As I’ve remarked before, the SPP punches above its weight of because of Chiam. But given Chiam’s frality and age, the party had better move fast to renew itself.
One way this is happening (as I’ve earlier reported) is that Benjamin Pwee and other SPP members who helped Dr Cheng Bock (not a SPP member) in his recent presidential campaign are getting advice from him. He is advising them plan the transition from brand Chiam, and how to get support in Western S’pore, his territory. Tony Tan came second in the West. Tan Jee Say and Tan Kin Lian were nowhere to be seen.
Another way the SPP is renewing itself is the invitation, to Eric Tan (ex WP MP candidate), Tan Jee Say (ex SDP MP candidate, and presidential candidate) and Leong Sze Hian (TOC contributor) to attend meetings of the SPP’s Policy Working Group, even though they are not SPP members. They accepted and there is a group photo on TOC’s FB. Benjamin Pwee heads this committee.
Finally, SPP are continuing working the ground in Bishan Toa Payoh and Potong Pasir.
It is old news that Hazel Poa is now the secretary-general of the NSP and her hubbie Tony Tan, Jeannette Chong Aruldoss (who is also vice-president of NSP), and super star celebrity Nicole Seah are on the party’s Central Executive Council. But note that unlike the PAP, WP and SPP, the most powerful post in the NSP is that of president, not that of secretary-general.
Note also the presence of the president Sebastian Teo and Tan Chee Kien on the CEC. They have been around since 1987, the founding of the party.
Whenever new people join any organisation, there is always some tension between the “old guard” and the newbies. And the NSP is no exception.
The failure of many in the CEC to attend the “birthday” party of the NSP’s Malay Bureau was put down to these tensions. Rumour has it that the Malay Bureau members had wanted to join the RP when the gang of four were in RP. There were some problems, and Goh Meng Seng recruited them for the NSP instead.
The party is starting to work the ground, picking up a tip from the WP where Sylvia Lim and friends started working the ground in Aljunied almost immediately after the 2006 GE. The NSP, I am told, traditionally went into hibernation between elections.
Kenneth J has formed a policy working committee, recruiting non-party members onto it. He is also busy organising the JBJ memorial dinner. And he is blogging some very gd stuff.
He seems dedicated to fighting the gd fight. remember, he has the option of packing his bags and returning to the UK, his home for many a year. Whatever he does, let’s wish him well.
Too bad the NSP deprived him of the opportunity of fighting in Radin Mas. The NSP candidate there did not do well. As this was once JBJ’ territory, Goh Meng Seng and the rest of the NSP mgt should have been had the graciousness to allow KennethJ to fight there.