SINGAPORE: Former members of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), Mr Ravi Philemon and Ms Michelle Lee, have filed an application to form a new political party named Red Dot United.
A group of like-minded individuals aged from 25 to 55 have come together to form the new party, said Mr Philemon in a virtual press conference on Friday (May 29). Mr Philemon will be the secretary-general of the party, while Ms Lee will be the chairman.
There are more than 10 people in the group that filed the application to form the party, some of whom are former members of other political parties. Besides Ms Lee and Mr Philemon, two others are former PSP members, Mr Philemon said.
Ms Lee quit as vice-chairman of PSP in March, citing family commitments while Mr Philemon resigned on May 12. Before joining PSP, Ms Lee was once part of the Singapore Democratic Party and had contested in the 2011 GE.
Mr Philemon, who ran as a member of the Singapore People’s Party in the 2015 elections, said that he had been planning to start a political platform for “many years” but when PSP was formed, he put his plans on hold to join Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s party. However, after some time, they decided to “part ways amiably”.
“As to why we left PSP, it is possible that we asked too many questions,” he added.
Said Ms Lee of the new party members: “These are people who reached out to us, to ask us about future plans, and in the discussion of going ahead with this, they expressed a lot of enthusiasm and support. We wish PSP the best, we are not trying to pull people over.”
He indicated that many of the party members are below 35 years old and they will focus on engaging youths. The members include professionals and business owners, Mr Philemon added.
When asked why they did not want to join an existing political party, Ms Lee said: “There's a need for a new perspective, new ideas and new methods to be brought into this space."
Mr Philemon also said in a statement to the media that their goal is to "build a political-social platform and not just another political party".
"Red Dot United will be present, not only in times of general elections, but also in the years in between them. We will work for change on the ground with our fellow Singaporeans, to enable thought leadership and active citizen participation in the decisions and plans that affect our lives and the path of our nation," he said.
He indicated that the party, whose registration has yet to be approved, is interested in working with other political parties.
“We have also spoken to some other party leaders in the opposition space and will always seek to build each other and fellow Singaporeans up,” he said.
READ: The sooner the General Election is held, the sooner Singaporeans can tackle challenges ahead: DPM Heng
In response to CNA's queries, a Ministry of Home Affairs spokesperson said on Sunday that the Registry of Societies received the application to register Red Dot United on May 26.
"The average processing time for a registration application is about two months. The Registry of Societies is not able to provide any other information about the application," said the spokesperson.
“After a couple of weeks we intend to write into the registrar societies to request for them to expedite our application,” said Mr Philemon.
Singapore has to hold its next General Election by April 14, 2021. There have been signs that the polls may be called soon.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat had said last week that the elections are coming nearer by the day.
"The sooner we get it done, the earlier we can rally everybody together to deal with these very significant challenges ahead, and also to deal with these very significant uncertainties in the months and years ahead," he had said on Wednesday.