PSP's Leong Mun Wai congratulates Tharman on election victory, says it shows 'race-based' GRC system 'no longer relevant'

To the PSP, Tharman's victory is "testimony to the fact that Singaporean voters do not vote along racial lines", Leong said.

Nigel Chua | September 03, 2023, 08:26 PM



The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) congratulates Tharman Shanmugaratnam on his victory in the 2023 Presidential Election, said the party's secretary-general Leong Mun Wai in a Sep. 3 Facebook post.

Leong added the party's best wishes for his presidency.

"'Respect for all' is also something close to our hearts," said Leong, referencing Tharman's campaign slogan.

In his congratulatory note, Leong also suggested that Tharman's "overwhelming support" from voters — 70.4 per cent of the valid votes — could be interpreted as Singaporean voters responding to "racism".

Leong's congratulatory note to Tharman on behalf of the PSP comes after Workers' Party secretary-general Pritam Singh also congratulated Tharman on his win on Sep. 2.

PSP's interpretation of Tharman's win

Leong said Tharman's victory over his fellow candidates Ng Kok Song and Tan Kin Lian, who are both from the Chinese majority race, was "testimony to the fact that Singaporean voters do not vote along racial lines".

This, Leong said, also meant that the "raced-based" group representation constituency (GRC) system and reserved presidency were "no longer relevant to our society".

PSP's position on the GRC system

In July 2023, the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) proposed abolishing the GRC system, which was introduced in 1988 to ensure minority races would be represented in Parliament.

Problems the party highlighted with the system included how it slows the development of a balanced political landscape, reduces voter influence on elections, and only requires vacant seats in GRCs to be filled if the entire team of MPs vacates their seats.

Parliament voted against the party's motion after a three-and-a-half-hour debate.

Related stories

Top image via PSP on Facebook and by Andrew Koay