Former Reform Party chairman, ex-members form new political party

Former Reform Party (RP) chairman Andy Zhu, along with seven other former RP members including ex-treasurer Noraini Yunus, has formed a new political party.

The Singapore United Party (SUP), which now has 11 members, was registered as a society on Dec 24, according to a notice in the Government Gazette.

The move revived talk of internal conflict within the party, which is led by Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam.

In August last year, Mr Zhu and Ms Noraini were not reappointed to the central executive committee (CEC) following unspecified allegations, including from Mr Jeyaretnam that Mr Zhu had made changes to the party's payment methods without official approval.

Mr Zhu, 38, said then that his dismissal before allegations made against him had been resolved was unfair.

He also disputed Mr Jeyaretnam's claim that the entire CEC had been unanimous in his and Ms Noraini's suspension.

However, Mr Zhu, who had been party chairman for nine years before he was removed, told The Straits Times yesterday that all parties involved had moved on from the episode and the SUP is not a breakaway faction of RP.

"It is common for people to leave and join (political parties)... since I've been in RP for so many years, the people that I know of are mostly from RP, so it is reasonable that many of the members in SUP have links to RP," said Mr Zhu, who will lead SUP as its secretary-general.

"We are not a party that has split from RP, we are just a group of like-minded people coming together."

Ms Joyce Tan, a former Singapore Democratic Party member and SUP's chairman, said SUP hopes to offer alternative policy proposals.

"My utmost concern is for SUP to be (seen as) credible in the public's eyes," said the 35-year-old, who works in communications.

Criminal defence lawyer Charles Yeo, who contested Ang Mo Kio GRC alongside Mr Zhu and replaced him as party chairman in August, declined comment when contacted, saying the party will put up a statement on the matter soon.

Singapore Politics