Former members of National Solidarity Party (NSP) have expressed their intention to join Singapore People’s Party (SPP) as party members and have submitted their applications after their resignation from their former political party.
Mrs Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss , former secretary-general of NSP along with Mr Ravi Philemon, Mr Bryan Long and Mr Osman Sulaiman spoke to the media prior to the SPP walkabout at Bishan Street 22 on Sunday, 1 March on their intentions to join SPP as members.
All except for Mr Osman have submitted their applications to join SPP as members. Mr Osman has said that he would be submitting his application in due time.
Earlier this year, Mrs Chong-Aruldoss, 51, lawyer was not elected into Central Executive Committee (CEC) in the recent CEC election on Jan 25 as with the other three former members.
All of four have said that they just recently submitted their resignation to NSP.
Mrs Chong-Aruldoss said that she hopes to support SPP as much as she can, as it is a party that she would want to put her weight behind.
In regards to her intention to join SPP as member, Mrs Chong-Aruldoss said, “I think all parties will need membership to be approved by the CEC, so it is not like you want to join, you can join. So it is something that the party has to deliberate upon.”
She added that it is a process that everyone has to go through and she respect that.
Mrs Chong-Aruldoss said she would help out in the ways she can for SPP even if she is not standing for election as this is a party she wants to help out in.
She would like to see SPP win the election and enter parliament. Whether she would contest in Mountbatten SMC which she was fielded as a NSP candidate in GE2011, Mrs Jeanette said that she would leave the decision to the CEC if her membership application should be approved.
Mr Ravi, 46, community worker, clarified with media that their resignation from NSP was not a decision made out of acrimony. He added that NSP, just as with any political party, faces a huge battle because the ruling party, People’s Action Party is so huge. So they respect that the party did whatever they could within their constraints and limited resources. He also stated that there are NSP members whom he would want to see elected in the elections.
Mr Ravi then said that he feels that he is an agent of change. Therefore, he would think of how he could contribute to a political platform in trying to achieve its goal and assess where would he be most useful.
“It is not as if my cause has changed.” said Mr Ravi in reference to his change of political party, “It is just that the platform has changed.”
Mr Ravi said that he thinks SPP has spoken about change very often in parliament. Taking an example of the recent bill on restriction of the sale and consumption of alcohol, he stated that SPP was the only party which spoke against that motion.
Mr Long, 37, a tech start up entrepreneur, said he was grateful to NSP for offering him a chance to learn various aspects of the political scene through ways like the production of policy papers. But he has also recognised that the party has chosen to move in a certain direction.
As an entrepreneur, Mr Long believes that there are various ways to reach out to the younger voters, which is where his true passion lies. He also feels that SPP is definitely very open to such ideas.
Mr Long said that as he grew up in Potong Pasir and was former student of St. Andrews, he knows what Mr Chiam has done.
Mr Osman, 39, HR executive, said that he had a good working relationship with the other three during the policy discussions which was held in NSP and he added that he believes for a party to work, there needs to be a good team.
He believes SPP has an advantage as they have a voice in parliament and therefore he, along with his fellow teammates, decided to join the party.
Mrs Lina Chiam, Secretary-General of SPP said that she welcomes the four to help out in SPP but the application of their membership will still be subjected to approval by the CEC.
Mrs Chaim declined to reveal any details about the candidates which SPP will field in the upcoming election but she promised that the standards of the candidates will be equal if not better than the ruling party.
The walkabout at Bishan is the first walkabout by SPP this year. The party had contested in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC during the General Election 2011. The team was headed by Mr Chiam See Tong and received 43.07% of the total votes casted.