SINGAPORE – The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) will bring diversity into Singapore politics, whereas the People’s Action Party (PAP) only has candidates akin to “2D cutouts” who engage in groupthink.
Speaking to reporters on Friday evening (3 July) ahead of the upcoming General Election, PSP’s Tanjong Pagar group representation constituency (GRC) team said the opposition party possesses candidates who have the qualities to be ministers.
“We are five ministerial-capable individuals here right now, we just need a chance, it does not have to be men in white,” said PSP’s Tanjong Pagar GRC candidate Harish Pillay, 60, during a walkabout at ABC Brickworks Food Centre. The founder of Red Hat Singapore was accompanied by his fellow candidates for the GRC – Michael Chua, Wendy Low, Abas Kasmani and Terence Soon.
Also present at the walkabout were PSP secretary-general Tan Cheng Bock and party member Lee Hsien Yang. Both joined the party’s Tanjong Pagar candidates in chatting with the residents and stallholders at the hawker centres.
When asked about the ruling People’s Action Party’s claim that its slate of GE candidates is diverse and that they are the most relatable in years, Dr Tan rebutted, “For so many years they are in Parliament, so many issues were in Parliament – very important issues – but did they really pose those important questions?”
Chua, PSP’s organising secretary, added that voters are not voting for 2D cutouts. “What they’ve done in the past...it’s only a piece of resume that does not really tell very much beyond what they claim in their press conference and their introduction,” the 55-year-old said.
Low also said that the PAP has a pre-selection criteria targeted at choosing candidates who veer towards “groupthink”.
“The kind of policies that would result from this kind of groupthink are pretty much the same, regardless of what (PAP) candidates (are) put forward as a group. What we are trying to present here is diversity,” said the intellectual property lawyer.
Diverse perspectives for better policies
In contrast, the PSP has candidates with diverse backgrounds, said Low. She cited Soon, a young father who owns businesses in the US, as one such candidate.
“We are bringing very diverse perspectives on what could make better policies for young families in the aviation industry, or startups that want to venture in the US,” she said. “If you compare with the most senior of (PAP’s) politicians, does that perspective exist?”
She suggested that voters give the chance for PSP’s Tanjong Pagar team to serve a “five-year probation”, under the guidance from Tan and Lee.
“If you don’t think we are doing such a great job, we can be out and there’s no damage because all the policies are being implemented by your civil servants,” the 43-year-old said.
Meanwhile, Lee declined comment when asked by Yahoo News Singapore about the contempt of court hearing of his eldest son Li Shengwu on Thursday. The Attorney General’s Chambers argued for a $15,000 fine over a Facebook post by Li for scandalising contempt.
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