GE2020: Lee Hsien Yang joins Tan Cheng Bock's Progress Singapore Party but mum on whether will contest July 10 election

PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Mr Lee Hsien Yang, estranged brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, has joined Dr Tan Cheng Bock's Progress Singapore Party (PSP), the party announced on Wednesday (June 24).

At a breakfast meeting at Tiong Bahru Market, Dr Tan presented Mr Lee Hsien Yang with a membership card.

Dr Tan said that Mr Lee has been a member "for quite some time", but due to the Covid-19 situation, they were unable to have a proper membership card presentation ceremony.

"This morning, I have a great pleasure in giving this Progress Singapore Party membership card to Lee Hsien Yang, who joined us quite some time ago."

Mr Lee turned up at 8.30am at the market with Dr Tan and a group of PSP members, all of them wearing the party's red-and-white polo T-shirt.

Lee Hsien Yang joins Progress Singapore Party, seen on the party’s campaign trial in Tanjong Pagar constituency. He has...

Posted by AsiaOne on Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Straits Times had reported earlier on Wednesday that Mr Lee had joined the party but party sources said he was unlikely to be fielded as a candidate at the election. Mr Lee reportedly joined the party two months ago, just before the circuit breaker.

Asked if he would be standing for elections, Mr Lee replied: "When I'm ready to disclose that, you will find out."

"I joined the party because I think that Dr Tan is committed to doing the right thing for Singapore and Singaporeans and he loves the country. And he has brought together a group of people who share his vision, and it is a vision which I believe will build a better Singapore," said Mr Lee.

He said that issues such as income inequality, housing and governance and transparency, need to be dealt with, and noted that "the PSP has an approach that emphasises compassion".

A warm welcome to Lee Hsien Yang on joining PSP! 🥰 He is no ordinary person. His father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew was the...

Posted by Progress Singapore Party on Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Dr Tan was similarly coy about whether Mr Lee would contest the polls: "I'm not confirming... Don't worry. In politics, we know when to make our move. Timing is important."

He noted that there were many ways Mr Lee could contribute to the party: "He is not just an ordinary person. His father is the founder of Singapore, you know, so that's very important. And the fact he has decided to join us is a clear indication that the current (Government) didn't follow what his dad wanted."

Dr Tan was similarly coy about whether Mr Lee would contest the polls: "I'm not confirming... Don't worry. In politics, we know when to make our move. Timing is important."

He noted that there were many ways Mr Lee could contribute to the party: "His father is the founder of Singapore, you know, so that's very important. And the fact he has decided to join us is a clear indication that the current (Government) didn't follow what his dad wanted."

This development comes a day after Parliament was dissolved and the Writ of Election was issued. Nomination Day will be on June 30, with Polling Day on July 10.

Dr Tan said on Wednesday that he thought the timing of the election was "irresponsible" and potentially puts a lot of the elderly into a dangerous situation.

"The signs are there, it is so clear. And if they don't want to heed the signs then the price they have to pay, as I said before, they might win this battle but they are going to lose the war."

A photo taken on Nov 4, 2018, showing Dr Tan Cheng Bock (seated, third from right) and Mr Lee Hsien Yang (second from left) at West Coast Market and Food Centre. PHOTO: The Straits Times

The market where Dr Tan and Mr Lee met is located within Tanjong Pagar GRC, the former stronghold of his late father, Singapore's founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. It is also one of nine constituencies the PSP will be contesting in this election.

Dr Tan has said on multiple occasions that he and Mr Lee Hsien Yang are good friends and that if Mr Lee wants to join PSP, it would have to be on the terms of the party.

The duo have been spotted before on several occasions having breakfast together, once at a hawker centre in the Prime Minister's ward.

In July last year, Mr Lee Hsien Yang said on Facebook: "I wholeheartedly support the principles and values of the Progress Singapore Party."

Mr Lee has been embroiled in a long-running feud with PM Lee over the fate of their father's house in Oxley Road.

I wholeheartedly support the principles and values of the Progress Singapore Party. Today’s PAP is no longer the PAP of my father. It has lost its way.

Posted by Lee Hsien Yang on Sunday, July 28, 2019

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This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.