PSP says it won't endorse any presidential candidate after volunteers receive email to sign up as counting agents
In the email seen by CNA, volunteers for the Progress Singapore Party were asked to sign up as counting agents to collect voting data, which it said is “important” for the next General Election.
SINGAPORE: The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) on Tuesday (Aug 29) said it has “no plans” to endorse or support any presidential candidate, after party volunteers were sent an email to sign up as counting agents for Mr Tan Kin Lian.
“The email was drafted at the initiative of an individual. It was not an approved communication,” said PSP in response to CNA’s queries.
The email, which was sent on Sunday night and seen by CNA, referred to the Presidential Election as a “golden opportunity” to understand voters in various constituencies.
Volunteers were asked to sign up as counting agents which will help the party collect voting data, which is “important for our next (General Election)".
The party did not disclose how many volunteers received the email. PSP added that it recently implemented a new membership system and encountered “teething problems”.
Responding to questions from CNA, PSP said the President, as a symbol of the unity of Singapore, is meant to be independent and non-partisan.
“The PSP supports these principles, and thus has no plans to endorse or support any candidate in the upcoming Presidential Election. Individuals, however, are free to support any candidate they wish in their personal capacities,” it added.
ENDORSEMENT IN PERSONAL CAPACITY
PSP also said that its chairman Tan Cheng Bock's endorsement of Mr Tan Kin Lian was in his own personal capacity as a former candidate in the 2011 Presidential Election.
“Any support, by any member, for any candidate is in their own personal capacity,” the party reiterated.
On Sunday, Dr Tan said he endorsed Mr Tan Kin Lian as they share a “common vision” on the need for an independent candidate.
Dr Tan said several times that his endorsement was in his "personal capacity" and he was "not here as a politician for this election".
He added that a President who is "with the establishment" may feel "uncomfortable" if they choose to take decisions that are contrary to the establishment.
Dr Tan had contested in the 2011 Presidential Election, coming in second to Dr Tony Tan with 34.85 per cent of the votes.