Singapore—Fresh from a very respectable showing the first time it fielded candidates, the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) is making moves toward further evolution and development, setting up new women and youth wings to be headed by two members who contested in last month’s General Election.
Organising secretary Michael Chua said in a message on July 19 that part of PSP’s post-GE reorganisation would include the establishment of a Women’s Wing and Youth Wing.
Last weekend, another message from the party’s assistant secretary-general Francis Yuen said, “Among the departments established are the youth wing and the women’s wing. There will also be a Parliament Secretariat to help our NCMPs with policy research and information,” reported The Straits Times (ST).
These two wings are to be headed by two members who had contested in Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency (GRC), with lawyer Wendy Low, 43, leading the women’s wing and Terence Soon, 30, a pilot with Singapore Airlines, taking the lead of the youth wing.
Mr Yuen said, “I want the two leaders to start to form their own committees and build up their agenda and programme for the next couple of years.”
Their term as heads of the women and youth wings will last for two years.
PSP’s Tanjong Pagar GRC team got 36.9 percent of the votes in the GE, against the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) team’s 63.13 percent. PAP’s Tanjong Pagar team was led by two sitting ministers, Chan Chun Sing and Indranee Rajah.
In other news concerning PSP’s reorganization, the party’s two Non-Constituency MPs, Leong Mun Wai and Hazel Poa, will be leading the newly-created Parliament Secretariat. PSP now also has an organisation secretariat, helmed by Mr Chua.
Ong Seow Yong, who is part of PSP’s Central Executive Committee, will head the communications and media team. Harish Pillay, who was also part of the Tanjong Pagar GRC slate, will lead IT and data security. Damien Tay, who helmed the PSP team at the Nee Soon GRC, will head the administration and logistics department.
According to Mr Yuen, the leadership of PSP wanted the candidates who contested in the GE to handle different aspects of the party “to give them the chance to lead, gain exposure to leadership and build their confidence”.
And while the WP emerged as a big winner of the GE with 10 seats in Parliament, the results from Blackbox Research’s study showed that it was PSP which is “largely responsible” for the vote decline of the PAP.
The PSP did not win in any of the constituencies it contested, but, as the best-performing runners-up in the GE in West Coast GRC, the party’s Ms Hazel Poa and Mr Leong Mun Wai will serve as Non-Constituency Members of Parliament.
According to Blackbox Research: “While the WP decided to concentrate its efforts in a limited number of familiar battlegrounds, the PSP competed far more widely and its ability to capture 10% of the overall vote, despite not winning a seat, is largely responsible for the PAP’s vote decline in 2020.”
The summary added that while those who voted for the PSP were spread evenly among different age groups, voters seem to be made up of more “disaffected former PAP voters” rather than first-time or younger voters. —/TISG
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