Facebook posts from select individuals apparently have the ability to make a political party convene a disciplinary committee to discuss the inner workings of their organisation or to dole out sanctions for the perceived slight; who knew social media would come to possess such immense summoning powers?
Or well, terrible consequences for voicing one’s opinions.
(But then again, this is Singapore.)
The Facebook Posts
The Facebook posts regarding the former Workers’ Party (WP) MP Raeesah Khan—who resigned after admitting that she lied in the Parliament—were made by Professor Daniel Goh, the Associate Provost of undergraduate education at the National University of Singapore.
For more details about the entire WP saga, watch this video until the end:
Allegedly, his posts exposed the inner workings of the parliamentary caucus (a meeting of supporters or members) of the WP MPs, which will allow their political opponents to gain insight about how WP function, and thus tarnish the character of the leadership of the party.
The Associate Professor also tossed out a few questions concerning Ms Raeesah Khan’s resignation from WP, stating that it had left “many inconvenient questions” that WP is struggling to answer.
In another post, he points out the WP’s leadership needs to take some responsibility for allowing the entire saga to go on for as long as it did.
Prof Goh is really aiming for a pound of flesh here.
He expounds on his argument by bringing up his own experience, relating that whenever he delivered a speech, it would be reviewed and debated among the MPs, and if a mistake was found or made, the problem would be rectified soon after.
His earlier posts, made in 2020, ultimately sought for more transparency, public accountability, and integrity from political leaders, as he believed that they are “non-negotiable values” that they should possess.
Prof Goh added that an organisation must be questioned, tried, and tested.
“If asking those questions carries a price, I am willing to pay it, and count it as inexpensive,” he said.
The aforementioned price might be official political participation, but Prof Goh is undeterred.
Prof Goh has told The Straits Times that the disciplinary committee has already tried to interview him in an attempt to hear the reasons behind his public statements, but he has declined.
He stated that he does not plan on participating in party matters, including the Cadres Members’ Conference which will be held in a few months to elect the party leaders, despite being a cadre member himself.
Instead, he asked what the committee meant when it said that his Facebook posts had “cast a cloud over the character of leadership of the party”, as the phrasing seems to imply that his questions had caused the people to lose their faith in the WP leaders, rather than the leaders’ actions and responses.
Furthermore, he requested that the party leaders publicise the reasons as to why they convened the disciplinary committee and elaborate on any disciplinary measures they might impose on him.
Although the WP might be taking actions against Prof Goh for his posts, the Associate Professor voiced that he has “no intention” of resigning as a member of the WP.
Prior to this, Prof Goh had been a non-constituency member of Parliament from 2016 to 2020.
Citing health-related issues, he had relinquished his party posts before the 2020 General Elections.
When WP was asked about the disciplinary committee and the possible measures it might impose on Prof Goh, WP declined to comment.
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Featured Image: YouTube (MCI) & Facebook (Daniel Goh 吴佩松)
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