Opposition parties open to Tan Jee Say's coalition idea

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Opposition parties open to Tan Jee Say's coalition idea

Postby caroline3sg » Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:15 pm

SPP, Reform Party, NSP open to Tan Jee Say's coalition idea

By Tessa Wong & Kor Kian Beng



Three opposition parties are open to the idea of teaming up to form a coalition to contest in the next general election, a suggestion made over the weekend by former presidential candidate Tan Jee Say.

They are the Singapore People's Party (SPP), National Solidarity Party (NSP) and Reform Party.

Mr Benjamin Pwee, second assistant secretary-general and spokesman for SPP, said his party is 'not averse to being part of a coalition government', and that it has supported the idea of an opposition coalition for many years.

NSP will consider the proposed coalition while Reform Party said it will be discussing the idea with Mr Tan later next month.

The Workers' Party, the only opposition party in Parliament with elected MPs, is however non-committal.

It said in a statement that it 'remains open to working with other political parties and organisations to further the interests of Singaporeans and Singapore'.

'However, with just six elected seats in Parliament, forming a coalition government is not currently on the cards for us,' it said.

Elaborating later, chairman Sylvia Lim said the WP's focus is to build up the party. Speaking to The Straits Times at her Meet-the-People Session on Monday night, she also said there was not enough details in Mr Tan's proposal, noting that in cooperating with other parties, 'the question is at what level'.

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) could not be reached for comment.

Mr Tan, 57, entered politics this year and was unsuccessful when he stood as an SDP candidate in the May General Election. In July, he quit the party to contest - again unsuccessfully - in the August presidential election.

Over the weekend, he made his proposal in which he said the coalition could be based on a common policy platform.

An alliance of opposition parties already exists.

The Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) was formed in 2001 by SPP's secretary-general Chiam See Tong, who teamed up with three parties: NSP, Singapore Justice Party and Singapore Malay National Organisation.

It was plagued by disputes and in 2007, NSP pulled out. SPP withdrew earlier this year.

But Mr Pwee stressed that a coalition can work if there is 'camaraderie and common motivations' among the leaders of member parties.

NSP secretary-general Hazel Poa believes a crucial factor is for member parties to feel they are on 'an equal footing and there is mutual respect'.

'There should be no special privileges for any party or person,' she said, noting that the previous SDA chairman, Mr Chiam, held special veto powers.

The opposition leaders also stressed that all member parties must agree on the chosen leader. Asked if Mr Tan could be the leader, Mr Pwee said: 'He could be the catalyst but need not necessarily be the leader. It would depend on the consultative process.'

SDA's chief Desmond Lim called Mr Tan's idea a 'good effort' and said the SDA would be discussing it.

But Mr Tan's lack of success in the two elections this year has led political observers like former Nominated MP Zulkifli Baharudin to wonder if his coalition idea would work.

'While it may be convenient for someone to form a coalition to take advantage of the popular sentiments, my view is that voters may view it as an opportunistic attempt, something that may not go down well with them,' said Mr Zulkifli.

But Ms Poa expressed the hope that 'people will be open-minded' to work with Mr Tan although he is short on political experience.

Political commentator Derek da Cunha feels it will be an uphill task to bring the coalition idea to fruition.

The fact that there is at least six opposition parties despite their similar policies show 'personalities in the opposition are not able to get along with each other', said Dr da Cunha.

But the biggest problem for the proposed coalition is in attracting the WP. Mr Zulkifli and Dr da Cunha do not foresee it happening.

Mr Zulkifli said the WP, after the May polls, is seen 'as a real alternative to the PAP (People's Action Party)'.

Dr da Cunha noted that some PAP supporters switched to the WP in the May elections because of its credible track record. But they may not do so for a new entity without a track record.

'The WP has an easily recognisable brand name that stands out from the pack. That brand would probably be diminished if it were to be part of a broad opposition coalition,' he said.

http://forums.asiaone.com/showthread.php?p=672356

Will it work? Uphill task, I think. So his hidden agenda during PE2011 is to create greater awareness (since some people already know him during GE2011) and show that he is qualified to lead an alternative government.

caroline3sg
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Re: Opposition parties open to Tan Jee Say's coalition idea

Postby concern2 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:34 pm

It is already tough trying to work within the party, to get all the team members to jell and speak as one voice. Trying to form a coalition sounds overly ambitious to me.

