Singapore GE2020: 'I felt my work was done,' says former WP chief Low Thia Khiang, who will not stand in election

SINGAPORE – After almost 40 years in politics, 29 of them as an MP, former Workers’ Party chief Low Thia Khiang says he is stepping down from electoral politics with no regrets.

The man who helmed the WP for 17 years told The Straits Times on Thursday (June 25) that he decided not to stand in the coming election as he felt his work was done.

As party chief, he had achieved the twin goals he had set for himself after taking over from the party’s firebrand leader, Mr J. B. Jeyaretnam, in 2001.

The first was to secure a group representation constituency for the WP, which he did in 2011.

That year, he famously left his long-time Hougang constituency to lead a team to victory in Aljunied GRC, the first and only time an opposition party had achieved the feat.

The second was to renew the ranks of the WP, and hand it over to a new generation of younger leaders.

In his first interview since a bad fall at home in April left him with traumatic brain injury, Mr Low, 63, told ST on Thursday that he has got much better and is thankful for all the prayers and good wishes that Singaporeans have sent.

Appearing none the worse for wear at his home in Upper Thomson, Mr Low said the fall has left a lasting injury to his olfactory nerve centre, robbing him of his sense of smell and the enjoyment he used to get from a hot steaming bowl of laksa.

“Laksa has many layers to it. Now I can only taste that it is spicy and salty,” he said.

He was quick to add that it was a small price to pay.

“Such a bad fall could have been very very serious, but now I am mostly okay. If I lost my sense of smell, it is a small thing; so be it.”

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