PM Lee Hsien Loong was asked if the bicentennial might be a reason to bring forward the general election, which must be held by January 2021. ST FOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has left the door open to calling a general election next year, as Singapore celebrates the 200th year since Sir Stamford Raffles' arrival.
He was asked by Bloomberg News editor-in-chief John Micklethwait last night if the bicentennial might be a reason to bring forward the general election, which must be held by January 2021.
"It's always possible," Mr Lee replied. "There are many reasons to bring elections forward for a party, so we'll see."
Mothership’s head honcho throws shade at Lee Hsien Yang-Tan Cheng Bock meeting
While the meeting seemed to be an informal, casual meetup, one local publication claims that “there was every intention” to make the meeting publicly known. Covering the meeting on its website, Mothership.sg shared “three observations on how we can make sense of this breakfast meeting”.
The article, which throws shade at Dr Tan and his intentions in meeting Lee, is written by Martino Tan. Presently serving as managing editor and deputy managing director at Mothership, Tan has been leading the editorial team since the website’s inception in 2013.
Before his work with Mothership, Tan served as a Senior Manager (Online Communications) in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for nearly a year and a half, between 2012-2013. Tan has been credited by mainstream media for helping to start Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s Facebook page. PM Lee joined Facebook a few months after Tan started working at the PMO. Before his stint at the PMO, Tan worked for over two years at the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts.
Hundreds of Singaporeans urge Lee Hsien Yang and Tan Cheng Bock to join forces
Yesterday’s breakfast meeting between Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Tan Cheng Bock has received widespread attention from Singaporeans, many of whom are urging the pair to join forces and lead the opposition in Singapore against the ruling party in the next election.
Lee is founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s youngest son and current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s younger brother. Calls for Lee Hsien Yang to go against his brother, the head of Government, in politics also resounded last year when Lee and his elder sister, Lee Wei Ling, accused their elder brother of trying to preserve their home at 38 Oxley Road against their father’s last wishes, after his death.
Arguing that the late Lee Kuan Yew wished to have the house demolished, the younger Lee siblings alleged that PM Lee was trying to use the house to solidify his grip on power and that he used state organs to silence them.
LHY and Tan Cheng Bock publicly meeting has great political significance
I am deeply heartened that Dr. Tan Cheng Bock (Tan) is apparently still active in maintaining his public profile, recently posting on his public Facebook (FB) page that he had had a breakfast catch up with son of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew (LKY), Mr Lee Hsien Yang (LHY) in a West Coast hawker centre. I applaud his actions which have great political significance.
Firstly, Tan chose to eat in a hawker centre in the heartlands. The hawker centre culture is currently in the spotlight with the government going all out to pursue UNESCO heritage status for our hawker culture in the face of controversy surrounding how NTUC (an entity affiliated with the Singapore government) has been increasing the operating costs of hawkers while proffering to be attempting to keep the costs of food affordable.
Secondly, Tan is making it clear that he intends very much to remain in the public spotlight. Given his past candidacy in the presidential elections and his court challenge in relation to the change in the presidential candidacy rules, he is signaling his continued interest in political life. Looking at the discouraging court case that is now plaguing the Workers' Party (WP), Tan's courage is welcomed news in the midst of this dismal situation.
Tan Cheng Bock & Lee Hsien Yang had a well-publicised breakfast bromance
Having been with the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) for more than 30 years until 2011, it appears presidential election aspirant and runner-up Tan Cheng Bock is looking for new friends shopping around for a new party to start or join.
As long as those new peers are not from the PAP.
Here are three observations on how we can make sense of this breakfast meeting:
- There was every intention to make the casual breakfast meeting publicly known
- The choice of location indicates a love for hawker food West Coast GRC
- The hope and change (ubah) slogan may work better with a fresh face leader with no political baggage
Lee Hsien Yang returns to Singapore, meet Tan Cheng Bock
The persecuted brother of corrupted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has returned to Singapore, and sent his brother a signal that he may be getting his hands into politics for the first time. PAP-turned-Opposition politician Tan Cheng Bock posted a photo on Facebook of himself and Lee Hsien Yang having breakfast at a hawker centre in West Coast.
It is uncharacteristic of Lee Hsien Yang to take a photo with an opposition politician, as he used to avoid getting involved politically. By going to the media in public, there is a high chance that Lee Hsien Yang may contest in the coming General Elections against his corrupted brother Lee Hsien Loong.