I like the WP's stand on furthering "the interests of Singaporeans and Singapore". From now till the next Election, I want to see how the oppositions, whether they are elected MPs or not, play their part in the contribution of Singapore, in focusing efforts on the welfare of Singapore and Singaporeans possibly in making their views heard about the policies old and new.

With new media, there are more avenues to reach out to the electorate so as to make their ideas, views/opinions, criticisms and suggestions known. These are my expectations of the oppositions, (and of the incumbent as well) not in how they are going to win in the next election.

I am happy about how TJS wants to 'contribute to society' by taking part in the PE this year. However, as to how he intends to continue doing this now that he has failed to become the EP is still pending. If it is via continual publicity on the intention instead of contribution, then, like what some had suggested in this forum, the 'hidden agenda' surfaces...

What WP has achieved is by no means easy. They have gotten the formula right. I hope they continue to find the right people to join. We are not looking at some party to topple the government of the day, but to win via the respect and trust of the people.

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Re: Opposition parties open to Tan Jee Say's coalition idea

Postby tankee » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:05 pm

concern2 wrote:It is already tough trying to work within the party, to get all the team members to jell and speak as one voice. Trying to form a coalition sounds overly ambitious to me. .......



:goodpost:

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Re: Opposition parties open to Tan Jee Say's coalition idea

Postby MadScientist » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:08 pm

tankee wrote:
concern2 wrote:It is already tough trying to work within the party, to get all the team members to jell and speak as one voice. Trying to form a coalition sounds overly ambitious to me. .......



:goodpost:


:goodpost: :goodpost:

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Re: Opposition parties open to Tan Jee Say's coalition idea

Postby verykiasu2010 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:46 pm

first join the SDP and contested in the GE

then quit SDP to contest in the PE

now want to be opposition again

put simply, he is trying to find a job

:siam: :siam: :duck: :duck:
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Re: Opposition parties open to Tan Jee Say's coalition idea

Postby iFirefly » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:04 am

verykiasu2010 wrote:first join the SDP and contested in the GE

then quit SDP to contest in the PE

now want to be opposition again

put simply, he is trying to find a job

:siam: :siam: :duck: :duck:


not only he wants to be opposition again, he wants to be the leader of the opposition..

true colours come out liao..

:duck: :siam:

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Re: Opposition parties open to Tan Jee Say's coalition idea

Postby Intermezzo » Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:25 am

verykiasu2010 wrote:first join the SDP and contested in the GE

then quit SDP to contest in the PE

now want to be opposition again

put simply, he is trying to find a job

:siam: :siam: :duck: :duck:


:rotflmao: :rotflmao:

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Re: Opposition parties open to Tan Jee Say's coalition idea

Postby Funz » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:14 am

The tea leaves in my cup tells me, even if (and that is a very big IF) the coalition is formed, in the end Tan Jee Say will leave the coalition cos he cannot be the head.

This fella strikes me as one who is very ambitious and will not be contented playing 2nd fiddle.

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Re: Opposition parties open to Tan Jee Say's coalition idea

Postby Chenonceau » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:01 am

Funz wrote:The tea leaves in my cup tells me, even if (and that is a very big IF) the coalition is formed, in the end Tan Jee Say will leave the coalition cos he cannot be the head.

This fella strikes me as one who is very ambitious and will not be contented playing 2nd fiddle.


Idem...

The man first was disloyal to the PAP, who groomed him with a scholarship... but maybe, he had really this sense of moral purpose so he honourably went against the PAP to represent his heart.

BUT, he was next disloyal to HIS OWN PARTY so that he could shoot for a $4 million job... now, that puts his first turnabout with the PAP in a different light.

Aren't people afraid that he will be disloyal to SINGAPORE when it suits him? Just because is opposition doesn't mean is good.

The best opposition I think is Gerald Giam. Humble, down-to-earth, discreet, quiet but filled with moral purpose. We rarely hear of him but he is someone to watch and to admire. Empty vessels make the most noise. Gerald makes little voice but the man is so full that HIS OWN PARTY put him in an MP's seat, even though he is younger than all of them.

I would watch Gerald. He is good.

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Re: Opposition parties open to Tan Jee Say's coalition idea

Postby verykiasu2010 » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:23 am

never even had / served a term as an oppo mp, and want to be their leader ? someone was feeding him and stoking and stroking his ego or what ? TJS is a joke. Jack Neo should do a movie on him, that will gross more than $4m :siam: :siam: :duck: :duck:
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