Singapore — Speaking at a walkabout on Thursday (July 2) with PSP candidate Kayla Low, Progress Singapore Party chief Dr Tan Cheng Bock said the expanded Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) scheme is a ploy to entice the people to not vote for the opposition.
Speaking to reporters at a market in Yio Chu Kang Single-Member Constituency, he added that he would decline an NCMP seat if he were offered one, although other party members could take it up if they wished.
“For NCMPs, while they try and improve the scheme, I look at it as a ploy this round to entice you all to vote the PAP because they guarantee you that they (will) have 12 NCMPs,” he said.
“But I think if you really want a proper representative in the House, vote for the person to go into the House so he has the base. That is very important. If you have no base, it is very difficult to function as an MP. You cannot just be a virtual MP, you must be a proper MP.”
“So I believe if ever my people get into Parliament, they should win the right to represent the people,” Dr Tan noted.
He added, however, that he would leave it to his team members to decide if they want to enter Parliament via the NCMP scheme, in the event that they are offered seats.
The NCMP scheme was amended in 2016 to ensure there will be at least 12 opposition members in Parliament — up from nine — even in the event that the People’s Action Party wins all the seats. NCMP seats are offered to losing opposition candidates with the highest percentage of votes during a general election.
A PSP team led by Dr Tan will contest West Coast GRC against the People’s Action Party (PAP).
Dr Tan, Mr Jeffrey Khoo, Ms Hazel Poa, Mr Leong Mun Wai and Mr Nadarajah Loganathan will be up against a PAP team of Mr S Iswaran, Ms Foo Mee Har, along with Mr Desmond Lee, Mr Ang Wei Neng and new face Ms Rachel Ong.
In Yio Chu Kang SMC, the PSP’s Ms Kayla Low, 43, will face the PAP’s Mr Yip Hong Weng, 43. /TISG
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