Former People's Action Party MP and presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock is returning to politics.
On Jan. 16, Tan filed an application with the Registry of Societies to register a new political party called the Progress Singapore Party (PSP).
The party was founded by what Tan calls a dozen "likeminded Singaporeans", including a handful of ex-PAP cadres and himself.
The announcement was made on his Facebook page on the morning of Jan. 18.
Decision was "not an easy one"
Tan added in his post that the decision to form his own political party was borne out of a sense of duty after listening to the concerns of Singaporeans from "all walks of life".
He said that it had not been an easy decision to make as Tan and his team had extensively studied the other options that could have been taken, such as joining an existing opposition party or taking over one, or even running as an independent candidate.
Tan further thanked the offers that had been made to him, stating that he had given them serious thought, before arriving at his current decision.
Wants to work with other opposition parties
Separately, in a statement released by his media liaison team, Tan thanked the other opposition parties as a whole for their "brave attempts" to win seats in Parliament.
Tan added, in both his statement and post, that his party wanted to work with the other opposition parties for the good of Singapore.
Tan also highlighted that at the age of 78, he had a limited period of time in mentoring "future Parliamentarians" who would work for the good of Singapore.
The aim, Tan said, is to "build a compassionate and truly democratic Singapore where good values and people matter".
"Freedom of choice and free speech without fear must be defended," Tan added.
Looking forward to be an "alternative voice"
Tan said that his party was looking forward to be an "alternative voice" in Parliament and would in the mean time, develop themselves "to be ready to govern the nation".
Tan concluded that his party would also continue working with those who shared their beliefs "of country first -- before either party or self" and stated that a press conference would be called once the approval for the Progress Singapore Party has been given by the Registry of Societies.
Tan was a PAP MP for 26 years.
He narrowly lost to Tony Tan when he ran for presidency in 2011.
In March 2016, he announced his intention to run again, but could not do so after amendments to the Constitution made the election a reserved one for Malay candidates.
Tan had also mounted a legal challenge to the government’s decision to reserve the last Presidential election for Malay candidates. The Court of Appeal dismissed his application.
Top image from Tan Cheng Bock's Facebook
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