Nod given for new political party

The newest political party, the People's Power Party (PPP), has had its registration approved, founder and secretary-general Goh Meng Seng said yesterday.

The approval means the PPP is likely to contest the next general election (GE), which many expect to be called in the coming months.

"You will definitely see the PPP in the next GE. That is a commitment," Mr Goh, who was previously with the National Solidarity Party (NSP) and the Workers' Party (WP), told The Straits Times.

The businessman, who travels abroad frequently, said the party's plans will be made known at a press conference some time after Hari Raya Puasa, which falls on July 17.

Mr Goh, 45, announced the approval on Facebook yesterday. He had applied to register the PPP in early May, after declaring in February that he would run in the GE.

The PPP must now pay its registration fees within a month, after which approval will be announced in the government gazette.

As for his team, Mr Goh would say only that the party has at least 10 members - the minimum number needed to register a society. They include Mr Syafarin Sarif, 39, who ran with Mr Goh in Tampines GRC on the NSP ticket in 2011, and former NSP vice-president Nazryn Azhar Samat, 34. Mr Goh ran in Aljunied GRC in 2006 as a WP candidate.

He felt his former parties did not speak out enough on some issues. Last week, he spoke at a protest in Hong Kong against the conviction of blogger Amos Yee. During the event, he witnessed effigies of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew being burnt.

As for the GE, Mr Goh declined to reveal the constituencies his party is eyeing until the various opposition parties meet to decide who contests where. He did not rule out the possibility of the PPP contesting a GRC, but said as "the newborn in town, we are quite realistic... We are not going to be contesting in too many places".

The PPP will be one of nine active opposition parties that are likely to take part in the next GE. Mr Goh said it will champion greater democracy and the separation of executive, legislative and judiciary powers. He said: "The PPP is the first to be formed in the post-LKY era, and our aim is to reform the political structure of Singapore."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 10, 2015, with the headline 'Nod given for new political party'. Print Edition | Subscribe