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A calculated exit? Leong’s strategic resignation unpacked

In resigning as Progress Singapore Party’s Secretary-General following a POFMA correction, Leong Mun Wai may have executed a strategic move, reflecting not just on political accountability but also on navigating the tempest of Singapore’s political opposition.

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The recent resignation of Leong Mun Wai from his role as Secretary-General of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) has ignited a wave of speculation and debate across Singapore’s political landscape.

Triggered by a correction direction under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA), his departure highlights the complex interplay of political accountability, strategic positioning, and the pressures that opposition figures in Singapore face.

The frequent issuance of POFMA correction directions over disputed facts raises questions about the necessity of such a drastic response as resignation, especially considering the recent POFMA orders targeted at Secretary-Generals of three different opposition parties, including Leong’s.

If Leong’s resignation is the expected standard, then are the other two Secretary-Generals expected to step down? Surely not, given how Mr Kenneth Jeyaratham remains as Secretary-Genera even after being threatened with legal action from the Attorney General’s Office for the six POFMA correction directions issued over posts regarding the Ridout Road properties of two People’s Action Party ministers.

Then we have the rumours spread by online trolls from the ruling establishment of Leong being ousted by a no-confidence vote, supported by commentaries from “experts” cited by mainstream media about how Leong’s performance in Parliament has been unparliamentary, despite how his resistance and grit against the pressure from the ruling party politicians and ministers have garnered him much support from the general public.

In a report by Channel News Asia, the PSP has firmly denied allegations of a no-confidence vote.

In a statement responding to inquiries, a PSP spokesperson emphasized, “There was no vote of no confidence. Mr. Leong resigned from the post of secretary-general on his own accord,” highlighting his ongoing role and commitment within the party and its executive committee. This clarification not only dispels misinformation but also underlines Leong’s dedication to the party’s electoral goals.

So, what drove Leong to resign over what appears to be a minor issue like a POFMA correction direction? A closer examination reveals that his decision, made in the context of an impending general election and a rise in POFMA directions, is likely strategic and preemptive. By stepping down, Leong aimed to protect the PSP from potential scrutiny and maintain its competitive edge in the electoral arena.

Viewed from this perspective, Leong’s resignation emerges as a selfless act for the greater good of the party. By distancing himself from a role that could attract criticism, he helps the PSP approach the forthcoming election with fewer vulnerabilities. While many Singaporeans may view POFMA directions with skepticism, questioning their necessity and fairness, the political implications of such directives—no matter how minor—cannot be underestimated.

Leong’s decision to remain active on the PSP’s central executive committee while facilitating Hazel Poa’s ascendancy to secretary-general—the first woman to hold this position in Singapore’s political scene*—demonstrates a mindful approach to leadership transition. This move ensures continuity and commitment within the party’s leadership, solidifying the PSP’s stance as a significant contender in the upcoming elections.

The core issues of Leong’s POFMA direction resonate with broader themes in Singapore’s political discourse, particularly criticisms of inadequate support for Singaporeans in times of hardship. His willingness to address contentious topics, such as employment competition and transparency in national reserves, reflects his resolve to question prevailing narratives despite persistent fierce opposition from the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP).

Relieved from the responsibilities and scrutiny of the secretary-general role, Leong may now find a more effective platform to engage in Singapore’s political dialogue. This freedom allows him to express his views more boldly without fear of future POFMA directives, which could be particularly influential as the country nears election time.

Leong Mun Wai’s resignation reminds us of the challenges opposition politicians face, the strategic thought behind political decisions, and the continuous debate over freedom of expression and accountability.

As Singapore gears up for its next general election, the actions and strategies of figures like Leong will be instrumental in shaping the nation’s democratic future.

Stepping down as the Secretary-General might seem like a setback for Leong, but ultimately, securing a full Member of Parliament seat in the upcoming election in West Coast GRC—where he and his team narrowly missed victory by only 1.68%—remains a critical objective for both Leong and the PSP, despite the unpredictability of political boundary adjustments.

*While Hazel Poa was appointed Secretary General of the National Solidarity Party in 2011, the appointment does not hold the same authority as it does for other parties in Singapore.

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This article is written and published by an online troll of the anti establishment party.

A very strategic and respected act which helps highlight the shortcomings of those overpaid group think gang residing in Pappy’s ivory tower.This move clearly displays before SG voters the difference between one who acknowledges acceptance of the wrong and take appropriate actions just to be accountable,and those from Pappies camp who were evasive with the hope that the matters would magically disappear.It’s interesting to see how many more GRCs Pappies will loose in the coming GE

This is what you silly oppies think to self console. To the peasants is simply lmw felt guilty after gotten pofma thrown at his face and decided to step down to bury his head in the sand. That’s about it, where got step down to protest, your imagination is really unbelievable. PAP doesn’t lose a single strain of hair in this episode. Also don’t ever fool that you step down from the secretary post to save psp reputation when you are still active member and continue to stir shit as a ncmp in parliament and might be standing for election,… Read more »

I thought its me only – scratching my head, in utmost bewilderment – so I m not quite alone in the Kalahari Desert. It’s not a simple step to take – resign – step aside after a POFMA when Leong is known as a gentleman fighter.

It’s certainly a small strategic step, but a big scheme of manoeuvre to SPIT SALIVA, PHELGM onto Loong’s face, esp to dig the arse out of Shan the BULLY and Ridout Road Specially Treated Occupier.

Empire always Calculated Move.

We will vote for Leong Mun Wai n his team in west coast grc, if it is still around and not splintered into 4 constituencies.

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