Tan Jee Say style Coalition Government

Immediately after losing his bid to become president, Tan Jee Say set up his own Singaporeans First Party, and announced that he would focus on forming a coalition of opposition parties to contest the next general election in spite of the failed horse trading talks among the opposition parties.

He did an interview with foreign press, and in an article, they quoted him saying:

If the PAP failed to win a parliamentary majority in the next election, one possible scenario was a coalition of opposition parties forming a new government, he said. “The opposition today is more ready than the PAP in 1959 to form a government.” 

Really? Is the opposition of today more than ready to form a government?

Just take a look at their talks prior to the GE when they were deciding who should contest in which constituency. They could not agree with each other.

RP chief Kenneth Jeyaratnam left about half an hour into the meeting, after he said SingFirst insisted on contesting West Coast GRC. “We will try to resolve that with bilateral discussions,” he told reporters. “We contested there in 2011, we’ve been walking the ground.”“SingFirst hasn’t walked the ground there. They have approached a candidate to join them which shows they don’t have enough candidates,” he added.

NSP’s former secretary general Tan Lam Siong was seen outside NSP’s headquarters on Thursday evening. He said he was not present at the talks. “Unless there is a conclusion from tonight’s meeting that gives me a good enough reason to not contest (Potong Pasir SMC), there could be a three-cornered fight. As of now, I insist on contesting in Potong Pasir,” he told reporters.

It could be an issue of ego, no one willing to put their ego aside and come to a compromise.

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It is a surprise that of all opposition politicians, it is Tan Jee Say who comes out to say that the opposition is ready to work together to form a coalition government. He previously exited the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) to run for presidential elections and when he lost, subsequently formed his own Singaporeans First Party.

Here is what Low Thia Kiang thinks of Tan Jee Say’s great idea.

That belief still stands today, said Mr Low. “I have made it very clear at the Punggol East by-election (in 2013) in my speech … that we have different objectives, different leadership,” he said.

This definitely calls to question his belief that the opposition can work together, and that the opposition has a common belief. Evidently, opposition parties do not see eye to eye. If they can’t even come to a compromise on simple things like where to contest, how are they going to take a common stance when it comes to national issues?

You can have 3 cornered fights over a constituency, but you should not have 3 cornered fights in parliament, within the “coalition government”. 

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