Tan Cheng Bock open to leading proposed opposition coalition

Teng Yong Ping
Lifestyle Editor
Tan Cheng Bock (left) and Chee Soon Juan at a working lunch for opposition parties organised by the Singapore Democratic Party to discuss forming a political coalition during the next general election. (PHOTO: SDP)

Former presidential candidate Dr Tan Cheng Bock said he was open to leading a coalition of opposition parties at a meeting hosted by the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) on Saturday (28 July).

The working lunch attended by several opposition parties was organised by the SDP to discuss the possibility of working together as a unified front at the next general election, said the SDP in a statement on its website.

The SDP proposed that Tan, a former People’s Action Party MP, lead the effort in building such a coalition. Tan said in response, “If you want me to lead, then we must think of country first. If we go in, we must go in as a team.”

Tan’s spokesperson, when contacted by Yahoo News Singapore, confirmed that he was open to the idea of leading an opposition coalition.

Besides the SDP, the event was attended by leaders and representatives of six other political parties: the Democratic Progressive Party, the National Solidarity Party, the People’s Power Party, the People’s Voice, the Reform Party and the Singaporeans First Party.

The largest opposition party, the Workers’ Party, was not in attendance.

Tan, who is not a member of any political party, attended the event as an observer, said the SDP.

The parties present welcomed the idea of Tan leading a coalition, according to the SDP’s statement.

The SDP’s Secretary-General, Dr Chee Soon Juan, said he was confident that Tan would be able to lead such an alliance, given his experience and leadership.

Tan Cheng Bock contested Singapore’s four-cornered presidential election in 2011, during which Dr Tony Tan was elected as president. Tan Cheng Bock lost to Tony Tan by a mere 0.34 percentage points, or 7,382 votes.