On Sunday (12 Jan), the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) went on its first walkabout of the year, with about 200 members visiting the West Coast market and making door-to-door visits.
In a Facebook post by the party yesterday, the walkabout was described by party leader and founder Dr Tan Cheng Bock as going “home”. Dr Tan had served as MP for the single-seat Ayer Rajah ward under PAP for six terms before it was absorbed into the West Coast group representation constituency (GRC) in 2006.
The party noted that Dr Tan was welcomed warmly at the West Coast market and presented with a garland of orchids by the residents there.
During the visit, 22 teams of 200 members of PSP spent four hours visiting residents in 50 blocks of flats in Teban Gardens and Pandan Loop.
In another Facebook post yesterday, the party said, “For many in our teams, this was their first time being involved in greeting residents so up-close and personally. We met entire families who knew ‘Doc’ from his Ama Keng Clinic days. We also met young families who have not heard of PSP and our teams wasted no time in introducing the party to them.”
When asked about the party’s decision to visit West Coast, an area rich with history for Dr Tan, he said that PSP is identifying potential areas for the party to contest in the upcoming elections, though he declined to name other areas the party is considering.
At the market, Dr Tan also bumped into one of West Coast GRC’s current MP Ms Foo Mee Har who was having her breakfast there. The two greeted each other and wished each other good health before continuing on their day.
Dr Tan later told reporters, “Ms Foo Mee Har is quite good. I heard she takes care (of the residents).”
He also praised the PAP team for doing a good job in the area after he stepped down as Ayer Rajah’s MP.
“That’s how it should be. It doesn’t matter whether it’s me or whoever but the important thing is to make sure that people who live in this area are given the facilities that they asked for,” he said.
“And I must also congratulate them for doing a lot of good work here in making this constituency even better, nicer.”
Ms Foo mentioned the meeting with Dr Tan at the market on her own Facebook page yesterday as well, saying, “Met Dr Tan Cheng Bock at Teban Market and we had a brief exchange. I wished him a happy and healthy new year. Happy that our stallholders benefited from more customers today!”
PSP looking at the bigger picture
Dr Tan said of PSP’s visits, “All these are all very well planned.”
“If elections come tomorrow, we know what we will do. If elections come next month, we know what we want to do,” he added.
During the walkabout, Dr Tan was also asked what he thought about the opposition alliance between Singaporeans First party (SingFirst), Democratic Progress Party, People’s Power Party and Reform Party. The four parties intend to content in the next general election under a single banner.
The veteran politician said that while he has met with the parties, he is not yet committing PSP to the alliance.
“I’m still building my own team. They are entitled to what they want to do, it’s fair… but we are looking at the bigger picture,” noted Dr Tan.
Last week, secretary-general of SingFirst Mr Tan Jee Say told TODAY that the alliance of opposition parties is still looking forward to Dr Tan “agreeing to lead the alliance”.
Dr Tan told TODAY during the walkabout, “Very likely we all want to see us come together but the form, the manner, the way in which we are going to come together is all still open.”