Yet another political party to be created? Yes.
It didn’t feel like that long ago when former presidential candidate Tan Jee Say set up his own very cute-looking political party, Singaporeans First. Yup, the one with the logo that looks like the Walls ice cream one.
But now, there’s a new entrant who has decided to join in on all the political fun: The People’s Power Party (PPP). Surprise!
All the necessary background stuff
PPP was initiated by veteran opposition politician Mr Goh Meng Seng, who is arguably best known for his prior involvement in the National Solidarity Party (NSP) and the Workers’ Party (WP). Goh applied to register the PPP last Friday (15 May).
Goh aims to restore confidence in the opposition in Singapore, especially in the wake of the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) and the Ministry of National Development (MND). AHPETC got into hot soup recently, after investigations revealed that there were potential conflicts of interest and poor keeping of financial records.
Because PPP is new, we don’t know much about the other people involved in the running of the party. However, Goh did reveal two names: Mr Syafarin Sarif, who campaigned with Mr Goh in the 2011 General Elections, and ex NSP vice-president Nazryn Azhar Samat.
Some of you may wonder why Goh needed to create a new party and add to the pre-existing mass of opposition parties, instead of simply joining an existing one. He explained his rationale, saying that he did not want to “disrupt other parties’ election preparation and management styles”.
What PPP will champion for
1. In Parliament and for the President
PPP aims to “champion greater separation of powers” and give current President Tony Tan Keng Yam more work to do apart from mere visitations to other countries and waving to the crowd during the annual National Day Parade.
Wonder how Dr Tony Tan feels about that prospect.
2. Care more for Singaporeans
Opposition parties have long accused the People’s Action Party (PAP) of putting too much focus on economic growth. PPP aims to resolve that by shifting some of that emphasis towards building a governance that encompasses “the four pillars of the nation: social, cultural, political and economic”.
I think it just means that PPP promises to care more about the feelings and social well-being of Singaporeans, and not just to see us as a GDP push-up bra. (Ed: She probably means something about things looking attractive but in reality, it’s not that rosy or something like that)
Goh thinks that there are “worrying signs” that PAP is controlling our media too much and lowering the accepted level of free speech. (Read: Amos Yee). PPP wants to fix that, but no specific details have been given yet.
4. Greater opposition teamwork
Instead of PAP and two or more opposition parties competing for a specific GRC’s votes, Goh wants to work with the other opposition parties to avoid “three-corner contests”. This will effectively ensure that the opposition stands a higher chance of beating the PAP.
A personal take on the issue
I’m all for greater opposition presence in Singapore to provide alternative opinions and voices in Parliament, as well as to champion new policies that focus more on assuring Singaporeans in their retirement and not having to continually worry about the rising costs of living.
However, I also cannot help but feel that the creation of PPP is unnecessary and will mainly serve to add to the confusion over the many other opposition parties already present. To me, PPP is a good effort at best.
PPP must be able to create a unique identity for itself, something that it and only it will be known for, in order to effectively differentiate itself and hence, win votes. But can it do so in time?
I’m not so confident about that.
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