PSP will not shy away from three-cornered fights: Tan Cheng Bock

PSP will not shy away from three-cornered fights: Tan Cheng Bock

Tan Cheng Bock and several Progress Singapore Party members speaking to the media on Jun 19, 2020.
Tan Cheng Bock and several Progress Singapore Party members speaking to a member of the media on Jun 19, 2020. (Photo: Matthew Mohan)

SINGAPORE: The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) will not shy away from three-cornered fights should the situation arise, said party secretary-general Tan Cheng Bock on Friday (Jun 19).

But Dr Tan added that he hoped “better sense would prevail” as opposition parties decide on where they field candidates for the next General Election.

“We don’t want to have three-cornered fights, but if we need to what can we do? It’s not our choice," said Dr Tan. 

Dr Tan was speaking to members of the media during breakfast with other PSP members at Mayflower Market and Food Centre, which is located within the re-introduced Kebun Baru Single Member Constituency (SMC). 

He declined to confirm where the PSP might be fielding candidates, but said that it would make its decision based on “certain criteria”. 

He said: "We will base our decision to contest in any ward on certain criteria: So we have to feel the ground, see the connectivity here, who are the chaps here. What kind of value that my men will bring here ... then we will make a decision on whether to come (here) or not to come (here).”

Dr Tan added: "This is what I can tell them (other parties). If they insist that we have intruded into their territory, we can’t help it; we just hope that better sense will prevail."

READ: Progress Singapore Party unveils first batch of potential candidates for General Election

Dr Tan said that he has had discussions with members of the other opposition parties on the matter. 

“At the end of the day, how they are going to contest is their own party’s choice. We just respect them and if they feel very strongly in a particular place we also want to go, let it be. Let Singaporeans decide,” he said.

The PSP has begun conducting weekly meet-up sessions via Zoom with constituents from West Coast Group Representative Constituency (GRC) and Pioneer SMC.

Dr Tan was Member of Parliament for Ayer Rajah for 26 years, when he was with the People's Action Party (PAP). The ward is now part of West Coast GRC. 

“If I convince myself that I’m going contest in West Coast, I will go. It doesn’t matter who else comes because that’s your belief,” he said. 

PSP a serious player, says Tan Cheng Bock, as party officially opens headquarters

At the last General Election in 2015, the West Coast GRC was contested by the Reform Party (RP) and the PAP.

RP garnered 21.4 per cent of the vote against a PAP team led by then-Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran, Mr Patrick Tay and Ms Foo Mee Har.

In an hour-long Facebook Live session on Monday, RP did not reveal which constituencies it would contest. However, it has announced that it will be having a “meet-and-greet” session with West Coast GRC residents on Friday. 

PSP media meet Jun 19
Tan Cheng Bock and several Progress Singapore Party members surrounded by media on Jun 19, 2020. (Photo: Matthew Mohan)

On Thursday, the PSP unveiled its first batch of potential candidates for the next election. 

They include party vice chairman Hazel Poa, who was from the National Solidarity Party, as well as former People's Voice member Brad Bowyer. 

READ: No rallies, but more TV broadcasts in preliminary campaigning guidelines for General Election

On Thursday, it was announced by the Elections Department that no physical rallies will be allowed if hustings for the General Election fall within Phase 2 of Singapore’s reopening, but alternative ways of reaching out to voters will be provided.

Physical campaigning activities will be restricted in line with Ministry of Health's guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 – which means that gatherings have to be restricted to a maximum of five people.

Dr Tan noted that the PSP will observe these rules during their campaigning. 

“We have to follow the regulations well. We have to set the example also. And we will follow what is stated in the new rules,” said Dr Tan. 

“We will be going along those lines.”

Earlier on Friday morning, PAP's Henry Kwek and MP for Nee Soon GRC also visited Mayflower Market and Food Centre, where he chatted with residents. 

Source: CNA/rw

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