Netizens are taking to the Internet to urge Dr Tan Cheng Bock to “make Singapore great again”, after the former People’s Action Party (PAP) politician announced on Friday (18th Jan) that he and 11 “like-minded Singaporeans”, including former PAP cadres have made an application to the Registrar of Societies to register a new political party.
Explaining his decision to register Progress Singapore Party, the former PAP politician and would-have-been President said on his Facebook page that it was due to a sense of duty he felt towards Singapore, after hearing fellow ordinary Singaporeans voice their concerns and fears during his interactions with them on the ground.
Over the years, a group of us have been walking the ground, meeting many Singaporeans from all walks of life. In my conversations with them, I listened to their concerns, heard their fears and felt their pain. I felt a sense of duty to come forward and represent them in Parliament. So I decided to form a political party to add another voice in Parliament.
On why form a new political party instead of joining an established opposition banner, leading an opposition coalition, or running as an independent, Dr Tan said it was a difficult decision but it was the “right” route.
The decision to go on our own was not an easy one. I, together with my team, studied the many options offered, like joining an existing opposition party, taking over an existing opposition party, running as an independent and so on. I want to thank all those who made such generous offers. I considered them all seriously and it was a difficult decision, but I feel it is the right one.
Despite deciding to set up a new party, Dr Tan said that he and his team “still look forward to working with others in the opposition who are passionate about putting country first before either party or self”.
Though we are setting up a new party, we still look forward to working with others in the opposition who are passionate about putting country first – before either party or self.
Dr Tan asserts that his team wants to “build a compassionate and truly democratic Singapore where good values and people matter” and defend the freedom of choice and free speech without fear.
As a 78-year-old man, Dr Tan admits that he has a short window and he plans to use the remaining time to mentor and develop future Parliamentarians who will work for the good of the nation.
Dr Tan is appealing for the people’s support in giving his team an opportunity to “be an alternative voice in parliament.”
Meanwhile, netizens are praising Dr Tan for his “selfless act” and exclaiming that this is the best news they have heard on the local political scene for years.
Reactions to his latest announcement have expectedly been highly positive, considering that Dr Tan is considered a capable and caring figure who actually has a wealth of experience in government.