There’s nothing like an ongoing sex scandal to shake away the Monday blues.
Bukit Batok MP David Ong, 54, has resigned, citing “personal reasons.” This could mean many things, of course, but in his case, it’s a way of acknowledging that he messed things up by having an affair with a married woman, who is said to be a grassroots activist in his constituency.
The People Action’s Party’s “decisive action” to relieve Ong from his post was because “there are standards which I think that the party wants to uphold,” Chan Chun Sing, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, said yesterday.
The sad thing is that, as a politician, Ong was actually well loved by his constituents (and obviously, his mistress too).
“As a Bukit Batok resident, I had several encounters with Mr Ong. I remember seeing him making his rounds on weekends at coffee shops when I was having breakfast with my family. He came across as a very sincere person, and I was very happy to have him as the SMC’s MP,” wrote Lee Pei Ling on PM Lee Hsien Loong’s Facebook page.
Writing on The Middle Ground, Bertha Henson says Bukit Batok residents were “surprised at his resignation” and that “evidently, his extra-marital affair doesn’t seem to have affected his work on the ground.”
Ong, wrote Henson, has had a “long record as a grassroots leader before entering the GE2011 contest” and winning 73 per cent of the vote.
On his Facebook page last Friday, PM Lee announced that he plans to hold a by-election in the Bukit Batok SMC soon. “Meanwhile, Senior Minister of State Desmond Lee, MP for Jurong GRC, will take care of Bukit Batok residents,” he wrote.
Ong is not the first politician to resign because of a personal scandal.
In Jan 2012, MP for Hougang Yaw Shin Leong resigned from The Workers’ Party because of a rumoured extramarital affair. In December the same year, PAP MP Michael Palmer resigned for the same reason.