Tuesday, 27 May 2014

A New 'Singaporeans First' Political Party

Ex-PAP activists, opposition members join new party

Besides five opposition party members who have jumped ship, the 11 seeking to form a new political party, Singaporeans First, also counts among its line-up four former activists from the People’s Action Party (PAP).

They are logistics professional David Foo and communications professional Fahmi Rais — both former Young PAP members — and leaders, social entrepreneur Tan Peng Ann and educationist David Tan, both former grassroots leaders.

Former presidential candidate Tan Jee Say, who ran under the Singapore Democratic Party banner in the 2011 elections with psychiatrist Ang Yong Gan, are familiar faces from the Opposition.

PAP adopts resolution to forge the way forward
PAP sets up seniors group

Tan Jee Say announces 'Singaporeans First' party

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Tan Jee Say forms new 'Singaporeans First' political party

Former presidential candidate Tan Jee Say announced on Sunday the formation of a new political party called Singaporeans First.

At a press conference to unveil the new party and its logo, Mr Tan, 60, said his party will champion policies to build a fair society, strong families and an esteemed people, to create a "new narrative" for Singapore which focuses on not treating citizens as economic digits and offers a lot more social support and safety nets.

Details about the party manifesto and Strong familites and Esteemed People

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Tan Jee Say sets up new opposition party
Seven of the 11 founding members of the Singaporeans First party. Clockwise from top left: Mr Fahmi Rais, Dr David Foo, Ms Jamie Lee, Mr Winston Lim, Dr Ang Yong Guan, Mr Tan Jee Say and Ms Fatimah Akhtar. Photo: Ernest Chua

In a move that has raised eyebrows among political analysts, former parliamentary and presidential hopeful Tan Jee Say yesterday unveiled plans to start a new political party.

After papers are submitted to the Registry of Societies today, the Singaporeans First party will start talks with other opposition parties, with hopes of forming a coalition — an idea he mooted in 2011 after his failed presidential bid — to contest the next General Election, which is due by 2016, he said.

Attempts to form a credible coalition have not borne fruit with the Singapore Democratic Alliance set up by Mr Chiam See Tong in 2001 being the worst-performing Opposition party in the 2011 elections.

Tan Jee Say announces 'Singaporeans First' party

Former presidiential candidate Tan Jee Say announce registration of new political party
Ex-PAP activists, opposition members join new party

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10 things YOU should know about SFP

Xenophobic? Populist? Ex-PAP members? United Opposition? The formation of SFP has raised many eyebrows and it’s to take a closer look at SFP.

Yesterday, former Presidential Candidate Tan Jee Say announced the formation of a new Political Party in Singapore called Singaporeans First. This has been met with mixed reactions and many misunderstandings, some call the name of the Party a xenophobic and populist one. Others even came up with theory that  Tan Jee Say was a mole from the PAP who formed the Party instead of joining an already existing one to dilute the non-PAP votes, the presence of former government servants and YPAP members also furthers strengthens this theory. Netizens also made a comparison of the Party’s Logo with the logo of Wall’s Ice Cream! I was present at their press conference yesterday and actually many of these questions were raised in a straightforward way towards Tan Jee Say and the rest of the members and he addressed them.

That is why I believe that it’s time we bust some myths and share some misunderstandings about SPF, it’s formation and Tan Jee Say based on SFP’s Manifesto and the Press Conference yesterday.

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Ex-presidential candidate forms new political party

FORMER presidential candidate Tan Jee Say announced the formation of a new political party called Singaporeans First.

There are 11 founding members – among them architects, a retired army colonel and other professionals.

Another familiar face is psychiatrist Ang Yong Guan, who together with Tan contested the 2011 General Election on the Singapore Demo­cratic Party (SDP) ticket.

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Former presidential candidate launches new party in Singapore

Tan Jee Say, a former candidate who competed in the last presidential election in 2011, announced on Sunday that he is forming a new political party called Singaporeans First.

The party has 11 founding members, including architects, a retired army colonel and other professionals. Psychiatrist Ang Yong Guan, who contested the general election with Tan representing the Singapore Democratic Party, is also a founding member.

Tan, 60, unveiled the new party and its logo at a press conference on Sunday. He said the party will try to recruit more members before the next general election in Singapore.

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Tan Jee Say launches new political party

Mr Tan Jee Say, a former presidential candidate, has announced the formation of a new political party, Singaporeans First, which pledges to put "Singaporeans at the heart of the nation".

At a press conference on Sunday, Mr Tan announced the formation of the party and unveiled his 11-man team, which include ex-grassroot leaders, architects and former members of the Young PAP.

