SINGAPORE: Frankie Wong, the former driver for ex-Member of Parliament Leon Perera, was recently interviewed by local media outlet Mothership.
During the interview, Wong conveyed his frustration, expressing being “deeply angered” by the portrayal of Mr Pritam Singh, the Workers’ Party Secretary General’s account in Parliament of how he got tipped off of an affair between Perera and former WP member, Nicole Seah.
Wong stated that Mr Singh had indicated learning about Perera and Seah’s affair through WhatsApp during the parliamentary session.
However, Wong disputes this version of events, asserting that he had actually informed Singh about Perera and Seah’s affair through a phone call.
Contrary to this, it’s important to note that Mr Singh did not specifically mention in Parliament on 2 August that he had been informed about the affair by Wong via WhatsApp.
It was during a press conference on 19 July, Mr Singh mentioned that around late 2020 and early 2021, the driver informed him through WhatsApp about the allegations, claiming that Mr Perera and Ms Seah frequently met in hotels and restaurants and were seen holding hands.
However, Mr Singh did not state if it was a WhatsApp message or a call.
Wong uploaded a video on Reddit, accusing Mr Singh “lied in Parliament”
Prior to this, Wong had uploaded a video on Reddit, voicing his dissatisfaction with Singh’s statements in Parliament.
He claimed that Singh had “misrepresented” the situation and emphasized his attempt to assist Perera regarding the affair, leading him to contact Gerald Giam, WP Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC.
Wong stated that Giam had provided him with Singh’s contact number and advised him to call Singh directly.
“So I called Pritam, said “please help Leon,” then he said ok.”
“Then, yesterday (2 Aug) I saw him, telling a lie in Parliament, saying that I WhatsApp him, ” Wong expressed his displeasure, questioning why Mr Singh hadn’t contacted him for an interview at that time.
Wong claims he obtained Mr Singh’s contact number from Gerald Giam
During an interview with Mothership on 6 August, Wong disclosed that Gerald Giam provided him with Singh’s contact number, following which he reached out to Singh directly.
Wong explained that during their conversation, he informed Singh about Perera and Seah’s affair and requested Singh’s assistance on Perera’s behalf.
Wong alleged that Singh did not say anything besides replying “okay” before he hung up.
Wong said his communication with Singh occurred over a phone call and not through WhatsApp.
However, he admitted to not having a precise recollection of when he contacted both Giam and Singh, and he lacked any records of these conversations.
A check on Wong’s WhatsApp conversation with Singh by the Mothership reporter, indicated that only one message was exchanged between Wong and Singh on 9 April this year.
Both Wong and Singh’s statements to the media suggest that Wong had supposedly informed Singh about Perera and Seah’s affair sometime between late 2020 and early 2021.
While Wong said he had not changed his phone since 2020, it is unclear if the conversation reflects the entire WhatsApp message history between him and Singh.
The WP Chief had already clarified earlier, both in a press conference last month and in Parliament again on 2 Aug, that WP made an assessment of the circumstances in which the driver came forward with the information.
However, at that time, there was no evidence or corroborative information to support the allegation.
Singh reiterated that had there been different or new evidence, such as corroborative information or another source confirming their affairs, the WP would have pursued a different course of action.
The covertly-taken short video that was taken convertly depicting an interaction between Perera and Seah, which led to both of their resignations and spurred the WP press conference on 19 July, was only made available to WP and the general public on 17 July.
Coincidentally, this was merely hours before the announcement of the resignations of former Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan Jin and People’s Action Party MP Cheng Li Hui due to their extramarital affair.
In an interview with AsiaOne, Wong denied any involvement in the video’s leak on social media, stating that he has no idea when the video was taken.
Scrutiny from online community
Interestingly, the publication of Wong’s allegations has ignited fervent discussions on Mothership’s Facebook post of the interview.
While some are puzzled by the former driver’s focus on the method of conveying Perera’s affair—whether through WhatsApp or a phone call—others are skeptical of Wong’s underlying motives.
Criticism has been directed at Wong, suggesting that if his true intention was to support his ex-employer, he should have shown respect for all parties involved and allowed them the necessary time to recover within their families.
One netizen raised suspicions about the true purpose behind Wong’s recent social media video and questioned whether it was primarily intended to sway public opinion against the WP and Singh rather than serving any other purpose.
Given that both individuals at the centre of the controversy have already resigned and the case has been concluded, the netizen suggested Wong stop these ongoing discussions for the sake of the affected families’ healing process.
One comment humorously inquired why Mothership seems to be more focused on reporting about Leon and Seah rather than continuing to cover Tan and Cheng.
Scrutiny on timing of Wong’s revelation
Concurrently, some individuals have expressed skepticism regarding the timing of Wong’s revelation. Since he lacks a record of the call, doubts arise about the authenticity of his claims.
A netizen mockingly remarked that Wong’s primary concern seemed to be whether Singh mentioned “WhatsApp” or “called”.
This observation was followed by the ironic admission that Wong has no documentation of these alleged calls.
Another netizen astutely pointed out that the message in the image of the phone only displayed a single tick, indicating that it hadn’t even been delivered.
“Even if it’s a screenshot, I also couldn’t believe because it can even be an unused number saved under the name of Pritam and tap send but the message will not be delivered.”
Meanwhile, a comment posed a question about Mothership’s responsibility to delve deeper into Wong’s allegations.
Additionally, the comment raised queries about the legitimacy of Wong’s name and whether local media outlet AsiaOne had sought an interview with him.
Notably, just a day before Singh’s announcement of Perera’s resignation from both Parliament and WP, Wong was featured under the pseudonym ‘Tan’ in an AsiaOne article.
He detailed several instances of ostensibly intimate interactions between Perera and Seah, which he claimed to have observed through the rear mirror during his decade-long service for Perera.
Certain individuals have raised a pertinent question: If Wong’s intention is genuinely to highlight the matter, then why did he opt to obscure his identity in the video?
Simultaneously, he consented to media interviews.
Give time and space for the person involved to heal
Doubts have emerged, with some netizens questioning Wong’s genuine intention to rekindle this matter.
They ponder why he chose to resurface the issue, considering that both parties involved have already resigned and are in need of time to find solace and mend familial ties.
In a similar vein, a netizen has voiced criticism about the perceived double standard within the local mainstream media’s coverage of the Leon Perera-Nicole Seah affair.
This sentiment stands in contrast to the earlier advice from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who emphasized the importance of affording all individuals involved the essential time and space to find healing and reconciliation with their families and loved ones.