Posts Tagged ‘Reform Party’

What are the SPP, NSP and RP up to post GE?

In Political governance on 16/10/2011 at 9:56 am

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.


Do we need more political parties?

In Political governance on 16/09/2011 at 6:58 am

So now there are voices calling for Tan Jee Say and Dr Tan Cheng Bock to each form a new political party. And I’m sure, there are voices out there asking the “Voice of the People” to make a fool of himself again (this time with his daughter by his side) by forming the VP Party or VPP.

I’m sure some of these callers are thinking, genuine and sincere people, while some of the callers are PAP activists hoping to split the votes of voters unhappy with the PAP. But most of these calls are coming from very daft, but sincere and genuine people.

Think of where the parties of TJS and TCB will position themselves.

There are two slightly left-of-centre parties, the Workers’ Party and the Singapore People’s Party. Further left (but not on extreme left, despite what the local constructive, nation-building media say), we have the Singapore Democratic Party and somewhere between the WP and the SPP, and the SDP, there is for the moment the National Solidarity Party.

The NSP is forever changing shape in between general elections and, at the moment, is undergoing yet another metamorphoses. The WP and SDP have strong brands and active supporters, while the SPP is finally trying to make a serious effort to move away from brand “Chiam”. Let’s hope it succeeds. Chiam deserves to leave behind a political legacy. He showed us that an ordinary, decent man could take on the PAP and survive. There was no need to play the matyr game.

Now where will brand Tan Jee Say fit in? Based on his behaviour during the presidential election, his party will be further left of the SPP and WP, and right of the SDP. A space that the NSP, with two of his scholat mates in its management committee, is now trying to make its own. Kinda crowded, aint it?

As for Dr Tan Cheng Bock, the man, who waffled on during the election about not being the preferred PAP candidate and abt unity via footie and multiracialim (If I sound mean, I remind that I voted for him. Yup I can be that irrational), where will his party stand? Right of the WP, and SPP most likely, based on his waffling.

Even if it occupies some of the right-of-centre space dominated by the PAP, it will be fighting for some of the very moderate left votes.

The space on the left is crowded, with these six parties. There may not be enough seats to satisfy the ambitions of these six parties in a general election. There may be three-way contests. Then there are the absolute no-hopers, Singapore Democratic Alliance and the RP: making a total of eight parties on the left. The only place left field unoccupied is on the extreme left.

Establishing a new party is not easy. Remember the Reform Party? Set up by the late JBJ, it had to be resurrected by his son, KennethJ,  because of JBJ’s death soon after its founding. Despite all the goodwill that the memory of JBJ attracts, the RP had problems recruiting. And anyway, the newbies soon left, leaving King KJ to play and fantasise alone.

So please, let’s not encourage bored men with large egos, deep pockets and axes to grind to form new parties of the left. The field is crowded left of centre with eight parties.

Now, there is plenty of space on the extreme right. Anyone bored with a big ego, deep pockets and an axe to grind interested? I’m sure one LKY will be the party’s patron if the party ideology is a mixture of fascism, capitalism, socialism and his Hard Truths.