Benjamin Pwee applies to join SDP, says he believes in its 'values and ideals'

Benjamin Pwee applies to join SDP, says he believes in its 'values and ideals'

File photo of Benjamin Pwee
File photo of Benjamin Pwee. (Photo: Jason Quah/TODAY)

SINGAPORE: Singapore politician Benjamin Pwee has applied to join the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) following his resignation from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). 

The former DPP secretary-general announced this on his personal Facebook page on Tuesday (Feb 19).

"After much internal discussion and considerations within my team, we have decided to submit our membership application forms to SDP," said Mr Pwee.  

"We share and believe in the values and ideals that SDP stands for, and they have many other like-minded, credible people," he added.

"We also believe in their organisational resources and capabilities as a long-standing political party in Singapore."

Earlier this month, Mr Pwee, 51, had told Channel NewsAsia about his resignation from the DPP.

READ: Benjamin Pwee quits DPP for 'bigger' party with 'recognisable and credible senior leader'

At the time, he did not reveal the name of the party he intended to join, saying that he would leave it to them to make an official announcement about his membership.

Mr Pwee, who contested in Bishan-Toa Payoh in the last two general elections, had also said that around five members planned to quit the DPP and join the new party as ordinary members. 

"THREE OR FOUR" MORE PEOPLE TO APPLY TO JOIN SDP

When asked by Channel NewsAsia where he would like to stand in the next election, Mr Pwee said that "this is up to SDP to decide".

The party has not accepted his application yet, said Mr Pwee, adding that "they need to wait for their next CEC (Central Executive Committee) meeting to decide officially".

Mr Pwee also said that about "three or four" people - some former DPP members and some from his "personal circle of government scholar friends" - will be submitting their applications to join the SDP.

"I am the first one to submit, and the others will do so in due course," he said.

SDP, which is headed by Chee Soon Juan, said its CEC will meet in early March to go through Mr Pwee's application. "We have only received his application so far," it said in response to Channel NewsAsia's queries. 

"It is important that Singaporeans who join the SDP do so because they believe in the values of the party. It is these values that have kept the SDP going all these years and its members united and focused on our goal to speak up for our fellow citizens," the party added. 

"We have met Mr Pwee and are happy to note that he believes in these values too."

READ: The Big Read: Opposition parties banding together — a grand plan or a last throw of the dice?  

Mr Pwee's resignation from the DPP came weeks after political veteran Tan Cheng Bock filed an application to form a new political party called Progress Singapore Party.

The SDP was among seven opposition parties which came together last year to explore the possibility of working closer together at the next general election. Dr Tan was asked to lead this effort, according to Dr Chee. 

SDP had fielded 11 candidates in the 2015 General Election but failed to gain a seat.

Source: CNA/nc(gs)

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