Singapore — In an exclusive with The Independent Singapore (TISG), opposition People’s Power Party chief Goh Meng Seng says that he is convinced that a united opposition front was the way to go.
His comments came after the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) put on hold a proposed plan by Singaporeans First (SingFirst), the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the People’s Power Party (PPP) and the Reform Party (RP) to form an alliance for the looming General Election.
SDA Secretary-General Abu Mohamed was reported as saying by straitstimes.com on Thursday (June 11) that the membership applications of the four parties would be put on hold for now as the SDA ramped up its preparations for the elections.
He had said: “We are going to put their application on hold indefinitely, and will make a decision on it perhaps even after the GE. For now, we are not accepting them.”
In a Facebook post the same day, Mr Goh clarified that the PPP had “never put up an application to join SDA but has just asked for a preliminary meeting with SDA leaders to discuss the possibility of coming together and join this alliance to enhance Opposition Unity”.
“We have not received any official reply from SDA up till now and we are disappointed to learn about SDA’s decision from the media instead of receiving an official reply from it,” the post said.
It is reported in Straits Time today that "the application of the four political parties" which includes People's Power…
Responding to questions over the phone, Mr Goh told TISG that the PPP was still committed to opposition unity and that it was still trying hard to unite everybody.
He added: “An opposition alliance meets two objectives: Firstly, avoid a three-cornered fight, which only benefits the PAP. Secondly, hope that all Singaporeans have a chance to vote and to have all seats contested by opposition so that every Singaporean could realise that they have a stake in this country when they cast their votes and make their choice for the nation at the polling station”.
Mr Abu Mohamed said that, even if the parties do join the SDA now, they have to be ordinary members for two years before they can enter the CEC and have voting rights on party decisions.
“If they are joining just for the sake of running as candidates, then they might as well go on their own.”
According to the straitstimes.com report, RP Chairman Andy Zhu and SingFirst Secretary-General Tan Jee Say said they would continue looking for ways to join forces.
Mr Goh told TISG: “We can still stand alone as a party but we prefer not to. We still think there is opportunity for unity, a united front. We are looking into all options to go into.”
He also added that the PPP plans to announce its candidates “very soon”. /TISG