Outlining the party's proposed manifesto, Mr Tan said he plans to submit the party's registration latest by Monday.

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SDP and DPP open to working with Tan Jee Say's new party
Former presidential candidate Tan Jee Say announced on Sunday the formation of a new political party called Singaporeans First. -- ST PHOTO: ANDREA ONG

Two opposition parties have welcomed former presidential candidate Tan Jee Say's aim for his new party Singaporeans First to work together with other parties.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chairman Jeffrey George said: "We look forward to working with the (Singaporeans First), as we do with all opposition parties, to bring about a democratic Singapore."

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secretary-general Benjamin Pwee said his party welcomes any call and move towards a "coordinated coalition of alternative parties" and is happy to see more Singaporeans stepping forward to be involved in the political scene.

related: Tan Jee Say forms Singaporeans First political party

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Tan Jee Say & 10 others form S’poreans First Party

Former presidential candidate Tan Jee Say has formed a new political party – Singaporeans First Party (SFP) – together with 10 other members.

A press conference was held this morning (25 May) to announce the birth of the party. As its name suggests, the aim of the party is to put Singaporeans first.

In a statement released to the media today, the founding members of SFP said:
People are important. They are the soul of a nation. For the past 50 years, Singaporeans have become secondary to the relentless pursuit of economic growth. The nation has lost its soul. We need a new vision that puts Singaporeans at the heart of the nation. The vision of a fair society with strong families and a confident people with high self-esteem.
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New Singapore political party, Singaporeans First, formed
Seven of the eleven founding members for new Singapore political party Singaporeans First at a media conference

Former presidential candidate Tan Jee Say unveiled Singapore's newest political party, Singaporeans First, on Sunday.

The party's manifesto — "Fair Society, Strong Families and Esteemed People” — was announced along with a list of 11 founding members, which include 60-year-old Tan himself as well as members of the medical profession, architects and company directors.

They include Dr Ang Yong Guan, psychiatrist and former grassroots leader, who along with Tan ran under the Singapore Democratic Party banner at the 2011 elections; Michael Chia, retired engineer and volunteer social worker; Fahmi Rais, communications professional and former Young PAP member; Fatimah Akhtar, architect; Dr David Foo Ming Jin, chemist and former Young PAP member; Jamie Lee Swee Yan, IT professional; Winston Lim, architect; Loke Pak Hoe, company director; and Tan Peng Ann, retired army colonel and former PAP grassroots leader.

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New political party SFP made up of mainly former civil servants

A new political party – The Singaporeans First Party (SFP) unveiled its party members in a press conference on 25 May held at a seafood restaurant located at East Coast Parkway.

The 11 founding members of the party includes former candidate  for Presidential Election 2011, Tan Jee Say and former Singapore Democratic Party (SDP)’s candidate in the GE2011, Dr Ang Yong Guan. Only 7 out of 11 were there at the conference as the rest were overseas.

In their first public address, the new party shared their manifesto, which centred on how the party intends to improve lives of Singaporeans and to rebuild Singaporeans’self-esteem.

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Tan Jee Say — a political nomad and his “third force” ambitions

After being in the wilderness for the last three years, Singapore’s political nomad, Tan Jee Say, has finally found a place to pitch his tent and hopefully become the third force in the political arena.

Since his debut in national politics in the May 2011 General Elections, Tan has made a bid to become the president, join an opposition party and form an opposition coalition.

However, the people he was talking to or collaborating with didn’t want to walk his talk. And neither could they offer a platform that was able to accommodate all the different stripes and colours in our political spectrum. Either, they were strong enough to ignore him or too weak to negotiate with him.

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Not as a check, but for a change?

I met Mr Tan Jee Say many moons ago when he was still serving in the Prime Minister’s Office. Like any good reporter hoping to establish a “contact”, I invited him out to lunch. He picked a really, really expensive place, way beyond my means and I wondered if my boss would approve of me putting up the lunch tab as an expense. I am really sorry but that was my most vivid initial recollection of the man who panicked a poor rookie reporter.

Now, he’s making waves again, much to the chagrin I believe of his ex-bosses in the G. First as an opposition party candidate, then a presidential candidate – and now as head of a new political party. I wonder why anyone would be surprised by his move. He’s already a written a book and is somewhat a fixture at Hong Lim Park events. In fact, his speeches are more electioneering than discursive, calling for an overthrow of the PAP G – through the ballot box of course.

