On Monday (15 June), the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) Registry of Societies approved the application of Red Dot United, a political group formed by former Progress Singapore Party (PSP) members.
The party submitted its application on 26 May and received an approval just after three weeks, allowing it to contest in the next General Election (GE) which will happen in the near future.
Generally, it takes an average of two months for the registry to process the application. In fact, PSP submitted its application on 16 January 2019 and only got approved after three months, on 28 March 2019.
Red Dot United has 12 members so far, and it is being headed by former PSP members Ravi Philemon and Michelle Lee. Mr Philemon left PSP last month, whereas Ms Lee, who was PSP’s vice-chairman, resigned in March.
Apart from these two individuals, two other ex-members of PSP had also joined Red Dot United.
Mr Philemon, who is Red Dot United’s secretary-general, had previously stated that he would be writing to the registry to speed up the approval process, as the party plans to contest in the upcoming GE.
MHA confirmed with TODAY that the party has indeed been registered. However, it did not comment whether the application process of the party was rushed, nor the reason of it being expedited.
Mr Philemon thanked the MHA for accepting the party’s request to speed up the approval process.
“I was happy that they gave it to us, that they were considerate. They considered that we were keen to contest in the coming election,” he said when contacted by TODAY on Wednesday.
As of now, the party has three officer holders, and they are Mr Philemon, Ms Lee (the party’s chairman), as well as Mr Chia Weng Lee, who is a 53-year-old business owner who is the party’s treasurer.
Mr Philemon and Ms Lee announced for the first time via Zoom on 29 May that they will be forming a new political party. They made this announcement just days after PSP secretary-general Dr Tan Cheng Bock said that there are a number of “big egos” who joined the party for their personal interest, and that he would “not feel sorry” if they leave the party.
After hearing about Red Dot United’s approval, many netizens questioned the need to have another opposition political party in Singapore. Penning their thoughts in the Facebook pages of TODAY and The Straits Times, online users asked why a new political party is formed to added to the “already overcrowded oppositions”. One user called Lee Han said, “Resigned ‘to spend time with family’?? Then now new party.”
A bunch of other online users said that Red Dot United is formed to “mess up and dilute the votes”. They added that the party’s intention is to split the votes for the oppositions, which will reduce the chances of them winning in the next GE.
A large number of them pointed out that this party has no chance in winning in the next GE. They also said that the party is going to waste its deposit as netizens will be surprised if the party gets even “1% of the votes”.
Others questioned the speed of the approval given to the party. They reasoned it out by stating that it is to “help dilute the votes for 3 corner fights”.