Countless Singaporeans are continually urging Lee Hsien Yang to join the opposition and contest the next General Election against the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), especially after he wholeheartedly expressed his support for the Progress Singapore Party (PSP).
At the PSP’s inaugural press meet on Friday (26 July), the party’s leader Dr Tan Cheng Bock – a former veteran PAP parliamentarian who decided to form his own opposition party to push for transparency and accountability in Government – said that the PAP has changed and that it has lost its way in recent years.
Echoing this sentiment, Mr Lee – the son of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and younger brother of current PM Lee Hsien Loong – wrote on Facebook, on Sunday (28 July):
“I wholeheartedly support the principles and values of the Progress Singapore Party. Today’s PAP is no longer the PAP of my father. It has lost its way.”
Mr Lee has been entangled in a bitter feud with his elder brother since 2017. Despite the offer of a ceasefire, the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) has since initiated action against Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s wife Lee Suet Fern and son Li Shengwu.
In recent months, Mr Lee has been spotted public mingling with opposition politicians. He has been spotted having meals with Dr Tan on two separate occasions. When Dr Tan announced his decision to start his own opposition party, Mr Lee congratulated him.
He wrote in a public Facebook post: “I have known Cheng Bock for many years and he has consistently put the interests of the people first. We are fortunate that he has stepped forward to serve Singapore…Cheng Bock will groom future Parliamentarians who will serve our country and people before party or self. This is good for the future of Singapore.”
In what was considered a subtle dig at his brother, Mr Lee added: “Cheng Bock is the leader Singapore deserves.”
More recently, Mr Lee was spotted with local opposition politicians, activists and civil society players like Dr Tan, Dr Chee Soon Juan, Dr Paul Tambyah, Mr Leon Perera, Mr Tan Jee Say, and Ms Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss, at a fundraising dinner that was held last weekend.
Mr Lee’s friendship with Dr Tan, his appearance at the event with opposition politicians and his monetary contributions to civil rights activists have led many Singaporeans to ask him to contest the next GE as an opposition candidate and defeat the ruling party that is led by his elder brother.
Following his expression of support for the PSP and his public admission that his late father’s party has lost its way, hundreds of Singaporeans urged Mr Lee to join opposition politics to set things right. Read some of the top comments here:
On Friday, Dr Tan commented on rumours that Mr Lee might join his party. Revealing that Mr Lee is not presently a member of the PSP, Dr Tan said that he would welcome Mr Lee to join the party if he shares the party’s values.
Dr Tan said: “I think Lee Hsien and I, we are good friends, And I think you all have seen him walking the ground. And I must say that if he wants to join me, he’s always free to join me. But he must adhere to my PSP terms.”
“Many thought he must be coming to join me because of his personal agenda. He must make it clear, what his personal agenda is, and what is PSP’s standpoint. So if he ever joins, he must join on my terms.”
Dr Tan added: “Look at Hsien Yang. He’s quite willing to walk the ground with me. So it all depends on his commitment. You see with politicians, you all have to judge them. The manner in which he conducts himself, how he meets people, how he reacts. You all have seen him right.
“Honestly, if his philosophy is the same as mine and he doesn’t allow his personal agenda to come into my PSP I might prepare for him to come.”
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