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PSP cannot stop three-cornered fights in GE: Tan Cheng Bock
THE Progress Singapore Party (PSP) will try to avoid three-cornered fights for the next general election (GE), said party chief Tan Cheng Bock, but stressed that no party has the right to tell others where to go. "Nobody has any right to say: 'I don't want you to contest here'. If they feel that they want to come in and contest against us, we also cannot stop them," he told The Straits Times on Friday.
Dr Tan was speaking after having breakfast at Mayflower Market and Food Centre in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4, located in the newly carved-out Kebun Baru single member constituency (SMC).
The PSP has overlapping claims with four parties that are intending to form a bloc: the People's Power Party (PPP), Reform Party (RP), Singaporeans First (SingFirst) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Both RP and PSP have claimed West Coast GRC, while DPP and PSP have both expressed interest in Kebun Baru SMC and Marymount SMC.
Dr Tan said that the PSP would inevitably overlap in claims on contests with other parties, as it is new. "It is very difficult for a new party like PSP. If some of the wards have been fought before by other political parties, I think you cannot chope the place, because we will have no idea, we never fought in all these places," he said. He added: "We don't want to have three-cornered fights. But if we need to, what can we do? It's not our choice."
On Thursday, PPP chief Goh Meng Seng said in a Facebook post that the proposed bloc may "go into a big clash with PSP", as talks have been unsuccessful. The PSP was among the parties that began meeting residents on the ground on Friday morning, as Singapore entered Phase Two of its reopening. With him was PSP central executive committee member Michael Chua, and three PSP members - chartered accountant Kayla Low, former SingFirst chairman Ang Yong Guan, and former publisher of The Independent Singapore Kumaran Pillai.
Earlier that morning, Henry Kwek, a member of parliament from the People's Action Party (PAP), also visited the market.
Meanwhile, Singapore's newest political party, Red Dot United (RDU), said that it intends to contest Jurong GRC, but will do so only if other opposition parties do not field candidates there. In a statement where it unveiled its logo and mission statement, the party said that it will not contest any constituency should there be a three-cornered fight. RDU was registered as a political party on June 17. It was formed less than a month ago and submitted its application for registration on May 26. Its entry means that a record 12 opposition parties could contest the next GE.
On Friday, RDU introduced its mission statement: "Politics with Principles, Vision with Values". It also unveiled a red and white compass as its logo. "Just as a compass does, RDU will strive to consistently point towards the principles and values which must be present in the decision-making process of the government and country," said the party. Red Dot United, which has 12 members so far, is helmed by former PSP members Ravi Philemon, 52, and Michelle Lee, 43.
In the last election in 2015, the PAP team led by Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam won more than 79 per cent of the votes in Jurong GRC - defeating SingFirst and making it the best-performing ward for the PAP.
Ivan Li Shaw Chuan, 41, a general manager of Keppel Shipyard and Shawn Huang, 37, a director at state investment firm Temasek, are rumoured to be potential new PAP candidates in Jurong. THE STRAITS TIMES
For more of our Singapore GE2020 coverage, go to bt.sg/ge2020