tan, a former banker who is now a private equity fund manager, said: "I am disappointed that Low (Thia Khiang) and part of the CEC have decided to go against the people's wishes, citing party renewal as their reason.

"I too, also believe in the renewal of the party but in an orderly manner, with succession plans.

"But not like this, dropped like a bomb."

Mr Tan added: "I have helped build the East Coast team since 2005 and was the only one remaining after the 2006 election. I fought on and rebuilt the team, helping to gain a solid result for the party," he said.

"I wanted the NCMP post so that I would be able to be the voice of the people." said Mr Tan, who is also the chairman of the party's Eastern Area Committee.

The 45.17 per cent polled by the WP in East Coast GRC has led many to speculate that the WP has set its sight on making the constituency its next major battleground in five years' time.

Mr Tan is also understood to have played a role in attracting corporate lawyer Chen Show Mao and Mr Yee to join the party. It is not known if the opposition party might reconsider its decision on Friday.

From Channel NewsAsia, "Workers' Party's Eric Tan quits".


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