'Very loose' opposition alliance is in the works: Tan Cheng Bock

Nicholas Yong
Assistant News Editor

SINGAPORE — A ‘very loose’ alliance of Singapore’s opposition parties led by Tan Cheng Bock is in the works, said the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) chief on Friday (26 July).

“I’ve been approached by many of them…whether I could take the lead to form a very loose alliance, so that when we come to the General Election (GE), we will be a much bigger force to challenge the PAP. And that’s our intention,” said Dr Tan, who is PSP’s secretary general.

The former presidential candidate acknowledged the difficulty of the task, “There’re a lot of personalities involved. But it’s not impossible. I hope that I can convince all of them to come together.

“And I think I have managed to win many of them around now, and we have had discussions too.”

Addressing reporters at the PSP’s launch, the 79-year-old retired general practitioner added that the picture would become clearer as the GE draws near. The goal is also to avoid three-cornered fights during the GE.

Singapore is due to hold its next GE by 15 April 2021.

Former presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock addresses reporters at the launch of the Progress Singapore Party on Friday, 26 July 2019. PHOTO: Dhany Osman/Yahoo News Singapore

‘Starting an evolution of change’

Last July, Dr Tan said that he was open to leading a coalition of opposition parties, after being approached by representatives of seven parties: the Singapore Democratic Party, 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 former People’s Action Party (PAP) Member of Parliament of 26 years also told reporters that while he does not expect the ruling party to be unseated at the next election, the goal is to deprive the PAP of its two-third majority in Parliament.

“Because if there’s no two-third majority, all the constitutional changes cannot be passed (with certainty),” said Dr Tan.

“We are not starting a revolution. We are starting an evolution of change. Whether there’s a regime change in the next election, I’d be honest, I don’t think we can.”

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