Jun 19, 2020, 11:35 am SGT
SINGAPORE – The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) will try to avoid three-cornered fights for the next general election, said party chief Tan Cheng Bock, but stressed that no party has the right to tell others where to go.
“Nobody has any right to say ‘I don’t want you to contest here’. If they feel that they want to come in and contest against us, we also cannot stop them,” Dr Tan told The Straits Times on Friday (June 19) after having breakfast at Mayflower Market and Food Centre in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4, located in the newly carved out Kebun Baru SMC.
The PSP has overlapping claims with four parties that are intending to form a bloc: the People’s Power Party (PPP), Reform Party (RP), Singaporeans First (SingFirst) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). RP and PSP have both claimed West Coast GRC, while DPP and PSP have both expressed interest in Kebun Baru SMC and Marymount SMC.
Dr Tan said that the PSP would inevitably overlap in claims on contests with other parties, as it is new.
“It is very difficult for a new party like PSP. If some of the wards have been fought before by other political parties, I think you cannot ‘chope’ the place, because we will have no idea, we never fought in all these places,” he said.
He added: “We don’t want to have three-cornered fights. But if we need to, what can we do? It’s not our choice.”
He stressed that at the end of the day, the immediate opponent for all the opposition parties is the PAP government.
On Thursday, PPP chief Goh Meng Seng said in a Facebook post that the proposed bloc may “go into a big clash with PSP”, as talks have been unsuccessful.
The PSP was among the parties that began meeting residents on the ground on Friday morning, as Singapore entered phase two of its reopening.
With him was PSP central executive committee member Michael Chua, and three PSP members – chartered accountant Kayla Low, former SingFirst chairman Ang Yong Guan, and former publisher of The Independent Singapore Kumaran Pillai. Earlier that morning, MP Henry Kwek of the PAP also visited the market.
While Dr Tan said the party members with him were going to be candidates, he did not specify who would be fielded in Kebun Baru SMC.
“I have to see whether this chap is capable of managing this type of constituency. We cannot just plonk somebody there right?”
When asked if he would use his personal relationship with SingFirst chief Tan Jee Say to iron out the clashes, Dr Ang, who joined PSP in March this year, said that “it has been attempted a few times”.