SINGAPORE — Progress Singapore Party (PSP) chief Dr Tan Cheng Bock turned up at an HDB block in the Pasir Ris-Punggol group representation constituency (GRC) on Monday (6 July) in a show of support for the Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA).
The PSP secretary-general appeared at the start of SDA’s walkabout for about 15 minutes to greet its chairman Demond Lim, whom he called a “good friend”. He then signed a poster to symbolise his friendship with Lim before departing.
PSP is not contesting in Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, which will see a three-cornered fight between the incumbent People’s Action Party, Peoples Voice and SDA at the upcoming General Election (GE). The SDA team comprises Lim, Abu Mohamed, Harminder Pal Singh, Kuswadi Atnawi and Kelvin Ong Soon Huat.
Dr Tan, who is running in West Coast GRC, was accompanied by fellow member Terence Soon, who is contesting as part of the PSP Tanjong Pagar GRC team.
Speaking to the media at a void deck of Block 614 Elias Road, where SDA members and volunteers had gathered, Dr Tan said Lim was the first person to help him before he founded PSP in March last year.
“I never forget a friend. I never forget him and I know that he is a man who has helped many people,” said Dr Tan.
“When I was in need, when nobody came to help me, he was the one who came to help me,” he continued. “In life, never forget good friends.”
In reply to a question on how Lim had helped him, Dr Tan said that he did not know certain aspects of setting up a political party.
When asked why he did not join SDA instead, Dr Tan said, “As I evolved my party, I realised I (didn’t) want to disturb his party. He's got his own constitution and...the whole setup. So, not nice to go and disturb. But I appreciate, because he tells us exactly what you should do, what we shouldn't do. Advice is important because they (SDA) are a much older party, and we are such a young party.”
Dr Tan joked that his party should honour SDA and “pay respect to abang (Malay for older brother)”.
On other opposition parties, Dr Tan said his party was “very close” to SDA, Singapore Democratic Party and the Workers’ Party (WP). He added that he endorsed all the opposition parties in general.
Speaking to the media in a separate doorstop, Lim said he had helped “many parties” when they did not know how to fill in nomination forms, or could not obtain assentors, proposers, or seconders for Nomination Day.
Lim described Dr Tan as a “true friend”. “The fact that he is present here is good enough to show that there's true friendship”, he said.
SDA has been in the Pasir Ris area caring for residents for 13 years, according to Lim.
Lim made his electoral debut in GE2001, contesting in Jalan Besar GRC. He participated in subsequent GEs in Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC and Punggol East single member constituency (SMC), the latter of which he also contested in the 2013 by-election.
Asked about his chance for the 10 July GE, Lim rated it as “very good”, saying that SDA has stepped up providing its community services in the past five years. “And people here know us, even with a half mask they can recognise me,” he said.
”We are here for the win, we are not here just to accompany someone for the contest. The fact is that when we go everywhere, you can see it, people are more open.”
While Lim has helped PSP and others, he said “some parties” have since forgotten the help they had received from SDA. He declined to reveal the parties’ names, saying that “they know”.
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