Tan Cheng Bock, a former PAP MP, renegaded against dictator Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong by contesting in the presidential elections in 2011. The PAP-appointed puppet Tony Tan won only by a narrow margin of 0.34%, against Tan Cheng Bock.
Tan Cheng Bock & Lee Hsien Yang had breakfast & talked about ‘current state of politics’ in S’pore
The 2011 Presidential Election runner-up Tan Cheng Bock and Lee Hsien Yang had breakfast on Sunday morning, Nov. 4, for about an hour over at West Coast Food Centre.
This meeting of minds was swiftly reported by The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao.
Here are the reasons he cited for having some hawker fare:
- Catch up with Lee, who he hadn’t met for quite a while.
- Lee missed hawker fare.
- They discussed world affairs and current state of politics in Singapore.
Dr Tan Cheng Bock added 4 new photos 3 November at 20:34
*Breakfast With Lee Hsien Yang*
This morning I had breakfast with Lee Hsien Yang. We wanted to catch up with each other as we have not met for quite a while. Instead of some fancy restaurant, I suggested we go to West Coast Food Centre at Block 726 Clementi West. Hsien Yang was all for it. He missed our local hawker fare in the heartlands. We had porridge & coffee with yu tiao. It was a good breakfast, not only the food, but the sharing we had on world affairs and the current state of politics in Singapore.
As it was a Sunday morning, the place was crowded with families out for their Sunday breakfast fix. Many greeted us warmly and some whipped out their handphones to take photos with us. We were touched by their warmth and encouragement. I will be having more breakfasts & lunches with friends regularly in the heartlands.
Gilbert Goh is with Ting Choon Meng 3 November at 21:38
Probably the best news so far since WP won in Aljunied GRC!
A dream team indeed if Lee Hsein Yang and Tan Cheng Bock can team up.
There is now hope for Singapore!
Roy Yi Ling Ngerng shared Dr Tan Cheng Bock's post 3 November at 21:09
Tan Cheng Bock: "It was a good breakfast, not only the food, but the sharing we had on world affairs and the current state of politics in Singapore.
Many greeted us warmly and some whipped out their handphones to take photos with us. We were touched by their warmth and encouragement. I will be having more breakfasts & lunches with friends regularly in the heartlands."
Tan Cheng Bock has breakfast with Lee Hsien Yang at West Coast hawker centre
Residents interviewed were mixed on the idea of Dr Tan returning to politics. The next general election is due by January 2021:
- Technician Keith Chua, 27, said his choice of MP will be based on policies rather than personality.
- Business owner Nora Tan, 60, said she had no complaints about the current MPs in West Coast GRC, which absorbed the former Ayer Rajah SMC in 2006. The West Coast GRC MPs are Minister for Communications and Information S. Iswaran, Mr Lim Hng Kiang, Ms Foo Mee Har and Mr Patrick Tay. She added that should Dr Tan return to the area, his team would have to show that they have something different and better to offer.
- Housewife Goh Hui Suan, 49, said she had supported Dr Tan for president and would have voted for him if he had run for that office last year. “If he runs for MP, I would be happy to vote for him,” she said, adding that he comes across as someone who cares sincerely about Singapore.
Tan Cheng Bock has breakfast with Lee Hsien Yang at West Coast hawker centre
Former presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock was seen having breakfast with Mr Lee Hsien Yang at a hawker centre in West Coast on Sunday morning (Nov 4).
They were at the West Coast Market and Food Centre at Block 726 Clementi West, which is in Dr Tan’s former Ayer Rajah constituency when he was an MP with the People’s Action Party from 1980 to 2006.
When approached by The Straits Times, Mr Lee, the younger brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said: “We were just here to have breakfast.”
Comments on Dr Tan Cheng Bock 3 November at 20:34
“Please save our country”
Yesterday, social media was abuzz as Lee Hsien Yang met Dr Tan at the famous hawker centre at Blk 726 West Coast Market.
While Lee told the national broadsheet, “We were just here to have breakfast,” when approached for comment, Dr Tan revealed on his Facebook page that they spoke about the “current state of politics in Singapore.”
While some were derisive and said that they prefer the ruling parrty’s leadership, hundreds of Singaporeans appealed to Lee and Dr Tan to come together and “save our country” and “help Singaporeans”
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