PSP keen on contesting West Coast, Tanjong Pagar, Chua Chu Kang GRCs and 5 SMCs: Tan Cheng Bock
SINGAPORE: The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) is interested in contesting the West Coast, Tanjong Pagar and Chua Chu Kang Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) as well as the Hong Kah North, Marymount, Pioneer, Yio Chu Kang and Kebun Baru Single Member Constituencies (SMCs) in the upcoming General Election (GE), party secretary-general Tan Cheng Bock said on Tuesday (Jun 23).
However, Dr Tan, who was answering questions from members of the media at a virtual press conference, maintained that things could change and the final decision on the seats that PSP will contest will only be unveiled on Nomination Day.
“We select the areas we want to contest based on whether we can win or not. And there are certain places I’m quite familiar with,” said Dr Tan.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on Tuesday afternoon that he has advised President Halimah Yacob to dissolve Parliament and issue the Writ of Election. The Prime Minister's Office later confirmed that President Halimah has dissolved Parliament and that Nomination Day will be held on Jun 30.
Dr Tan noted that his experience as a Member of Parliament (MP) and his work as a medical doctor in the area will help PSP gain an advantage in the seats it plans to contest in the western part of Singapore.
Dr Tan was MP for Ayer Rajah for 26 years, when he was with the People's Action Party. The ward is now part of West Coast GRC.
“I’ve been a doctor on the western side of Singapore, I was a Member of Parliament in the western side, so we concentrate on the western side. So we will go into West Coast (GRC), Chua Chu Kang (GRC), Hong Kah North (SMC), Tanjong Pagar (GRC), Marymount (SMC), Pioneer (SMC), Yio Chu Kang (SMC) (and) Kebun Baru (SMC),” said Dr Tan.
“Those are the places which are of interest, but of course on Nomination Day things change. Politics is very fluid. I will have to go and study all these places more carefully and the final decision of where we will contest, you will get to know on Nomination Day,” he added.
LAW UNDERGRAD, ACADEMIC AMONG POTENTIAL CANDIDATES UNVEILED
During the press conference, Dr Tan also unveiled the party’s second batch of potential candidates for the upcoming GE.
They include Dr Ang Yong Guan, who contested in the 2011 and 2015 polls as a member of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and Singaporeans First respectively.
The other potential candidates are Dr Tan Meng Wah, an academic and former fellow of the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), chartered accountant Ms Kayla Low, National University of Singapore Law undergraduate Mr Choo Shaun Ming, business consultant and trainer Mr A’bas Kasmani as well as technologist Mr Harish Pillay.
Dr Tan said this batch of potential candidates “represented a spread of talent from all walks of life”.
“The most important ingredient that I find in these people who have stepped forward is … their willingness to come and serve the people,” said Dr Tan.
The potential candidates were also each given the opportunity to introduce themselves and speak during the press conference.
Dr Tan Meng Wah said he wanted to apply his academic work to debating government policies and addressing problems of rising income inequality.
Meanwhile, Ms Low called for more support for the needy, underprivileged and local small- and medium-sized enterprises suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Ang, who is a psychiatrist, said he wants to help Singaporeans develop soft skills, so that they are “empowered” and more willing to engage with the underprivileged members of the community.
Mr A’bas pledged to help the Malay community by pushing them for more good career opportunities for upward movement.
Mr Choo said he is keen to explore the use of technologies, such as artificial intelligence and analytics, to help Singapore harness its talent pool. Similarly, Mr Pillay said he wants to utilise his IT skills to help accelerate Singapore's transformation into a Smart Nation.
ENFORCEMENT ON SOCIAL DISTANCING MUST BE CONSISTENT: ANG YONG GUAN
During the press conference, Dr Ang was asked to comment on an incident last Sunday in which PSP members had their personal details taken down by an SG Clean Ambassador during a walkabout at Block 358 Bukit Batok Street 31.
NEA later confirmed that no fines were issued to members of PSP.
Dr Ang stressed that PSP will adhere to the protocols outlined by the authorities during its walkabouts. Party members will observe safe distancing, wear masks and do their walkabouts in groups of not more than five, he added.
“(But) our concern is enforcement, because it must be consistent. I have my doubts and sometimes the inconsistency will show. I urge social distancing ambassadors, if you can, to give warning to people making mistakes and educate them. If they argue then (the officers should) take action,” said Dr Ang.