SINGAPORE - The Workers' Party (WP) has set up a charity fund to run community programmes like financial aid, food distribution and health screenings.
The WP Community Fund (WPCF) is structured like the PAP Community Foundation (PCF), the ruling party's charity arm.
The WPCF was registered as a company limited by guarantee in January this year and accepted by the authorities as a charity in February.
The party has been low key about the fund's existence, but according to company and charity records obtained by The Straits Times last week, its board of 10 directors includes WP secretary-general Low Thia Khiang as chairman, and Members of Parliament Png Eng Huat, Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap and Lee Li Lian.
The other directors are understood to include doctors and lawyers. Among them are WP executive council member Dennis Tan and party member Terence Tan, both lawyers who are seen as promising new faces.
Responding to The Straits Times' queries yesterday, Mr Low said the WPCF builds on the party's previous charity efforts while drawing a line between political work and social and charity work.
"Setting up a charity is not new to the Workers' Party," said Mr Low, citing as examples the Hougang Constituency Education Trust set up in 1992 and the WP youth wing's charity work.
After winning Aljunied GRC in 2011, the WP set up a welfare fund under its Aljunied Constituency Committee to provide interim aid to residents, said Mr Low.
"After settling more urgent constituency and grassroots matters which then gave WP MPs a chance to look at how the WP can better assist needy residents, it was felt that setting up an independent organisation as a charity with clear objectives would draw a clear line between political work and social and charitable work," he said.