A cliff notes version of Dr Tan’s 3 August Progress Singapore Party launch speech
The Singapore political election scene is shaping up with the entry of the newest political party, the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), following their launch on 3 August. The party is led by 2011 presidential candidate runner-up, Dr Tan Cheng Bock.
Let’s break down Dr Tan’s 40 min address during the PSP launch:
Number 1 – The Problem: Loosely titled “Take Courage and Let’s Work Together“, Dr Tan’s speech was a rallying call for Singaporeans to fight what he saw as the key problem besetting this nation: a political climate of fear towards the ruling party.
He cited a Reuters Institute Report that stated that “as many as 63% of Singaporeans fear expressing their political opinions openly, even on the internet” because of concerns over their jobs and livelihood.
Number 2 – rallying call employing a key political figure: He used his personal experience with Lee Kuan Yew as a key storytelling device, to explain the essence of good governance: Having the courage to speak up and not be silent.
He cited how our founding PM personally told him that he did not want Yes Men in parliament.
Number 3 – the “what’s it in for me” portion:
- For youth: Lowering the voting age to 18. He said since men can bear arms, so they can vote. Ditto, women, who would be heading to universities.
- For working adults: Dr Tan called for a nationalist approach to curb foreigners from taking jobs, with a review of the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).
- It’s an agreement that Dr Tan made sure to highlight was negotiated by DPM (and likely future PM) Heng Swee Keat.
- For families: He said the party will look into improving fertility rates.
- For seniors: Dr Tan called for a Preventive Primary healthcare model, to lighten the load on hospitals.
Dr Tan added that his party will look into the following, but details will be announced later:
- Call for Accountability
- And the Independence of Key Institutions
- Require Transparency
- Reduce Income Inequality
- Ensure Retirement Adequacy (eg CPF)
- Lower Cost of Living (eg GST)
- Educate our People for the Future Economy
- Make Public Housing Affordable
Here’s his speech in full, for your viewing pleasure:
PSP: The Party to watch this upcoming GE
Since the PSP media conference, ESM Goh Chok Tong has shot the first salvo:
PSP has been in the news prior to the 26 July and 3 Aug media conferences, because of Dr Tan’s connection to PM’s brother, Lee Hsien Yang. They have appeared together in public for walkabouts in recent months. And the younger Lee has publicly backed the PSP:
The Opposition also appears to be coalescing around Dr Tan, according to prominent opposition leader Chee Soon Juan in a recent media interview.
Dr Chee noted that the opposition needs to unite in order to win the confidence of the people.
Whatever the strategies and tactics employed this election, my hope is for the best candidate to win.
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