GE2020: PSP will 'respect' WP's Pritam Singh as Leader of the Opposition - Tan Cheng Bock

Wan Ting Koh
·Reporter
·3-min read
Progress Singapore Party's Tan Cheng Bock and Workers' Party's Pritam Singh. (PHOTOS: Dhany Osman/Yahoo News Singapore)
Progress Singapore Party's Tan Cheng Bock and Workers' Party's Pritam Singh. (PHOTOS: Dhany Osman/Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Progress Singapore Party (PSP) will “go along with” Workers’ Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh since he was appointed the Leader of the Opposition after the 2020 General Election (GE), said PSP’s secretary-general Tan Cheng Bock on Tuesday (14 July).

“WP was given the leader for opposition (role) and I think ...since he (Pritam) is the leader there, my two friends here will respect him as leader and will go along with him,” said Dr Tan at a PSP press conference.

He was referring to his two party members Hazel Poa and Leong Mun Wai, who were unveiled as the PSP’s Non-Constituency Members of Parliament (NCMP) at the conference.

Both Poa and Leong were part of PSP’s West Coast group representation constituency (GRC) team at the GE on 10 July. The PSP lost narrowly to the People’s Action Party (PAP) in the GRC, with a margin of 48.31 per cent of the vote share against the PAP’s 51.69 per cent.

Progress Singapore Party announced on 14 July 2020 that its members Hazel Poa and Leong Mun Wai will be the NCMPs at the next Parliament. (PHOTO: Koh Wan Ting/Yahoo News Singapore)
Progress Singapore Party announced on 14 July 2020 that its members Hazel Poa and Leong Mun Wai will be the NCMPs at the next Parliament. (PHOTO: Koh Wan Ting/Yahoo News Singapore)

Under the NCMP scheme, up to 12 seats are offered to the opposition, depending on the outcome of a GE. As the Workers’ Party had won 10 elected seats, the PSP was offered two NCMP positions as the “best loser”.

WP’s performance at the polls - with wins in Sengkang GRC, Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC - prompted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to name WP’s Singh as the Leader of the Opposition.

Dr Tan noted the position and said his party would follow the WP’s lead, noting his personal relationship with the WP secretary-general and its chairman Sylvia Lim.

“Historically, I’ve been quite close to Pritam and Sylvia, we’ve always been very good friends, and we share many many common things, ideals and policies also... we are now going like a team. WP will take the lead, we will help them,” said Dr Tan.

Leong said that the policies of PSP and WP on tackling problems faced by Singaporeans were “more or less aligned” so that there was “room to cooperate” on that front.

Asked if the PSP plans to collaborate with WP outside of Parliament, Poa said that it was “premature” to talk about the issue as her party had just made its decision to take up the NCMP seats.

“We have not yet had an opportunity to discuss this further with WP. So maybe at a later stage, we'll be able to answer that question better,” said Poa.

At a virtual press conference on Sunday, Lim said the WP was ready to work with whichever party that planned to take up the NCMP seats, in order to play the role of a rational and constructive opposition in Parliament.

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