Singapore: Ex-PAP member Tan Cheng Bock seeks approval to form new political party

Tan Cheng Bock
Tan Cheng Bock Facebook/ Tan Cheng Bock

The politician Tan Cheng Bock has announced his return to politics and said that he has filed an application to form a new political party.

In a Facebook post, the former presidential candidate Dr Tan said that he is currently the head of a group twelve like-minded Singaporeans that includes some ex PAP (People's Action Party) cadres. He mentioned that on Wednesday, January 16 they filed an application to the Registry of Societies to register a new political party, named 'Progress Singapore Party.'

As per Dr Tan's social media post, "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," he added.

The former member of Singapore parliament Dr Tan also said that the decision to form a new party was not easy. Before taking such decision he and the team looked into other available options, such as joining an existing opposition party, taking over an existing opposition party and running as an independent.

He thanked all the parties for the offers they made and said even though the final decision was difficult to take, he feels that it is the right one.

In addition, the 78-year-old Dr Tan stated, "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."

He added that at the age of 78 "I have a short window that I intend to use mentoring and developing future Parliamentarians who will work for the good of our nation."

While revealing their motive, Dr Tan, who was the member of the Parliament for 26 years, said that he and his party want to build "a compassionate and truly democratic Singapore where good values and people matter. Freedom of choice and free speech without fear must be defended."

The veteran politician and his team are currently waiting for the approval from the Registry of Societies. Once the authority approves the application, a press conference will be conducted to clarify all the details about the party, including its vision and mission, as well as objectives.

However, as per the Ministry of Home Affair's Registry of Societies website, the approval would take two months of time, which is the normal process.