What I’ve always remembered: How he kept maintaining that it was not true that the Opposition could not put up a credible Cabinet. Seems he’s done a scan of opposition members and their credentials to assert that the Opposition was more than ready to take over. I wonder what Workers’ Party’s Low Thia Kiang has to say to this. He’s been pretty circumspect, even modest, about the abilities of his party, which has the biggest opposition presence in Parliament. The WP strategy appears to be to act as a check and veer towards the centre, hence the grumbles that WP looks like PAP-lite.

Tan Jee Say forming the ‘Singaporeans First’ party
The Singaporeans First logo looks familiar. Tan Jee Say himself used a heart logo during his 2011 presidential election campaign. He also wanted to be the ‘heart of the nation’. It’s obvious who in the party is the brainchild behind the logo.

Some have called it a ripoff of the Walls Ice cream logo. Maybe because like ice cream, the universal symbol of the heart is soft and mushy, and the party wants to swaddle you with hugs and kisses, unlike the ruling party’s harsh lightning bolt of Zeus. I think it’s more likely that it was inspired by the Care Bears. So much love. Incidentally, ‘Heart’ is also a key word of a blog that specialises in debunking the CPF, which should go right up Jee Say’s alley. That website is Heart Truths by none other than Roy Ngerng. Potential candidate, maybe?

Or perhaps it’s a smart choice designed with ingenuity and foresight. If this party ever runs for the next elections, you could even pull this off in your promotional material. Hey Jee Say, how about hiring me as campaign manager?

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Wall’s ice cream has potential copyright violation lawsuit to file against S’poreans First Party

Wall’s ice cream has a strong case to make in what appears to be a less-than-subtle copyright infringement of their logo.

This after the ice cream brand’s logo appears to have been plagiarised by Singapore’s newest political party, Singaporeans First Party.

Mei Chuan Yi, a intellectual property lawyer, said: “Wah lau eh, like that cannot lah.”

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Singaporeans First kena trolled first
So on Sunday, former presidential hopeful Tan Jee Say launched a political party.

The party was called Singaporeans First - and pledged to remove GST, and provide free education for all.

A lot of people thought it really looked like Wall's ice cream brand:

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Tan Jee Say has stated that he will launch a new political party

The Singaporean voter is quite intelligent. They understand what is a credible opposition, and who are... less credible.

Why do we have so many opposition parties? Why are opposition parties only able to have temporary alliances during general elections (when they agree not to split votes in 3-corner fights - usually)? Why was there a 4-corner fight in Punggol East By-election? Why did the components of the SDA splinter off before the last GE? Why did the Reform Party attract so many known "stars" and then lose all of them before the 2011 elections?

The common factors in the answer to all these questions? Pride, personality, and ego.

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Singaporeans First & UKIP: Compare & Contrast

Hello everyone, I hope you have all had a lovely weekend. I'm sure most of you would have heard the very interesting news about the new political party formed in Singapore - 'Singaporeans First'. A Singaporean friend has compared them to UKIP and I didn't think it was a fair comparison but since we've just had our local and European elections here in England, it is a pretty good time for me to talk to you about UKIP since many of my Singaporean readers may not be familiar with them as a political party. Then I will point out how the two parties are extremely different indeed.

Since Singaporeans First (which I shall abbreviate to SF in this article) is a brand new entity, it is probably way too early to pass any kind of judgment on it at this stage. I do feel however, that they did not really hit the nail on the head at their party's unveiling - they danced around issues like GST, education, unemployment, healthcare and pensions when really, with a name like that, people were expecting a UKIP-style approach.

They were waiting for them to say the words, "Singaporeans First, PRCs Second, close the gates, no more PRCs, enough PRCs already. We don't want anymore PRCs in Singapore. We don't like PRCs, we don't need PRCs, in fact we want to kick out the PRCs who are already here. We know you hate those PRCs in Singapore. Vote for us and we'll get rid of the PRCs."

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Solidarity of opposition parties

Met Tan Jee Say yesterday and he confirmed that he was setting up a new political party. All the people present received this piece of news with mixed feelings.

How is this going to help the cause of the opposition parties to unseed the ruling party, or at least to present a strong united front and to carve up more seats and GRCs for the opposition? The very thought of more opposition parties being formed always elicit the fear of vote splitting and weakening the opposition’s position.

Jee Say was quick to allay the fears of more splits and dilution of votes. He would not be a spoiler to create confusion and three corner fights. He will work closely with the other opposition parties in a united front, or at least would not undermine their common cause. We would have to see what really happens when the GE is announced. And there are always the wise voters to count on like in the Punggol East by election when the fight was a clear opposition versus the PAP and the irrelevant opposition parties would be abandoned by the single minded voters.