Singapore

Tan Cheng Bock ‘goes home’, may contest in West Coast area

Dr Tan Cheng Bock led more than 200 members and volunteers for his party's first door-to-door home visits in West Coast GRC yesterday morning.

When asked if this was a signal that the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) intended to contest in the area, he did not give a direct answer.

Dr Tan, secretary-general of the PSP, told The Straits Times: "The reception has been warm. Tell them: I'm coming home."

PSP is expected to contest in West Coast at the next general election as the constituency includes the area formerly under single-seat Ayer Rajah, where Dr Tan served as the People's Action Party (PAP) MP for six terms until it was absorbed into West Coast GRC in 2006.

The home visits were the party's first major grassroots event of the year, involving 22 teams covering about 50 blocks.

When asked about the choice of the PAP stronghold for his party's first home visits, Dr Tan said: "We have a plan, so now we have decided to come here. The places we go and the things we do; these are all very calibrated and well-calculated."

Dr Tan's "home ground" advantage seemed apparent when residents greeted him with familiarity as he walked through the food centre at Block 37A Teban Gardens Road.

Madam Diana Salleh, 38, received an Edusave award as a Secondary 4 student in 1996 from Dr Tan when he was MP.

"I remember him from all those years back, so I was eager to see him today," she said.

Mr Chan Ewe Chong, who works in security, also recalled Dr Tan's friendly manner from over three decades ago. But he said Ms Foo Mee Har, the GRC's MP overseeing Ayer Rajah ward, has also been working hard.

"She has been doing a lot of good for residents. It will be a tough fight," said the 65-year-old father of three.

During his walk, Dr Tan bumped into Ms Foo and the two exchanged greetings. Ms Foo, now in her 10th year as the area's MP, told The Straits Times she was on her usual Sunday routine - having breakfast and chatting with the residents.

On what she thought of a possible PSP contest in West Coast, Ms Foo said her team had a good relationship with residents and would continue to do their best.

Singapore Politics