The wife of SPP chief Chiam See Tong has shed more light about the bad blood between Mr Chiam and SDP chief Dr Chee Soon Juan.
Speaking about the 2011 meeting with Dr Chee and the SDP, which some hoped would pave the way for reconciliation of the two opposition political giants, Lina Chiam said that Mr Chiam refused the offer to return to the SDP – the party which he founded – because he would become a powerless figurehead.
Mrs Chiam, an SPP member and former NMP told Six-Six News:
“Among their [the SDP representatives] proposals was that Mr Chiam should return to SDP by himself to take on a non-CEC position as Honorary Chairman, or a similar position that will acknowledge his role as the founder of SDP.”
Mrs Chiam also made clear that the SDP representatives had laid down terms and set a deadline for their terms to be accepted.
“Given their condition that the proposal had to be accepted within one week, among other terms, it was a non-starter.”
Mrs Chiam said the SPP has always been interested in ways to collaborate with political parties.
She wasn’t too happy that the party was construed as “uncooperative” after spoke out against a photo published in an SDP publication featuring Dr Chee and Mr Chiam standing together.
She also wanted to strike at a statement made by Dr Wong Wee Nam in his book Teacher Thinker Rebel Why, when Dr Wong said about the 2011 meeting:
“The fact that he (Dr Chee) was willing to let Chiam See Tong come back as a leader to a party that Soon Juan had invested all his youth and kept afloat with all his sacrifices says a lot to me about his dedication.”
That, as well as statements by SDP members at rallies that Dr Chee was magnanimous to allow Mr Chiam to return to the party, such as when Bryan Lim said at a rally at UOB Plaza last September:
“No one can deny that Dr Chee had willingly made way for Mr Chiam to head the party, the party he had made so much (sic) sacrifices for. My friends, if this isn’t a display of Dr Chee’s selflessness then I don’t know what is.”
The bad blood between Dr Chee and Mr Chiam dates back to their acrimonious parting of ways in 1993.
Some believe that Dr Chee had ousted Mr Chiam from the SDP, while others say Mr Chiam had resigned on his own accord.