Progress Singapore Party (PSP) chief Tan Cheng Bock said on July 3 that it is “very unlikely” that the People’s Action Party (PAP) would be ousted from government after the general election (GE), and that the ruling party should not try to fool or frighten voters into thinking this could happen.
Dr Tan said: “Don’t frighten the Singaporeans. You know, I think you can fool people one time, I think you cannot fool people all the time. They have tried this strategy before, telling people, ‘What happens if you wake up tomorrow after after Polling Day and you find no PAP governing Singapore?’”
He was responding to comments made by the PAP’s Chan Chun Sing, who said during a televised dialogue (July 2) organised by Chinese language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao that PSP, the Workers’ Party (WP) and Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) could form a coalition government should they win enough seats.
During the dialogue, Mr Chan said that he did not view the other parties as ‘opposition’.
“We view them as people who might eventually replace the Government after July 10”, he said, according to a report on TODAY Online.
Calling Mr Chan’s comments a “political ploy”, Dr Tan said, “But these things, you need not worry, because first and foremost, it’s very unlikely it will happen. And to me, it’s a political ploy again”.
Dr Tan was speaking to reporters while conducting house visits at Teck Whye Lane with PSP’s candidates for Chua Chu Kang Group Representation Constituency.
He added that even if opposition parties were to assume power and make up the government, Singaporeans need not worry about the running of the country, because the civil service will still continue to operate as per normal.
“That is the role of the civil servants, and any political party taking power will have to work with the civil servants who are very well-acquainted with running this country,” he said.
“We pride ourselves that our civil servants (are) the best in the world, and you tell me that they cannot run (without) the PAP? I think something is wrong,” he added. “So don’t use those old arguments in trying to convince Singaporeans”, Dr Tan explained.
All 93 Parliamentary seats are being contested in the upcoming GE on July 10, with the PSP fielding 24 candidates, the Workers’ Party (WP) 21, and the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) 11. -/TISG