Several members from the opposition parties such as Singapore Democratic Party’s chairman Professor Paul Tambyah, CEC member Phang Yew Huat from Progress Singapore Party, Red Dot United’s secretary general Ravi Philemon, and Michael Fang from Peoples Voice were among the guests at Palms Bistro grand opening over the weekend.

The bistro located at Mapletree Anson Building in the Tanjong Pagar district was opened by Michael Chua, PSP 2020 Singapore General Election candidate who contested in the Tanjong Pagar GRC.

The attendees were treated to a sumptuous buffet spread of food, cakes and live entertainment as the bistro recently received its public entertainment licence. 

Chua was inspired to venture into the food and beverages industry by his friends and seeing how SDP’s secretary-general Dr Chee Soon Juan was able to provide a gathering place for people to come together with his Orange & Teal, not only to enjoy their meals but a safe space for discussion.

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“Sometimes people tend to shy away from talking about politics. In this era of fake news, the cure is not in shutting things down. It is actually to have more open discussion and hearing the facts from people who know what is happening on the ground,” said Prof Tambyah.

“So having more spaces where people feel free to express their views and have the opportunity to have public forums and events to gather is only good for Singapore.”

This sentiment is echoed by the RDU’s representative at the grand opening.

“It is important to have more such places, as the space to discuss the current social issues in Singapore is very limited. A place like Palms Bistro gives Singaporeans the option to come together and meet over a cup of coffee, tea, or a beer to discuss issues which are important to Singapore,” explained Philemon.

Photo: Khalis Rifhan

But the chatter does not need to be confined to politics, it is more than that, according to Philemon. It’s about having the avenue to gather and build up confidence to strike up meaningful conversations among peers.

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“It is not only about politics, there are many issues that are affecting us beyond politics itself. If you think along those lines, then we should support such a project,” added Philemon.

“More needs to be done. Although more are speaking up on socio-political issues now, they are still the minority. Many are still afraid to speak up on issues that matter to them. This is where an outlet like Palms Bistro will be useful. People can see they can come together, have fun, drink and talk about politics or anything that is affecting them.”

For those looking for a place to chill after your office hour at the Tanjong Pagar district, do head down to Palms Bistro next week on 11 Oct, Tuesday as they will be having live performance by Roxs and the Wild Ginger from 7pm till closing. The group’s lead singer is PSP’s secretary general Francis Yuen.

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The bistro is currently open from Monday to Saturday. The opening hours on the weekdays are 9am to 11pm and 9am to 3pm on the weekends.


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