The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) is organising training sessions for polling and counting agents, as the next General Election looms. There is speculation that the elections may be held sometime after Budget 2020, which has been scheduled for Feb 18.
Polling agents are required to be present at polling areas to ensure the smooth election process, while counting agents are responsible for counting the votes at each electoral ward. Volunteers, who must be Singaporeans, do not need to be a member of any political party.
The PSP issued a call for volunteers to serve as polling and counting agents in October last year. Its Secretary-General, Dr Tan Cheng Bock, personally asked volunteers to step forward and highlighted that it was an important responsibility to ensure a properly-conducted election process.
On Friday (Jan 3), the party said it was still welcoming volunteers to serve as polling and counting agents and that its first training session for them would take place sometime this month. The party said on Facebook:
“As we enter into the first weekend of this brand new decade, #makeitcount! If you’re still searching for that new year resolution, wait no further! Please sign up as a Polling or Counting Agent today.
“For the coming GE , due anytime before Apr 2021, PSP needs you to come forward and volunteer as either Polling Agents or Counting Agents, or BOTH.
“Training will be provided by the Party to enable you to carry out your roles effectively. Our next Training Sessions will be held in Jan 2020 and we will inform you of the details once we have received your registration.”
The PSP is Singapore’s newest opposition party and the largest opposition party in terms of numbers, with about 1,500 members.
The party has been making waves in the political sphere since it was founded in January last year because it is the first opposition party in Singapore’s history to be led by a former ruling party parliamentarian. Dr Tan was Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayer Rajah Single-Member Constituency (SMC) for 26 years, from 1980 to 2006.
A beloved politician, Dr Tan gained the highest margin of victory for the People’s Action Party in his last election as a PAP candidate in 2001, with 88 per cent of votes. During his time with the PAP, he also mentored younger politicians like Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan and Manpower Minister Josephine Teo.
In the coming elections, Dr Tan will be clashing with his former party as the leader of the PSP. The party’s election preparation efforts have been ongoing, including islandwide walkabouts and talks on hot-button issues.
As we enter into the first weekend of this brand new decade, #makeitcount! If you're still searching for that new year…