Dr Tan Cheng Bock opined that the People’s Action Party (PAP) is not “gentlemanly” by using gutter politics in the statement released to the Workers’ Party (WP), and engaging in “fear and reward” politicking.
He was speaking to the media at a doorstop interview during the Progress Singapore Party’s (PSP) walkabout at Bukit Merah Food Market on Tuesday (7 July).
Dr Tan, secretary-general of the PSP, is contesting in West Coast Group Representation Constituency (GRC).
When posed a question on his thoughts regarding PAP’s press statement that “the public should scrutinise Raeesah Khan’s posts and make judgment (on them)”, he said that it was something that had happened two years ago, and that the PAP should have taken action then.
“Why (did they) wait until now? That showed they have been waiting for this moment. This is what you call ‘gutter politics’.”
Dr Tan added that “(PSP) wants to stay high” and “set a good example for all”.
“When it comes to politicking of this kind of nature, I don’t want to be involved (in that). (Then) the world will look at us and regard Singapore as a very matured country.”
He then addressed another form of politicking that he felt the PAP was employing – “fear and reward” politics.
“When I walk around, I notice something. There is the politics of fear – fear and reward – I reward you if you vote for me. (If) you don’t vote for me, (then) you are against me.”
Dr Tan expressed that this sort of mentality leaves no room for conversation between them and alternative parties, and asked PAP to be more “gentlemanly” and have a dialogue since “we are all Singaporeans”.
He challenged the fear factor that he felt PAP was using to frighten new citizens into voting for them, in which failure to do so will see their citizenship be taken away.
“PAP is the one who gave you citizenship so they cannot just take it away. You qualified because you stayed here long enough,” the party chief stated.
Dr Tan also touched on another recent development in the campaign – PAP’s secretary-general Lee Hsien Loong’s lunchtime rally speech on Monday (6 July). Mr Lee said that alternative parties do not have plans for the economy, tackling the COVID-19, and Singapore’s leadership.
Commenting on Mr Lee’s statement, Dr Tan put into context the current climate under which the General Election is held.
“I think this situation is created by them, (and) not by us. I’ve always warned them this is not the right time for (an) election. So now you tell us (that) we are misbehaving. We (have) already warned you. And to say that we are not complying is not fair,” he asserted.
Michael Chua, a member of PSP who is contesting in Tanjong Pagar GRC, added that the party has stated its vision for Singapore in its policy manifesto, with clear blueprints on what it needed to do to address the issues raised at a country level for the longer run.
“COVID-19 should not be looked at on its own, but (we) should (also) address the structural problems . Our manifesto reflects that,” he reiterated.
Mr Chua then called on Mr Lee to “review their plan and look at some of (PSP) ideas” when he has the time, and consider incorporating them into whatever PAP has planned to do next.