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Tan Jee Say launches new political party

Mr Tan Jee Say, a former presidential candidate, has announced the formation of a new political party, Singaporeans First, which pledges to put "Singaporeans at the heart of the nation".

SINGAPORE: Mr Tan Jee Say, a former presidential candidate, has announced the formation of a new political party, Singaporeans First, which pledges to put "Singaporeans at the heart of the nation".

At a press conference on Sunday, Mr Tan announced the formation of the party and unveiled his 11-man team, which include ex-grassroot leaders, architects and former members of the Young PAP.

Outlining the party's proposed manifesto, Mr Tan said he plans to submit the party's registration latest by Monday.

The party has pledged to "put Singaporeans at the heart of the nation" and will focus on "policies to build a fair society, strong families and esteemed people".

Mr Tan said the party plans to contest in at least two Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) in the next General Election.

Among the party's proposals are to remove the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and raise social spending.

It also wants "stronger safety nets", for example, in the form of "affordable and comprehensive healthcare insurance".

Mr Tan had contested the 2011 General Election with the Singapore Democratic Party in the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC and his team secured 39.9 per cent of the vote.

"Very specific, we want to remove the GST, because GST is unfair, it imposes an unfair burden on the lower and middle-class of Singapore. I have estimated the surpluses to be quite a lot.

"We don't have to take the principal amount, we can take the returns," said Mr Tan. 

The 11 founding members of the party are:

  1. Dr Ang Yong Guan, psychiatrist and ex-grassroots leader
  2. Michael Chia, retired engineer and volunteer social worker
  3. Fahmi Rais, communications professional, ex-Young PAP member and legislative assistant
  4. Fatimah Akthar, architect
  5. Dr David Foo Ming Jin, chemist, logistics professional and ex-Young PAP member
  6. Jamie Lee Swee Yan, certified SAP IT professional and project manager
  7. Winston Lim, architect and town planner
  8. Dr Loke Pak Hoe, director of 3 multinational educational companies
  9. Tan Jee Say, financial adviser, ex-civil servant, banker and fund manager
  10. David Tan LK, educationist and ex-grassroots leader
  11. Tan Peng Ann, social entrepreneur, retired SAF officer and ex-PAP grassroots leader

Mr Tan said he hopes to recruit more members before the next General Election.

He also plans to raise awareness about the party through platforms like education seminars once the proposed party's registration is approved.

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