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GE2020: PSP sees ‘Lee Hsien Yang effect’ in increased donations, support, says Tan Cheng Bock

SINGAPORE — The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) has experienced a “Lee Hsien Yang effect” in the form of increased donations and support since the younger brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was inducted into the opposition party on Wednesday (June 24), party chief Tan Cheng Bock said on Saturday.

GE2020: PSP sees ‘Lee Hsien Yang effect’ in increased donations, support, says Tan Cheng Bock

Progress Singapore Party's chief Tan Cheng Bock on a walkabout at 726 West Coast Food Centre on June 27, 2020.

  • PSP has received more donations since Mr Lee Hsien Yang formally joined the party
  • Dr Tan Cheng Bock said that Mr Lee joined to champion transparency
  • The secrecy of Madam Ho Ching's salary is an example of a sign of lack of transparency, he said
  • Dr Tan also wished Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong a happy retirement

 

SINGAPORE — The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) has experienced a “Lee Hsien Yang effect” in the form of increased donations and support since the younger brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was inducted into the opposition party on Wednesday (June 24), party chief Tan Cheng Bock said on Saturday.

But he continued to keep mum on whether Mr Lee will be running as a candidate for PSP in the upcoming General Election (GE) on July 10.

"It’s politics, things change. In politics, timing is important and in politics, how I move, I do not tell you,” he said. “Whether he wants to be a candidate or not… is also up to the party.”

He was speaking to reporters while on a walkabout at 726 West Coast Food Centre, located in the West Coast Group Representation Constituency where he will be contesting.

Mr Lee’s son, Mr Li Shengwu, is among those who have made a donation to PSP since Wednesday. That was the day Mr Lee formally joined the party and later that same day published a video calling on Singaporeans to support the party.

On Saturday morning, Mr Li said on Facebook that he had donated to the Workers’ Party and PSP, adding: “Singapore needs a strong opposition to prevent abuse of power.”

Dr Tan said that the outpouring of support is an indication that Singaporeans believe a party like his has come to “give them hope”. 

He was, however, unable to reveal how much of an increase in donations the PSP has received since Mr Lee's induction on Wednesday, saying that he has not yet looked at the numbers closely.

LEE JOINED PSP TO CALL FOR ACCOUNTABILITY

Dr Tan added that Mr Lee had joined PSP because he believed in the party’s vision. 

He said: “His father was one of the great leaders who helped build this country. He knew his father. As a son, he wants to make sure this country doesn’t disintegrate. He is not very happy with his brother’s performance.

“So he came and talked to me and he believes in what I want to do. He believed that I always value accountability. We felt that there wasn’t much accountability.”

Mr Lee had told reporters on Wednesday that he had joined the party because he believes in its ideals and hopes to champion issues such as income inequality, poverty and transparency in governance. 

Dr Tan added on Saturday that in particular, both he and Mr Lee felt that the appointment of people into various institutions here is “very open for questioning”, and that there is a lack of transparency surrounding various issues.

He cited for example that the salary of Mdaam Ho Ching, the chief executive officer of sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, is kept a secret.

Mdm Ho is the wife of Prime Minister Lee.

Temasek has previously debunked a claim by a Taiwanese talk show that her annual salary is around S$100 million, but stopped short of revealing what the figure is. 

The firm has only said that her compensation is neither the highest within Temasek nor is she among the top five highest-paid executives in the company.

Asked if Mr Lee’s sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, will join PSP as well, Dr Tan said that she had not indicated any such intention, but was supportive of the party.

'STILL FRIENDS' WITH GOH CHOK TONG

Dr Tan also commented on the retirement of Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, saying that Mr Goh has contributed a lot to Singapore. 

“We’ve to thank him. We are still friends. We may have political differences, but I think we have to maintain that sort of relationship to show to the world that well, politics is politics, friendship is friendship.”

He added: ”So I hope he will have a very good retirement, he can continue playing his golf.”

Last year in August, Mr Goh had commented on Facebook that it saddened him to see how Dr Tan has "lost his way" in re-entering politics. Both of them were classmates in Raffles Institution and have known each other for more than 60 years.

Speaking of his renewed involvement in politics at the age of 80, Dr Tan contrasted what he is doing with Mr Goh’s retirement. Mr Goh is 79 years old.

“For me, my main concern is people like you, the younger generation… And this Covid-19 pandemic really reinforces my determination to really do what I can in my autumn years, I call it. My spirit is still strong,” he said.

Related topics

Tan Cheng Bock Lee Hsien Yang Progress Singapore Party SGVotes2020 Singapore General Election

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