The Reason Why Low Thia Khiang, Chen Show Mao & Png Eng Huat Aren’t Contesting This GE

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When we didn’t see powerhouses like Low Thia Khiang, Chen Show Mao and Png Eng Huat in the professionally done Avengers-style trailer by Workers’ Party, people were already wondering what happened in the party.

While it’s understandable that Mr Low was absent from the video due to his recent accident, one can’t help but to wonder why the other two MPs aren’t featured in the video.

Today, we finally know what’s happened.

Workers’ Party Secretary-General Pritam Singh has confirmed that Low Thia Khiang, Chen Show Mao and Png Eng Huat wouldn’t be contesting this General Elections.

Reader Bao: A General Election without Low Thia Khiang is a plate of chicken rice without the chicken


The three of them have been former MPs (because technically speaking, the seats are now empty) in two different constituencies: Low Thia Khiang and Chen Show Mao were MPs in Aljunied GRC, whereby their team won the constituency by 50.96% of the votes in 2015. Png Eng Huat won the Hougang SMC with 57.69% of the votes.

So, what happened?

Decision Made Some Time Back

According to Mr Singh, the decision was made some time ago.

He said, “The party leadership came to this collective decision with Mr Low, Mr Chen, and Mr Png some time ago, when all three shared their wish to step down at the end of the current term of Parliament.”

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In April 2018, there is a change in the leadership: Pritam Singh was elected as the Secretary-General while Sylvia Lim stayed as the Chairman. Low Thia—

Reader Bao: Sylvia is also a politician? I thought she’s just Ryan’s ex-wife.

No, not that Sylvia. This Sylvia:

Reader Bao: Okay, both are equally powerful


Right. Low Thia Khiang stepped down as the leader but remained in the Central Executive Committee.

Mr Singh said that it was a collective decision and the reason is due to three considerations: broadening the “leadership base” so that the party can grow, letting the leaders to become “senior leaders” so that they can mentor the younger members and to stay in touch with Singapore.

Wait, simi is “stay in touch with Singapore”?

He added that Mr Low had said “it is critical for the Workers’ Party to remain relevant to all Singaporeans, be they new citizens, seniors, middle age, and younger voters…He was concerned that as the elder generation of the party ages, even as values and wisdom remain timeless, a member of parliament must have his or her pulse on Singapore society.”

In other words, must remain relevant lah. Speaking goody Teochew might be too yesterday; now must use the word “bruh” instead of “bro”.

However, Mr Singh added that it wasn’t a retirement. This means you might still be able to see Mr Low conversing with you in his perfect Teochew at a coffeeshop with his wide smile.


While Mr Low has crossed swords with the ruling party several times, he’s one of the most respected opposition members. Other than our PM openly praising his speech before…

…PAP member and House Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin, who’s been exercising a lot during the Circuit Breaker period, even posted a Facebook post recently, saying that he’s visited him after Phase One, whereby they exchanged durians and bak chang:

Oh, sorry, wrong post. This one:


It’s now time to say goodbye to one of the legends.

And if you’re thinking of posting something to Mr Low’s Facebook Page, don’t bother looking for it. Check out this article on why he doesn’t have a Facebook Page.

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