A new spoiler to assist the ruling party PAP government stay in power has emerged: Red Dot United (RDU) party. The RDU was formed by two former opposition members from prominent Progress Singapore Party (PSP) led by Dr Tan Cheng Bock.
No funding, no member, no manifesto, no record and no supporter. RDU is the latest “shell opposition” formed to partake in multi-corner fights at key battlegrounds like Aljunied GRC, in an insidious aim to split anti-PAP voter base.
Singapore have two forms of opposition: the serious ones and shell opposition parties.
The serious and committed ones are the strong labels like Workers’ Party and Singapore Democratic Party. Their members have been contesting against the PAP for decades, achieving close margins and rare seats from the dictatorship. Opposition members like Low Thia Khiang, Pritam Singh, Sylvia Wong and Dr Chee Soon Juan face active persecution from the government, which is trying to incriminate them to stop them from contesting.
Newcomers like People’s Voice Party, by lawyer Lim Tean, and Progress Singapore Party, by Dr Tan Cheng Bock, have also proven their mettle in recent years through constructive criticisms against the ruling party PAP. Despite not having a seat in Parliament, they gained substantial popularity from the people through sheer commitment.
Then we have the shell opposition parties. Formed by unknown faces, never done a day’s work in a constituency and sneakily show up only during the election. Their motto is to ride on the strong anti-PAP sentiments built by others like government critics, independent news media and opposition parties.
Shell opposition parties like Reform Party, Singapore Democratic Alliance, People’s Power Party, and now Red Dot United, have a record of partaking in three corner fights to aid the PAP government keep their seats.
As a political analyst for over a decade, I observed that these shell opposition parties love to “reserve” constituencies which they shamelessly claimed as their own, despite having no love from their constituents. Truly, nobody wants Reform Party in Ang Mo Kio GRC if they can have the Workers’ Party.
Fortunately, with voters now going online to keep themselves informed of political choices, such fringe shell opposition parties are being exposed. Established political parties like WP and SDP have nothing to fear, as the general anti-PAP populace will prioritise them as legit opposition against the corrupted PAP government.
GE Strategy Leader