Heng Swee Keat: Tan Cheng Bock’s move to form party ‘not unexpected’, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Heng Swee Keat: Tan Cheng Bock’s move to form party ‘not unexpected’

This article is more than 12 months old

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said Singaporeans will need to decide who can better serve them, in response to former People's Action Party (PAP) MP Tan Cheng Bock's return to politics.

Dr Tan's move to form a political party is "a development that is not totally unexpected", Mr Heng said yesterday on the sidelines of a community event in Tampines.

"Singaporeans will have to decide on who can serve them better, and I will leave Singaporeans to make that judgment," he said.

Mr Heng, who is first assistant secretary-general of the ruling PAP, is the first PAP leader to weigh in on news of Dr Tan setting up a political party, who applied to register the Progress Singapore Party last Wednesday.

Dr Tan, 78, announced the move on Friday and said the party would be made up of 11 other "like-minded Singaporeans", some of whom are former PAP cadres.

The six-term MP, who retired from politics in 2006, lost narrowly to Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam in the 2011 presidential election. He resigned from the PAP that year.

The next general election must be held by April 2021.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam also said he bumped into Dr Tan on his usual morning walkabout on Saturday at Chong Pang hawker centre and the nearby coffee shops.

"I told Dr Tan to come more often. I tell this to a lot (of) people - good for business in Chong Pang," he said, adding that he also took a photograph with Dr Tan.

Dr Tan also posted on Facebook photographs from his breakfast in Chong Pang.

In one of them, he was seen with former National Solidarity Party's acting secretary-general Hazel Poa, who had contested in the 2011 general election.

Ms Poa could not be contacted for comment. - AMELIA TENG

Singapore Politics