Singapore — The leader of one of the opposition parties which have planned to register a coalition has taken offence at a Progress Singapore Party (PSP) member’s dismissal of the alliance.
Earlier this year, the Reform Party (RP), Singaporeans First party (SingFirst), People’s Power Party (PPP) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) announced plans to form an alliance ahead of the upcoming General Election.
The four parties, which are widely seen as “fringe” opposition groups, are planning to register a coalition by the end of this month.
When asked for his opinion on the proposed coalition, Mr Alex Tan Tiong Hee told The Online Citizen that the parties in the proposed coalition were being led by “captains of sinking boats”.
He said that the leaders of the RP, PPP, DPP and SingFirst are “like four captains from their respective sinking boats — not even a ship! — clasping one another’s hands to save themselves from drowning”.
Mr Tan is a Central Executive Committee (CEC) member of the PSP but maintains that he made the comments in his personal capacity.
PPP leader Goh Meng Seng has taken great offence at Mr Tan’s comment. In a Facebook post on Tuesday (Jan 14), he said he was “greatly disappointed” that Mr Tan had “shown such animosity” towards the coalition plans.
Asserting that Mr Tan’s view carries “tremendous weight” even if was made in a personal capacity given his prominence within the PSP, Mr Goh said the comments were neither “helpful nor necessary”.
Mr Goh then proceeded to go on the offensive against the PSP, questioning its “real agenda” in the political sphere. He suggested that the party “is plotting secretly to go on full-scale 3-cornered fights with all those ‘fringe sinking boat’ parties!”
While PSP leader Dr Tan Cheng Bock has maintained that he is open to working with other opposition parties, he has indicated that the PSP is not ready to commit to the proposed alliance at this point.
Although Mr Goh suggested that the PSP may be “plotting” to enter three-cornered fights in the looming election, Dr Tan has maintained his openness to working with other parties since he founded the PSP.
In September last year, Dr Tan called on opposition parties to maintain a relationship of understanding.
Advising opposition politicians to “keep it open and never close all your options,” Dr Tan urged party leaders to be “flexible” in their relations with their counterparts from other opposition parties.