The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) has officially opened its headquarters on Monday (27 January), marking its position as a “serious player” in Singapore.
At the opening ceremony of the headquarters on the 14th floor of the Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, Party founder and secretary-general Dr Tan Cheng Bock said that the party plans to be in local politics for the long haul.
“We have now got our own HQ (headquarters) and it’s also significant because it tells Singaporeans the PSP is going for the long haul. We are not just here for a moment, we’ll be here for a long, long time,” said Dr Tan.
“It signifies that we are a very serious player. We are not just coming here to fight one general election,” he said. “I’m preparing a team … it’s important that I get some place where they can call it home for them, they can always come here at odd times of the night, day – they have a place to go to.”
Dr Tan said the headquarters location is ‘really very good’ and is a ‘focal point’ for the party, adding that it will serve as a ‘real home’ for the party where they can hold events and functions instead of being pushed from hotel to hotel or establishment to establishment.
Last June, the PSP’s launch event was pushed from June at the Singapore Expo to August at the Swissotel Merchant Court Hotel when it did not receive the necessary permits in time.
On their part, the authorities said they had proactively engaged the party with the intent of providing the permit before the June date but the party had postponed the event on their own.
After his speech on Monday, Dr Tan told reporters that it had been difficult sourcing for places to host the party’s events including meet-the-people sessions to seminars.
PSP said in a statement, “Apart from being the central location for PSP meetings, the PSP’s new headquarters will also hold other member events such as talks and seminars.”
As for the location of the party’s HQ, Dr Tan noted that he had scouted several locations before deciding on Bukit Timah Shopping Centre.
While the office is large and spacious, it can still not hold all of PSP’s members. Over the past months, PSP has been absorbing a large number of members. While Dr Tan remained tight-lipped during the press conference over the exact number of members that the party has, TOC understands that the party’s membership can rival that of the Workers’ Party.
Much speculations have been made about Dr Tan contesting in West Coast GRC due to his former position as a Member of Parliament at Ayer Rajah SMC.
But when asked if the location signals where PSP is intending to contest in the general elections, Dr Tan merely stated that it is a central point for him to move all over the island.
As for the opposition alliance, Dr Tan was asked about PSP possibly joining them. Dr Tan responded by emphasising the need for “strong people” to join in.
“The whole political climate is also changing, so I need strong people to come on board to help me to create a very strong team for the coming GE (general election),” he said.
He also hoped that more young people will come forward to be involved in the political system, lamenting that many of them are ‘not ready’ to do so.
“I hope to encourage younger Singaporeans not to be so fearful,” Dr Tan said, a message that the party has been emphasising since its launch last year.