According to a credible source, the newly appointed vice-chairman of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), Michelle Lee Juen, has quit the Party. Lee, who had received much support from Secretary-General Dr Tan Cheng Bock, has just been appointed in Jan 2020. When asked, the PSP declined to comment, but said that they would give their official reply in the next few days.
This is the second time that the Party, which has been founded for less than a year, will go through leadership changes within a short span of two months. During the PSP New Year Dinner celebrations in January 2020, Dr Tan had just announced the addition of five members to their Central Executive Committee (CEC) and the appointment of Lee (43 years old) as deputy chairman.
Lee had just been seen walking the grounds at Choa Chu Kang with her party member on 23 Jan 2020. However, over the past week, rumours that she was planning to quit the party started to spread. It was believed that the reasons were due to the five additions that had been made to the CEC. Lee also did not attend the PSP’s CEC meeting last Wednesday.
Three members of the PSP confirmed with Lianhe Zaobao that Michelle Lee had already tendered her resignation to the Party. However, Lee declined to comment when approached by Lianhe Zaobao.
A PSP member who did not wish to be named revealed that Lee had disagreed with Dr Tan over the nomination of the CEC members and that she had quit over this reason. This member believes that Lee had not quit of her own accord and was likely to have been “forced to leave”. Another member opined that it was normal for the leadership of the Party to go through disagreements during its initial founding period. This was especially since there had been major changes to the CEC recently. Amongst the members, some are experienced while others are not, hence, disagreements have surfaced.
The five members that PSP have added to their CEC have not participated in the General Election (GE) before, including Leong Mun Wai (60 years old), who is the Assistant Secretary General of the PSP.
Lee was a member of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and represented the SDP in the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC during the 2011 GE. However, she was later introduced by Dr Tan as a founding member of the PSP. Previously, Dr Tan had praised Lee openly for being diligent, and said that he often brought her along when he met with foreign representatives. He added that he wanted to give her greater political exposure.
Academic: If the PSP chooses not to respond, it could mean that more changes are ahead
Apart from Lee, rumours that former PSP member Brad Bowyer had left the Party due to disagreements with Dr Tan also surfaced after Bowyer deleted all his public social media accounts. However, he denied the rumours yesterday and claimed that he was still a Party member. Bowyer said, “My relationship with Dr Tan is good. Even when we do have disagreements, we will reason things out and do not have conflicts.”
Political observer, Associate Professor of Law at SMU, Mr Eugene Tan opined that Lee’s refusal to comment could mean that more changes are possible. Mr Tan said, “Currently, both parties are very restrained. They could be managing the situation and reducing the damage caused to the Party,”. Even though the Party may be young, Mr Tan pointed out that multiple changes within a party could cause voters to feel that the Party is not united. Mr Tan added, “As the GE nears, it is not beneficial for the Party to face internal conflict between its leadership. Dr Tan has to work hard to unite the Party during the upcoming CEC Conference.”
The PSP was slated to hold their CEC Conference this month, in celebration of its one-year anniversary. However, the conference has been postponed due to the Covid-19 situation.
- What is it like to work in an MNC? - March 20, 2020
- Singapore GE timing likely to be delayed due to worsening global Covid-19 situation - March 12, 2020
- [BREAKING] Ex PSP member EXPOSES PSP’s internal conflict and unhappiness - March 6, 2020