Singapore—Waves were felt rippling through the country after it was announced on Wednesday (June 24) that Lee Hsien Yang, the son of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and younger brother of current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, had officially joined the opposition Progress Singapore Party (PSP).
While this was not exactly surprising news, as the younger Mr Lee had been seen meeting with PSP Secretary-General Dr Tan Cheng Bock for the past few years, yesterday’s announcement of Dr Tan welcoming Lee Hsien Yang to the party fold upped the stakes for the opposition for the upcoming General Election, which has been scheduled for July 10.
Indeed, after two months of relative quiet during the circuit breaker imposed to prevent the wide spread of the coronavirus, the country is now in high gear, just two days after the dissolution of Parliament and the confirmation that elections will be held next month.
As for the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), a response to the news concerning Lee Hsien Yang joining PSP was made by Masagos Zulkifli, the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources.
Mr Masagos, along with Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, had introduced eight new potential candidates for the upcoming GE who would contest under the ruling party’s banner. The PAP held a a virtual press conference from its headquarters in New Upper Changi Road on the morning of June 24.
Journalists attending the presser asked Mr Masagos for the party’s thoughts as to whether or not the younger Mr Lee will be fielded as one of PSP’s candidates contesting in the election.
“We don’t know and we won’t speculate whether he’ll be running as a candidate,” AsiaOne quotes the minister as saying.
Mr Masagos had introduced new potential PAP candidates Hany Soh Hui Bin, Don Wee Boon Hong, Mohd Fahmi Aliman, and Yip Hon Weng, while earlier DPM Heng presented Nadia Ahmad Samdin, Edward Chia Bing Hui, Desmond Tan Kok Ming, and Ivan Lim Shaw Chuan.
As for Lee Hsien Yang, news broke on the same morning that he had met with Dr Tan and other PSP members at Tiong Bahru Market for a breakfast meeting. Photos of him in a PSP t-shirt circulated in the media.
Mr Lee was presented a membership card by Dr Tan, who told journalists present that Lee Hsien Yang had been a member of PSP “for quite some time,” but because of the pandemic, they had not yet had a chance to have a proper ceremony for presenting his membership card.
A warm welcome to Lee Hsien Yang on joining PSP! 🥰He is no ordinary person. His father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew was the…
In a PSP Facebook post, Mr Lee is quoted as saying, “I joined the party because I think that Dr Tan is committed to doing the right thing for Singapore and Singaporeans. He loves the country and he has brought together a group of people who share his vision, which I believe will build a better Singapore. PSP has an approach which will emphasize compassion.”
As for Dr Tan, he reiterated his stance that now is not the time to hold elections due to the risk posed because of the coronavirus, especially to older Singaporeans. He said, “This election shouldn’t have been called. You have to think of the people first. The government talks about the Merdeka Generation… On the one hand, you reward them and you praise them. On the other hand, you are pushing them and exposing all these people (to the coronavirus). It is very dangerous everywhere, so it is a very irresponsible act by the government.” —/TISG