You May Consider These Alternative Parties In The Coming Election
This post is part of a running series about the General Elections.
Since Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam was elected as the first opposition Member of Parliament (MP) in 1981, only a handful of Opposition members successfully made it to the Parliament.
In 2011, the Worker’s Party (WP) made history by capturing Aljunied GRC, and achieved the best parliamentary showing for an opposition party since Singaporean independence.
With that feather in their hat, WP have effectively pulled themselves away from other Opposition parties. However, there are still a number of parties in Singapore not represented in the Parliament that are doing good things on the ground.
In view of the imminent General Election (GE) that is speculated to take place very soon, MustShareNews reviews minor Opposition parties that are not in the Parliament, but deserve your attention in the coming General Election.
1. Singapore Democratic Party
The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has been under the leadership of veteran politician Chee Soon Juan since 1996.
No longer dreaming about Democracy
Since the last General Election in 2011, the SDP have revamped themselves as a party. They are now less inclined to pull for votes based on idealistic and abstract issues such as the democracy and freedom of speech.
Instead, the party are starting to focus their attention on bread and butter issues that are more relatable to the average Singaporean.
Earlier in 2015, the SDP unveiled their campaigning focus, which includes topics such as the cost of living, manpower issues such as foreign workers, and the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Minimum Sum.
Basically, issues that are relevant and relatable to majority of Singaporeans.
Gone are the days where the People’s Action Party (PAP) has a monopoly on qualified candidates.
The SDP have also unveiled several highly qualified candidates that may potentially stand for the coming General Elections. They are Jaslyn Go, Prof Paul Tambyah, Dr Tan Lip Hong, and Dr Leung Yan Hoi.
Ms Go is a local entrepreneur, and Prof Tambyah is currently a Professor of the Department of Medicine in the National University Hospital.
Both Dr Tan and Dr Leung are qualified medical doctors in Singapore.
MustShareNews has already done a review on Ms Go and Prof Tambyah in our article that reveals 20 potential new candidates that you may see in the coming GE.
Organised and prepared
The SDP actually looks well organised, structured, and bonded.
In fact, they even had a retreat earlier this year (23 May); when was the last time you heard about a political party going on a retreat together?
The bond between each of the party members may potentially be a very important key for the coming General Election.
Dr Chee Soon Juan’s new mature image
Dr Chee Soon Juan, Secretary-General of the SDP, has always been portrayed as slightly off-kilter. He was declared bankrupt after falling to pay the damages to former Prime Ministers Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong for defamation, led protest marches in 2006 and 2008, and used the international media to attack the Singapore government.
However, in recent times, that image is no longer accurate.
With the rise of social media, Dr Chee is now able to portray himself as a more average Singaporean in tune with everyday issues.
2. National Solidarity Party
National Solidarity Party is a relatively old party that gained immerse popularity in 2011 by successfully recruiting a number of star faces — such as Goh Meng Seng, Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss, Ravi Philemon, and Nicole Seah.
The party leadership is currently under acting Secretary-General Hazel Poa.
Party Nucleus is still retained
Despite losing several heavyweights in the past few years, the NSP has managed to retain the core nucleus of the party that existed since the previous election.
Core NSP members like Sebastian Teo, Reno Fong, Hazel Poa, and Steve Chia are still in the party.
With the core party nucleus still retained, the NSP may be able to mount a decent challenge in the coming General Election if they cooperate well.
Walking the ground
The NSP is one of few opposition parties that have been actively walking the ground, and interacting with the residents.
The walkabouts projects the image that the NSP is on the same level of the residents, giving residents a recognisable face, as well as helping the party to stay on the same wavelength as the residents.
3. Singapore People’s Party
The Singapore People’s Party is currently under the leadership of veteran politician Chiam See Tong, who joined after leaving the SDP.
Veteran politicians in the ranks
The SPP currently boast of two veteran politicians in their ranks, Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss (left) and Ravi Philemon (right).
Ms Chong-Aruldoss contested in the General Elections 2011 under the NSP banner, while Mr Philemon had campaigned for the NSP during the GE. Both members quit NSP after the General Election to join the SPP.
The veteran politicians are definitely recognised faces in the Singaporean political scene. Despite never winning in Elections, they will not be considered as a new faces but instead as experienced politicians.
Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss has already started walking the grounds at Mountbatten SMC, and declared her intentions to stand for elections at the ward she contested in 2011.
The “Chiam” Aura
Chiam See Tong is more than just a leader of the SPP — what is he to the SPP was what Lee Kuan Yew was for the PAP.
Despite failing to capture the Bishan Toa-Payoh GRC during the last General Election, Mr Chiam remains endeared to many Singaporeans.
Mr Chiam is the main symbol of the SPP, and the SPP knows it.
The 80-year-old still goes on walkabouts with the SPP, despite suffering the ramifications of a serious stroke in 2008.
Let’s not underestimate the power of Mr Chiam.
New blood and fresh faces
Apart from the veteran politicians in their ranks, the SPP also offers fresh faces for the voters to consider.
Assistant Secretary Loke Hoe Yeong and Organising Secretary Adeline Chan, have been identified by us as potential new faces for the coming General Election that you must keep a look out for.
Don’t write them off
While the political culture of Singapore may not be very friendly to opposition parties, Opposition parties can still offer strong ideas and candidates despite being unrepresented in Parliament.
After all, every successful political party starts small.
Have These 3 Parties Done Enough To Convince Voters?
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