Two Singapore opposition party members resign over affair

20 Jul 2023 03:02pm
Leon Perera (left) and Nicole Seah
Leon Perera (left) and Nicole Seah

SINGAPORE - Two senior members of Singapore's main opposition party have resigned over an affair, it was announced Wednesday, in the third political scandal to rock the normally staid city-state in recent days.

The announcement of the Workers' Party (WP) resignations came two days after the speaker of parliament and a woman MP from the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) also resigned for having an "inappropriate" relationship.

WP member of parliament Leon Perera, 53, and the party's youth wing leader Nicole Seah, 36, resigned after a video showing them holding hands was posted on social media, party chief Pritam Singh said.

"Both of them admitted they had an affair," Singh told a news conference.

"The constitution of the Workers' Party requires candidates to be honest and frank in their dealings with the party and the people of Singapore," he said.

Both are married with children.

The WP is the biggest opposition party in parliament after making substantial inroads in 2020 elections.

However, the PAP, which has ruled Singapore uninterrupted since 1959, still holds an overwhelming majority.

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Singh said the affair started after the 2020 general election and Perera's driver had informed party members, although he and Seah denied it.

It was only after the video was posted on social media on Monday that they were forced to admit they were in a relationship.

"This is unacceptable," Singh said.

It was the third political scandal to spice up Singapore's usually uneventful political scene in recent days.

Transport minister S. Iswaran was arrested last week in connection with a rare top-level corruption probe that has also ensnared a billionaire hotel tycoon.

Singapore's anti-graft body has not disclosed details of the investigation into Iswaran, who was released on bail and has been ordered to go on leave.

Cabinet ministers in Singapore are paid salaries comparable to the top earners in the private sector to deter corruption. - AFP

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