Dr Tan Cheng Bock announced on his Facebook page today (18 January) that he will be returning to politics and will be forming a new party called Progress Singapore Party.
The former People’s Action Party Member of Parliament and candidate in the Presidential Election 2011 – who nearly won – said that he alongside 12 likeminded Singaporeans filed an application to the Registry of Societies to register a new political party on 16 January.
Last month, Dr Tan announced his retirement as a doctor after serving 50-years in the profession, but strongly hinted his return to politics to serve the public.
He said that over the years he met many Singaporeans from all walks of life and heard their concerns. Hence, he “felt a sense of duty to come forward and represent them in Parliament”.
Dr Tan wrote,
The decision to go on our own was not an easy one. I, together with my team, studied the many options offered, like joining an existing opposition party, taking over an existing opposition party, running as an independent and so on. I want to thank all those who made such generous offers. I considered them all seriously and it was a difficult decision, but I feel it is the right one.
Though we are setting up a new party, we still look forward to working with others in the opposition who are passionate about putting country first – before either party or self.
As a 78-year-old man, Dr Tan admits that he has a short window and he plans to use the remaining time to mentor and develop future Parliamentarians who will work for the good of the nation.
He hopes that Progress Singapore Party will be an alternative voice in the Parliament.
Currently, he is awaiting approval from the Registry of Society and will hold a press conference subsequently.
The Republic’s upcoming general election is due 2021 but according to sources, most likely to be called at the end of this year.