The dummy's guide to Singapore's political parties: The PSP edition

The dummy's guide to Singapore's political parties: The PSP edition
PHOTO: Progress Singapore Party

Unless you've been living under a rock, you should have some inkling of the People's Action Party (PAP) and the Workers' Party (WP).

But what about RP? Or PSP? Or SDP? If these acronyms mean nothing to you, then you're in the right place.

In this series — a cheat sheet of sorts — we sieve out the facts you ought to know about Singapore's political parties.

By the end of this, you should have a better idea of the parties who may be contesting in the upcoming general election and what they're all about.

Our next party was founded by veteran politician, ex-PAP MP, and Instagram sensation Dr Tan Cheng Bock.

Progress Singapore Party

When were they formed?

PSP was founded by Dr Tan in March 2019.

He had served as PAP MP for the now-defunct Ayer Rajah SMC from 1980 to 2006, although he was "taken to task" on several occasions by his party members and founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew for "not following the party line", he shared in a PSP e-rally on July 7.

PSP's founding members include ex-PAP cadres Wang Swee Chuan, G K Singam, and Wong Chow Seng. 

At the time, PSP expressed that the current PAP leadership has "lost its way" by deviating from its founding principals. 

In a shock move, Lee Hsien Yang, the younger brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, was revealed as a party member in June. However, he is not running in this election.   


What are they all about?


PSP advocates for a compassionate and progressive Singapore that values diversity, equality, and inequity. It envisions a united country based on inclusivity and non-discrimination. 

On Feb 12, 2020, PSP revealed its first public policy proposal, which included:

  • Objections to the government's planned GST hike
  • A push for "more effective use" of the national budget surpluses and sovereign wealth funds
  • A call for more "permanent plans" rather than occasional short-term handouts

On June 29, PSP revealed its campaign slogan for this election: "You Deserve Better". It also launched its manifesto, which advocated: 

  • Prioritising Singaporeans for jobs
  • Stronger support for local SMEs
  • Creating a stronger social safety net
  • More effective use of national budget surpluses and Net Investment Returns Contribution funds
  • A review of the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act

Where are they contesting?

While PSP initially expressed its intention to contest a total of 15 constituencies, this was later pared down to just four GRCs and five SMCs.   

The nine constituencies are: West Coast GRC, Chua Chu Kang GRC, Tanjong Pagar GRC, Nee Soon GRC, Hong Kah North SMC, Marymount SMC, Pioneer SMC, Yio Chu Kang SMC and Kebun Baru SMC.

Dr Tan told reporters that the decisions were not made based on “whether we can win or not”. Instead he chose areas that he is more familiar with, he explained. 


Track record

This will be PSP's first general election. However, Dr Tan has had a good showing in past elections, winning Ayer Rajah SMC with an impressive 88 per cent of the vote in 2001. 

He also narrowly lost the 2011 presidential election by 7269 votes, a razor-thin 0.34 per cent margin. 

In case you missed it

Here are the other parties we've covered:

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