SINGAPORE — Former Progress Singapore Party (PSP) members Michelle Lee and Ravi Philemon have formed a new political organisation called Red Dot United (RDU), with the intention of contesting in upcoming general elections.
The organisation currently has 12 members aged between 25 and 55, with Lee as the chairman and Philemon as secretary-general. It has submitted to the Registry of Societies for official approval on Tuesday (26 May).
In an online media conference on Friday, Philemon said that RDU will be present not only in times of general elections, but also in the years in between them. It seeks to “work for change on the ground” with fellow Singaporeans, as well as enable thought leadership and active citizen participation in the decisions that affect their lives and the path of the nation.
“It is the duty of every citizen to ensure good government. But how do we get the Government to better focus on the issues which affect ordinary citizens? It is no longer in Singapore’s best interests to tell the people to merely trust their leaders and not to ask questions,” said Philemon, who had contested and lost in the 2015 general election under the Singapore People's Party banner in Hong Kah North single member constituency.
“We are not best served by an elite class with their heads in the clouds. To be a robust nation and society, we must educate, enable and empower our citizens to engage in dialogue and effective debate without fear.”
Shift from personality-driven politics
Philemon also expressed hope that, with RDU, politics in Singapore can shift away from being centred on different personalities to being centred on policies.
“We want to see an alliance of like-minded political parties, academics, businesses and citizens working together for the greater good of Singapore,” he said.
“With a large segment of our members below the age of 35, a lot of our focus will also be on engaging youth.”
Both Lee and Philemon insist that they parted ways with PSP amiably. Before applying to the Registry of Societies, the duo had reached out to PSP secretary-general Tan Cheng Bock and other PSP members to inform them of their plans.
“We are cheered that we received a warm response. As they are doing well and do not need our assistance, we have gone ahead to register Red Dot United,” Philemon said.
“We have also spoken to some other party leaders in the opposition space and will always seek to build each other and fellow Singaporeans up.”
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