Goh Meng Seng, the former secretary-general of the National Solidarity Party (NSP), submitted an application to register a new political party last Friday (15 May). The new party is called “People’s Power Party” (PPP).
In an interview with the media, Mr Goh said he is disappointed with the current policies implemented by the government and feels that the government should not always have the final say on public policy in Singapore.
He also said that PPP would champion a form of democracy based on revolutionary Chinese leader Dr Sun Yat Sen’s theory of democratic government. In Sun’s theory, the government would be divided into 5 separate branches: the executive, legislative, judicial, the censorate, and the civil service system. The latter 2 branches primarily function as a check on the first 3.
According to Mr Goh, the current system which is controlled by a few key persons is unsustainable.
From WP to NSP and now PPP
Mr Goh contested in the 2006 general election (GE) with the Workers’ Party in Aljunied GRC as part of WP’s “A team”. WP garnered 43.9% of the valid votes in Aljunied GRC at the time. With the high percentage votes, WP was offered an NCMP position in Parliament. Sylvia Lim, the team leader, took up the position in Parliament.
Mr Goh left WP in 2006 soon after the election due to “some Internet postings which had tarnished the WP’s reputation” despite being a member of WP’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) and a member of their “A team”.
He later joined the National Solidarity Party and became its secretary-general (in NSP, the highest position is the president, not the secretary-general). Mr Goh then contested in the 2011 general election in Tampines GRC as a team leader. His team went up against a team led by PAP’s Mah Bow Tan. Mr Goh’s team received 42.8% of the valid votes.
Mr Goh stepped down from his post as secretary-general of NSP after the 2011 election in June 2011 “for a breather and to take stock of his future”. He also gave up his seat in NSP’s CEC. He later left NSP.
‘Don’t worry too much about multi-corner fights’
Right after Mr Goh announced the setting up of yet another new political party, social media was abuzz with concerns of multi-corner fights in the next GE.
Goh posted a Facebook message to allay these concerns yesterday (18 May) [Link].
Goh said that most of the people who are involved in PPP are not new faces but experienced activists.
“For those slated as candidates under PPP, either they stand under PPP or other political party. The net number of people participating in the next GE will not be more or less!” he said.
“Thus, as I have said, don’t worry too much about multi-corner fights even with this new party. This new party will not field too many candidates and most importantly, these are known faces.”
He also gave the assurance that PPP will not enter into 3-corner fights with WP.
He said, “Those WP people and supporters somehow have this apprehension about PPP because they think that I will definitely go into 3 corner fights with WP! Some even think that I may just go and contest in Aljunied GRC since WP is now facing confidence crisis over there. I can safely tell you guys that I am not someone who will rob the victims when there is a fire.”
“But I can foresee that WP may go into a lot of multi-corner fights because of its expansion plan. i.e. if they increase their number of candidates, it may just be inevitable that they will clash with other opposition parties. I sincerely hope not but apparently, this is unavoidable. I hope PPP will not be involved in such contests,” he added.
He said that PPP is formed so as not to “DISRUPT other existing party’s management”.
“Most of us have been through the difficult times of integration when different groups of people come into one party. We do not want to waste energy and time on such matters again,” he said.
“Secondly, we have to agree with PAP Minister Masagos that all political parties in Singapore do not have strong philosophical and political ideological grounding. PPP will not disappoint him in that sense.”
He also said that the tightening of the Internet and new media space, and the never-ending town council saga are “eroding voters’ confidence in the opposition as a whole”.
“We hope to re-establish the lost confidence by doing our part in making sure that our selection of candidates are worthy ones,” he said.
“I hope the above will address some of the unwarranted concerns that most opposition supporters have.”
Do you think PPP may still end up in multi-corner fights in the next GE?
Do let Goh Meng Seng know what you think.