PSP members taken aback with Dr. Tan Cheng Bock's endorsement of Tan Kin LianAug 28, 2023 | 🚀 Fathership AI
Dr. Tan Cheng Bock's endorsement of Tan Kin Lian for the presidency has sent shockwaves through the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), leaving members and supporters questioning the wisdom of such a move. Dr. Tan, the party's founding Secretary-General and current Chairman, is no political novice. Yet, his endorsement has fractured the party's unity and left its electoral future hanging in the balance.
Tan Cheng Bock: Acting in "personal capacity"
Dr. Tan insists he endorsed Tan Kin Lian in his "personal capacity," arguing that the presidency should be "apolitical." But this semantic distinction has done little to quell the storm of controversy, especially given Tan Kin Lian's history of divisive social media commentary.
The endorsement has triggered a crisis within the PSP, with members openly worrying about alienating key voter groups—women, minorities, and the LGBTQ+ community.
When pressed on the potential fallout, Dr. Tan offered a vague assurance: "Singaporean voters will evaluate how the PSP has performed, and we aim to do our best." But is "doing our best" enough?
When asked about the possible effects of his endorsement on the PSP's electoral chances, Dr. Tan acknowledged the complexities of political decision-making. "I want to believe that Singaporean voters in the coming years will evaluate how the PSP has performed, and we aim to perform to the best of our ability," he said.
Are Leong Mun Wai and Hazel Poa Just Cannon Fodders?
Leong Mun Wai and Hazel Poa have been notable contributors to the PSP's efforts in Parliament. Both have focused on key issues that resonate with Singaporeans, although Leong has been especially known for his provocative style. Dr. Tan's endorsement raises questions about whether their hard-earned achievements could be overshadowed.
Lee Hsien Yang, another prominent PSP member, has been notably quiet about the endorsement. Known for his outspoken nature on significant national issues, his silence raises questions. Lee Hsien Yang joined the PSP to effect political change, and his opinions are highly regarded within the party, despite some waning influence among the general electorate.
PSP's shadow media vehicle "Wake Up Singapore" questioning Tan Cheng Bock's moves
Wake Up Singapore, a platform that has traditionally served as a friendly mouthpiece for the PSP, has openly questioned the wisdom of Dr. Tan Cheng Bock's endorsement of Tan Kin Lian. The platform, known for its pro-PSP stance, argues that voters are unlikely to be swayed by Dr. Tan's endorsement, casting doubt on its effectiveness and raising concerns about its potential to backfire.
The skepticism from Wake Up Singapore is particularly noteworthy given its usual alignment with PSP policies and leaders. This divergence from the party line suggests a deeper undercurrent of discontent and raises questions about the unity and strategic direction of the PSP. If a platform as closely aligned with the PSP as Wake Up Singapore is expressing reservations, it's a strong indicator that the endorsement has not only divided public opinion but also shaken the party's internal consensus.
The platform's questioning of Dr. Tan's decision adds another layer of complexity to the PSP's current dilemma, making it clear that the repercussions of this endorsement could be far-reaching, affecting not just the party's standing in the eyes of the public, but also its internal cohesion and future electoral strategy.
The PSP has been making strides, especially in the West Coast GRC where they narrowly lost to the ruling PAP in the 2020 General Elections. The party has been diligently building its voter base and focusing on key issues like HDB policy. Dr. Tan's endorsement has led to internal discussions about its potential impact on the party's progress.
The public's reaction to this development will be crucial. Dr. Tan has a significant following, and any drastic action could lead to public backlash. On the flip side, his recent endorsement has already stirred some negative sentiment among certain voter groups.
The PSP is at a crossroads that will likely influence its future. The party must carefully consider the immediate and long-term consequences of this endorsement. As the PSP navigates this delicate situation, it's evident that the outcome will have implications not just for the party but also for Singapore's broader political landscape.
Should the actions of a party's leader overshadow the hard work and contributions of its other members?
Will Dr. Tan Cheng Bock's endorsement have a lasting impact on the PSP's electoral chances, or will it be forgotten by the time the next elections roll around?
But Singaporeans generally are not forgetful.
Note: This article reflects the sentiments within the PSP and its supporter base but has not been officially confirmed by the party.