SINGAPORE - The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) on Friday (June 26) introduced the final six of its 24 candidates for the coming general election, laying out its complete election plans – including where each candidate would be fielded.
But with four days until Nomination Day on June 30, party chief Tan Cheng Bock also told reporters during a virtual press conference that the line-up could still change. “Let me remind you, in politics, change can happen. Candidates can be switched all around so you will have to just wait and see,” said the 80-year-old former People’s Action Party (PAP) MP and 2011 presidential candidate.
One notable name was missing from the list, however – Mr Lee Hsien Yang.
The 62-year-old estranged brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was presented with his membership card during a public breakfast meeting in Tiong Bahru Market on Wednesday, leading to speculation that he could stand as a candidate in the July 10 polls.
The Straits Times understands, however, that Mr Lee is unlikely to be fielded.
PSP will be fielding the largest slate among the 11 opposition parties. Candidates will be fielded in the single-seat wards of Marymount, Yio Chu Kang, Pioneer, Hong Kah North and Kebun Baru, as well as West Coast, Nee Soon, Chua Chu Kang and Tanjong Pagar GRCs.
Dr Tan, an MP for 26 years in single-seat Ayer Rajah, which was later absorbed into West Coast GRC in 2006, will lead the party's A team in the five-seat constituency.
The other members include Ms Hazel Poa, 50, Mr Nadarajah Loganathan, 57, and two candidates who were introduced on June 26.
They are party assistant secretary-general Leong Mun Wai, 60, who is the founder of a venture capital firm; and Mr Jeffrey Khoo Poh Tiong, 51, Asia-Pacific chief marketing officer of multinational insurance firm Ed.
In the five-seat Tanjong Pagar GRC, the PSP will field lawyer Wendy Low, 43; technologist Harish Pillay, 60; PSP organising secretary Michael Chua, 55; senior trainer Abas Kasmani, 67; and new face Terence Soon, 29, a Singapore Airlines pilot.
Another candidate introduced on June 26 - adult educator Kala Manickam, 52 - will contest the five-member Nee Soon GRC with IT project manager Taufik Supan, 40; media consultant Bradley Bowyer, 53; party treasurer Sri Nallakaruppan, 56; and customer service manager Damien Tay, 51.
The team in four-member Chua Chu Kang GRC will be led by former Republic of Singapore Air Force colonel Francis Yuen, 70; academic Tan Meng Wah, 57; law undergraduate Choo Shaun Ming, 23; and fire safety engineer Abdul Rahman Mohamad, 67.
Meanwhile, psychiatrist Ang Yong Guan, 65; chartered accountant Kayla Low, 43; and former publisher of the website The Independent Singapore Kumaran Pillai, 57; will stand in the newly formed wards of Marymount, Yio Chu Kang and Kebun Baru respectively.
Ms Gigene Wong, 54, who returned to Singapore early this year after 20 years in China, will contest the single-seat ward of Hong Kah North.
Finally, author and chartered financial consultant Lim Cher Hong, 42, who was also introduced on Friday, will stand in Pioneer.
Dr Tan Cheng Bock said: "I am not fielding an Indian or a Chinese or an Englishman or a Malay. When you go to the polls, look at the person, not the colour (of his skin), not how big or how small he is... Vote for them according to their ability, honesty, sincerity and willingness to serve."
While the slate of 24 has been trimmed from the PSP's initial target of 44, the party is still looking at possible three-cornered fights in Pioneer, Marymount and Yio Chu Kang.
The fight over Yio Chu Kang has led to a squabble between the PSP and Reform Party (RP), with the latter accusing Dr Tan of reneging on an agreement that saw RP cede its claim on West Coast GRC in return for what it thought would be a straight fight in the SMC.
Responding to the accusations on Friday, Mr Leong, who has been the PSP's liaison among the various opposition parties here, said he has been in direct contact with RP secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaratnam from the beginning.
While they had exchanged and tested out many ideas, Mr Leong said they needed the approval of the respective parties' CECs and no formal agreement was reached.
"We have engaged in very fruitful and frank discussions throughout. (Mr Jeyaratnam) is a very honourable man... If there is a misunderstanding then I would like to apologise to Ken and RP... But nevertheless, PSP hopes that they will not take issue and attack Dr Tan directly.
"We hope they will stop making further accusations. Let us all focus on the general election," he added.