Tan Cheng Bock’s Progress Singapore Party receives formal approval from RoS, now registered

Progress Singapore Party (PSP), the new political party set up by former presidential candidate and former People’s Action Party (PAP) Member of Parliament (MP) Tan Cheng Bock has received formal approval from the Registry of Societies on Thursday (March 28).

A PSP spokesperson told The Straits Times that the Party will be making a formal announcement regarding the matter some time next week.

Quoting a Lianhe Zaobao report, ST added that PSP will most likely convene a meeting in the coming week to discuss its next move.

Previously, in an announcement made via Facebook on 16 Mar, Dr Tan announced the “in principle” approval of PSP by the RoS.

He wrote: “In response to the many queries on the status of the registration of Progress Singapore Party, I am pleased to share that our application was “approved-in-principle”, subject to us accepting some amendments made by the Registry of Societies to our Constitution.

“We have proposed some minor changes to the ROS’s amendments and are now waiting for their final reply.

“The Registry of Societies has been very helpful so far, and I look forward to their favorable response to our application,” he added.

Dr Tan made the application to form PSP earlier this year on 16 Jan alongside “twelve likeminded Singaporeans” including “some ex-PAP cadres”.

Posting on his Facebook page, Dr Tan confirms that his party has been registered but they still have to submit their party symbol for formal approval. And says that this is the last step before the launch of the party.

Dr Tan’s “return to politics after a long absence” driven by “a sense of duty” to represent “many Singaporeans from all walks of life”

In a Facebook post on 18 Jan, two days after the application was made, Dr Tan announced his readiness to “return to politics after a long absence”.

“Over the years, a group of us have been walking the ground, meeting many Singaporeans from all walks of life.

“In my conversations with them, I listened to their concerns, heard their fears and felt their pain. I felt a sense of duty to come forward and represent them in Parliament.

“So I decided to form a political party to add another voice in Parliament,” he wrote.

He added: “At 78 years, I have a short window that I intend to use mentoring and developing future Parliamentarians who will work for the good of our nation.

“We want to build a compassionate and truly democratic Singapore where good values and people matter. Freedom of choice and free speech without fear must be defended.

“We hope to be given the opportunity for Progress Singapore Party to be an alternative voice in parliament. In due course, as the party and candidates mature, we intend to be ready to govern the nation.

“In the mean time, we will work with those who share our political beliefs of country first – before either party or self,” concluded Dr Tan.

Dr Tan had previously nearly won the bid for President in 2011 which fuel the speculation that the amendments to the Constitution were made to block his reattempt at the highest office in the country.

He had announced his intention to run for Presidency in Mar 2016 before the amendments to the Elected Presidency were announced. Other than the race-based contest, the increase of criteria for private candidates meant that he would no longer be qualified to stand for the election.

Dr Tan had also filed an application to challenge the Government’s decision to regard Wee Kim Wee as the first elected president for the purpose of making the 2017 President Election as a reserved election, which was eventually dismissed by the Court of Appeal.