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Leong Mun Wai says more voices needed in Parliament; One-third opposition seats possible with public support

During a press conference held on Saturday (27 May), the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) Secretary-General, Leong Mun Wai, together with party founder and chairman Dr Tan Cheng Bock and vice- chairman Hazel Poa, addressed several issues raised by the Singapore media.

The media covered various topics, including Dr Tan’s plans to contest in the upcoming GE, the PSP’s strategies and challenges for the forthcoming election, and the possibility of forming a political alliance with other alternative parties.

Regarding the question of whether the party will form an alliance that includes the Singapore Workers’ Party (WP), Mr Leong stated that while he cannot comment on behalf of the WP, he has been contemplating the idea of an opposition alliance.

He mentioned that, at present, no discussions have taken place with any other alternative parties.

“They have kept me informed, you know, but we have not started any discussion. So at the moment, I can’t say what form or what, how this alliance would take shape.”

“There are some pros and cons, but I think there are many pros that can be pushing the parties towards an alliance in the next election.”

“Remember Workers Party is So much older than us, 60 over years, we only four years, ” Mr Leong added, “I think we have to respect the Workers’ Party.”

Last Election PSP almost there

When discussing the PSP’s challenge to increase the number of elected members in the next general election, Mr Leong highlighted that compared to other new parties, the PSP has the advantage of having Dr Tan, who brings with him the values that the PSP can continue to use to garner votes from Singaporeans.

“We also have the resources that Dr Tan has brought to us, his experience, and everything that has trained us.”

Prior to setting up PSP with his team of volunteers for his Presidential campaign, Dr Tan was a former Member of the People’s Action Party who served as a Member of Parliament for Ayer Rajah SMC between 1980 and 2006.

Mr Leong said in the last election, PSP have already demonstrated that the party were almost winning certain constituencies with a close margin.

“But of course, in election there’s no such thing as almost, you lose, means you lose,” Mr Leong reiterated that the party will strive harder in the next round to be elected as official Members of Parliament.

Members and volunteers needed on the ground to garner sufficient support

Given the current landscape, Mr Leong noted many issues that Singaporeans have become aware of, which may be more positive for the opposition in general. However, he acknowledged that politics is fast-paced and subject to change, so they do not foresee any obstacles.

The PSP’s main focus now is to ensure that they have enough members and volunteers who can garner sufficient support, not just in three Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs), but possibly in four or five GRCs.

“If you have enough support, the PSP will come out even stronger in the next election,” Mr Leong emphasized.

Mr Leong, in his opening speech of the press conference on Saturday, also reiterated that his among the residents or the voters, there’s still a lot of work that PSP needs to do to gain the voters recognition.

“And we will roll out our plans slowly and I’m sure you’ll find it interesting over the next maybe 6 to 12 months.”

“However, the spirit and the values that our party holds dear will remains the same. The spirit of selflessness as encapsulated in our slogan: for country, for people Will be our rallying cry.”

“No baggage of the past”

While PSP is a relatively new party compared to other with longer history, Mr Leong also hopes that PSP will be recognized as a party that embodies these qualities and operates with a modern approach, unburdened by the baggage of the past.

“We are a modern party. We came out, We are founded on those principles, no baggage of the past, and will continue to work hard to show the Singaporeans that we are a party that lives up to our values.”

Mr Leong highlighted that the opposition in Parliament had presented many policies to the government.

However, within the current Parliamentary setting, many of these ideas are not adequately aired in the public domain.

Therefore, he believes that there is a need for more voices in Parliament.

At least one-third opposition in Parliament

“Because the ruling PAP is quite easy because of their supermajority, to actually neutralise or even decimate us.”

However, Mr Leong believed that if Singaporeans were open to the idea of a slightly less than two-thirds majority PAP government, which is still a strong government in any democracy, then there would be room for at least one-third of the seats to be held by the opposition.

With the current 93 seats in Parliament, this would translate to approximately 32 opposition seats.

“If Singaporeans are willing, willing to give that to the opposition in the next round, I think the 15th Parliament will be very, very interesting and of course the opposition will work towards that in the next GE.”

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