Leadership renewal is on the cards for the PSP as leaders and cadres head for the upcoming party conference next week.
Already, it appears that almost half of the Central Executive Committee will be replaced.
Secretary-general Francis Yuen is counting once again on founder and chairman, “Emperor” Dr Tan Cheng Bock, to give his blessings for a continued term.
But Yuen will have to contend with a prince waiting in the wings and a delusional egoist who believes he should be the next heir to the throne.
That delusional egoist happens to be Jeffrey “Wayang King” Khoo, who ran alongside Dr Tan in West Coast GRC during GE2020.
While not even a confirmed member of the next CEC, Khoo is already eyeing the top prize.
Khoo has a nefarious reputation for telling tall tales and spreading malicious gossip to get what he wants, and this hasn’t changed over the years according to those familiar with the chubby manlet.
Among some of Khoo’s shady shenanigans involve filling up management committee posts at the National University of Singapore Society, in which he holds a chairperson position, with his own PSP cronies in a bid to win their support.
What’s worse, say RW insiders, is repeated incidences of Khoo spreading baseless rumours discrediting his “rivals” within the PSP so he can climb the ladder.
This happened in the lead-up to GE2020, resulting in him being part of the “A Team” in West Coast, and consequently other more capable but honest potential candidates dropping out of the party because they were victims of internal politicking.
Now, one of Khoo’s targets is “rival” NCMP Leong Mun Wai.
Leong’s popularity amongst the Singaporean public has been steadily growing because of his garang-ness and robust advocacy for changes in government policy, even though his popularity hasn’t grown as much within the party.
Leong is said to be keen on taking over the helm.
Yet, old habits die hard say RW insiders and his big-headedness, abrasiveness and impatience with those he does not consider “equals” is still a big bugbear amongst party members.
Still, Leong is seen as a driver of change within the party and cadres see him as the alternative to the genteel Yuen.
While well-liked as a “friendly uncle”, Yuen has been termed as too polite and a weak leader by factions within the party.
Leong would bring the gumption and combativeness that these factions hope will reinvigorate the party.
Nevertheless, for Leong to take over the reins the PSP would need to relinquish its stance of not having NCMPs take up key leadership posts, which is what prompted him to step down as assistant sec-gen in 2020.
And, he will need to fend off Wayang King Khoo and his imaginative story-telling prowess.