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PAP parliamentary majority is no 'formula for success', says Tan Cheng Bock

IF GIVEN seats in the House, the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) will ask tough questions of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) and serve as a check on how the government is stewarding Singapore’s reserves, PSP chief Tan Cheng Bock said on Thursday.

Speaking in the first of two party political broadcasts in the run-up to the July 10 polls, he reiterated his party’s intent to challenge the incumbent’s parliamentary super majority. 

“If the PAP has a two-thirds majority, it will have the power to change important laws like the Constitution at will, whenever they wish, without being checked,” he said.

He added that a PAP monopoly in parliament is not a “formula for success”.

“Prosperity has not flowed to all Singaporeans. Many PMETs are still out of work and their jobs are displaced by foreigners. The previous mandate did not always mean good outcomes for Singaporeans,” said the 80-year-old former PAP parliamentarian.

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Although his party was set up a year ago, the PSP is fielding the most candidates among the opposition parties in the upcoming polls.

If voted into parliament, PSP members will have the government come clean on its use of reserves, said Dr Tan. 

He brought up the issue of reserves four times in his speech.

“As a Singaporean, you have a right to information that the government is refusing to answer. For example, on our reserves. The government needs to be transparent and accountable to the people,” he said.

Dr Tan, who is throwing his hat in the ring for the West Coast GRC, cited his experience as chairman of the Jurong Town Council and South West Community Development Council back in the day – when he was Member of Parliament for Ayer Rajah from 1980 to 2006.

“I want to assure you that the PSP will know how to look after your constituency. PSP has people who have run town councils before, including myself… We know how to take care of you,” he said.

The ruling party does not have all the answers, he stressed, citing how it “failed to prepare” for the explosion of Covid-19 cases in foreign worker dormitories. 

Calling for the electorate to cast their vote for transparency, accountability and independence, he said: “For years you have heard the PAP say that you can’t do it without them. I want you to know that you can do it. We can do it together.”

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