Singapore — One of the leaders of an opposition alliance has described what he hoped the role of Progress Singapore Party (PSP) leader Tan Cheng Bock would be in the upcoming General Election.
Mr Tan Jee Say, the head of the Singaporeans First party (SingFirst), told members of the media on Sunday (Jan 19) that he sees Dr Tan’s role as “just like (how) Mahathir split the Malay vote in Malaysia”, The Straits Times (ST) reported.
Mr Tan said: “We hope that Dr Tan will not split the opposition vote, and will just split the PAP vote, because … that is his value-add (for the opposition).
“The opposition vote is already there, 30 to 40 per cent, with or without Dr Tan and PSP.”
In Malaysia’s most recent general election in May 2018, votes were divided three ways, among the Pakatan Harapan coalition, which was led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Umno-led Barisan Nasional, and Parti Islam SeMalaysia.
It is widely believed that Singapore’s next GE will be held within this year, ahead of the April 2021 deadline.
The opposition alliance was confirmed by Mr Tan earlier this month and comprises four parties: SingFirst, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the People’s Power Party (PPP) and the Reform Party (RP).
The alliance is still unnamed and has yet to register.
Mr Tan said: “We are just watching and getting feedback in response to the news… There has been a mixed reaction so far.”
The SingFirst leader has said that Dr Tan, formerly of the People’s Action Party and who served as Member of Parliament for over 20 years, is welcome to lead the new opposition alliance.
Dr Tan has said in response that he does not want to commit himself “just yet” on leading the opposition alliance. He told journalists on Jan 12: “Very likely we all want to see us come together but the form, the manner, the way in which we are going to come together is all still open.”
And on Sunday (Jan 19) Dr Tan said that the PSP would work with all opposition parties but would also wait and see how it would “gel” with the other parties.
Mr Tan, together with PPP leader Goh Meng Seng and other members of the alliance, distributed oranges to people at the AMK Hub.
It is not known where they will contest in the next GE but the RP has said it plans on fielding candidates in Ang Mo Kio GRC, Radin Mas constituency and West Coast GRC. The RP won 21.4 per cent of the vote in AMK in the last GE in 2015.
The PAP team that won in AMK was led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
On Sunday, Mr Tan mentioned the “decay of Housing Board leases” of AMK, which he said were the “problems of an ageing estate”. -/TISG