Noted socio-political activist Gilbert Goh has said that Dr Tan Cheng Bock could very well win a Group Representation Constituency if he had a strong team and if founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s youngest son, Lee Hsien Yang, becomes his running mate.
A career counsellor who runs the transitioning.org support site for unemployed and underemployed Singaporeans, Mr Goh is perhaps most well known for the protests he organises, championing the rights of Singaporean workers.
His most famous protest could be his stand against the government’s 2013 Population White Paper that targeted a 6.9 million resident population.
Mr Goh also has experience working with local opposition parties. He rose to prominence in 2011 when he contested Tampines GRC under the National Solidarity Party ticket in that year’s General Election (GE).
In the 2015 GE, Mr Goh ran as part of the Reform Party’s team contesting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s own ward, Ang Mo Kio GRC. Mr Goh and his colleagues lost both the 2011 and 2015 GEs.
In an article published on transitioning.org today (18 July), Mr Goh made several predictions about what he feels might occur during the next GE. For one, he predicted that Dr Tan’s new opposition party – the Progress Singapore Party – could beat the odds to win a GRC in its maiden run at the polls.
Noting that Dr Tan’s new opposition party is historic since it represents the first time a former ruling party politician has turned against the PAP, Mr Goh said that Dr Tan represents a “newfound hope that finally there could be a breakthrough in opposition politics.”
Asserting that all eyes are on the Progress Singapore Party and whether Mr Lee would join the party and run against the party his father belonged to – the same party his elder brother, Lee Hsien Loong, runs – Mr Goh said:
“There is much debate whether Dr Tan should be fielded in a SMC or GRC though the former challenge looks easier than contesting in a GRC.
“However, with Lee Hsien Yang as his running mate and other likely solid GRC contenders in toil, there is every chance that the new party could win a GRC in it’s maiden run at the polls.”
Mr Goh, however, said that it is still a high risk for Dr Tan to contest a GRC even with Mr Lee by his side and urged the party to carefully weigh where it should place its leader.
Mr Goh also seemed to feel that it is unlikely there would be a change in Government in the next GE. Asserting that it would be a miracle if there could be a transition of power in the next GE, Mr Goh opined:
“Our opposition politics is still very disunited and only through Dr Tan Cheng Bock can we see a small ray of hope shining through the dark alley.
“So a change of government is still not in the pipeline…Moreover, the odds are so stacked against the opposition that even winning one single seat is considered a major achievement by any standard.”
In an earlier Facebook post, published on Monday (8 July), Mr Goh said that Parliament will be interesting if Dr Tan and Mr Lee contest and win a Group Representation Constituency (GRC) together in the next General Election.
He wrote: “The partnership of Dr Tan & LHY provides a ray of hope for Singapore & if they win a GRC together, Parliament will be interesting!” -/TISG