Former DPP chief Benjamin Pwee applies to join SDP

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secretary-general Benjamin Pwee has applied to join the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP).

Last night, SDP's vice-chairman John Tan told The Straits Times that the party's central executive committee will meet early next month to go through his application.

Earlier yesterday, Mr Pwee said in a Facebook post he and his team decided to do so "after much internal discussion and considerations".

"We share and believe in the values and ideals that SDP stands for, and they have many other like-minded credible people," he wrote.

"We also believe in their organisational resources and capabilities as a longstanding political party."

The SDP, founded in 1980 by veteran politician Chiam See Tong, is led by Mr Chee Soon Juan.

Earlier this month, Mr Pwee said he was leaving the DPP to join a "bigger, more effective" party, but he did not disclose the party's name.

He also spoke then of the importance of having other opposition members "consolidate behind a few key established credible leaders" so that at least one-third of Parliament will have opposition representation.

SHARED IDEALS

We share and believe in the values and ideals that SDP stands for, and they have many other like-minded credible people. We also believe in their organisational resources and capabilities as a longstanding political party.

MR BENJAMIN PWEE, former Democratic Progressive Party secretary-general, on the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), which he has applied to join.

Yesterday, he told The Straits Times the team applying to join the SDP includes DPP members and new faces who are his friends.

As team leader, he is the first to resign from the DPP and apply to the SDP "to show the way", he said.

If accepted, Mr Pwee said, he will be guided by the decisions of SDP's leadership.

SDP's Mr Tan said it is important that Singaporeans who join the party believe in its values, and added: "We have met Mr Pwee and are happy to note that he believes in these values, too.''

Mr Pwee contested the 2011 General Election under the banner of Mr Chiam's Singapore People's Party (SPP), and in 2013, took the helm at the DPP.

In the 2015 polls, he and then chairman Hamim Aliyas quit the DPP to contest Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC as SPP candidates. Both went back to DPP after the election. Mr Hamim is now the DPP's secretary-general.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2019, with the headline 'Former DPP chief Benjamin Pwee applies to join SDP'. Print Edition | Subscribe