The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) has accepted the Elections Department (ELD) offer to take up the two Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) seats that are up for grabs.
The two who will be taking up the spots are PSP’s assistant secretary-general Leong Mun Wai and Hazel Poa.
This was announced by the party’s secretary-general Dr Tan Cheng Bock during a virtual press conference on Tuesday (14 July).
While the party has been openly against the NCMP scheme, Dr Tan said that they selected Ms Poa and Mr Leong specifically for the post given that the seats won’t be offered to another political party.
He noted, “Even if we don’t take it up, I read the new ruling, you draw lots among the five of us to pick the two. Make sure you don’t pass the NCMP to another political party. So we decided we will put up two people.”
Dr Tan added that the two PSP NCMPs will work together with the other 10 alternative party MP’s from The Workers’ Party (WP) and will follow the lead of WP’s leader Pritam Singh in parliament, adding that they will all work as a team.
On why these two PSP members decided to take up the NCMP seats when both of them have been on record saying that they disagree with the scheme, Mr Leong said that while he has some “personal objections” to the scheme, he is “humbled by the trust the party placed” in him to take up the seat, adding that the party needs to represent the 48.5 percent of voters who voted for them in the West Coast GRC.
Ms Poa similarly said that she had reservations about the scheme and that she was afraid it would “weaken efforts to make the government listen”. However, she said the recent election demonstrated that her fears were “unfounded” and that she is “encouraged” by the Workers’ Party’s achievements in securing more seats this time around.
Both members also stressed that they would continue to walk the grounds and reach out to West Coast GRC residents and Singaporeans at large to get to know them and their concerns in order to better represent them in Parliament.
Dr Tan added that he will personally also be walking the grounds. He added that the party will be working two fronts now, in parliament and building up ground support.
For Ms Poa and Mr Leong, PSP will be has decided to form a team to support them in parliament. Mr Leong said, “So we intend to pull in the younger members to give them more exposure.”
As for how they plan to work together with the other alternative party MPs from WP and what might be the first few things they’d want to tackle in Parliament, Ms Poa and Mr Leong both said that they have yet to meet with WP chief Mr Singh to discuss those matters.