The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) visited Progress Singapore Party (PSP) chief Tan Cheng Bock’s residence while making its house visit rounds last Thu (3 Oct).
In a Facebook post the following day, SDP said that the purpose of its Holland-Bukit Timah Group Representation Constituency (GRC) team’s visit to Dr Tan’s house was “to carry on discussions about the impending GE [General Election]”.
Several netizens lauded SDP’s move, and encouraged the party to collaborate with Dr Tan’s PSP to build a strong opposition:
Important to strengthen ties with other opposition parties: PSP chief Tan Cheng Bock
Previously, Dr Tan stressed that it is important to preserve rapport between PSP and the other opposition parties – and even the ruling party – in Singapore in spite of differences among parties.
“I think we should forget about this ‘If you’re not with me, you’re against me’ [stance] … No, we must change that. We should throw this statement out.
“[Just because] you’re not with me, [it] doesn’t mean that I’m against you. It’s just that we have a different opinion, we have a different way of doing things,” added Tan.
Tan was formerly the Member of Parliament (MP) of almost three decades for Ayer Rajah SMC from 1980 to 2006 under the People’s Action Party (PAP).
Dr Tan’s party, PSP, held its first official walkabout across all 29 constituencies islandwide on 29 Sep, including Holland-Bukit Timah GRC.
Holland-Bukit Timah GRC is one of the five constituencies SDP plans to contest in for the next GE, as announced by party chief Chee Soon Juan and chairman Paul Tambyah early last month.
Prior to its official walkabout, Dr Tan’s PSP had informed other opposition parties, among which is SDP, regarding its plans via “a friendly courtesy note”, said party assistant secretary-general Anthony Lee.
Lee told reporters after the walkabout that the other opposition parties had “wished them well” in response to the note.
Touching on the prospect of working jointly with other opposition parties in Singapore, Lee said that the possibility of doing so “allows us to exercise more options, whichever will benefit people the most”.
“I think we will have that common understanding in time to come,” he added.
Dr Chee in early Aug expressed a desire for a coalition of opposition parties, including Dr Tan’s PSP and the Workers’ Party (WP), both of which are seen as heavyweights in Singapore’s opposition party landscape.
“As long as the opposition remains disparate and remotely bunched, we are not going to win the confidence of voters,” Dr Chee told reporters on the sidelines of a walkabout at the Yuhua Village Market and Food Centre in Jurong East.
“We continue to ask (Dr Tan) to make sure that discussions are facilitated and that we iron out all the differences going into the next GE so we come out looking coordinated, looking that the right hand knows what the left hand is doing,” he added.