Hougang residents agree that Yaw should be sacked

It's 10am on Friday morning and the buzz about a politician continues at ground zero: Hougang.

At every stop, whether it's the void deck or the coffee shop, it's easy finding pockets of people discussing the hottest topic of the week.

And we don't mean the Budget.

Retiree Rahman Shahul, 69, says: "Everywhere you go, you hear the words - Yaw Shin Leong, affair, Workers' Party (WP) and sacked.

"Suddenly, the spotlight is back on our quiet little town."

Ask Mr Rahman to share his thoughts on the scandal and Mr Yaw's expulsion from WP, and he slaps his forehead in mock exasperation.

"Adoi! I've lost count of the number of people who have asked me that question over the past two days," he says.

"Seriously? It's none of my business whether he really had an affair - that's for his wife to deal with."

The political implications from the fallout carried little weight with him at first, even as the news broke on Wednesday that Mr Yaw had been given the boot.

Never mind that the sacking means that residents in the Hougang Single Member Constituency (SMC) may have to re-elect a new Member of Parliament.

Cabby Low Soon Hua, 50, who is Mr Rahman's kopi kaki, quips in Teochew: "We felt that Mr Yaw's personal life has no bearings on his work as an MP."

But that was said a day earlier - on Thursday morning. WP's media conference had been on Wednesday afternoon.

On Friday, the cabby sings a different tune.

Mr Low says: "Now I say he deserves it. Totally. And I feel sorry for (WP chief) Low Thia Khiang."

His reaction largely mirrors that of most of the 60 Hougang residents I randomly approached on Thursday and Friday.

They initially questioned if the WP committee members had acted rashly and harshly.

They felt that Mr Yaw should have been given a chance to explain himself or come clean.

They'd even been willing to accept his apology if the allegations were true.

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