PSP founder and chairman Dr Tan Cheng Bock has ruffled several feathers amongst senior party members in the party during this year’s presidential election, to the point that some are considering resignation.
Especially since Dr Tan is no longer party chief, and is perceived to have undermined current secretary-general Leong Mun Wai’s authority, probably on advice of his “ball-carriers” seeking personal glory.
RW has been told that Dr Tan and his faction of loyalists and “ball-carriers” in the party had thrown their support behind George “Wan Chain” Goh because of Tan’s personal friendship with Goh.
They helped to organise communications, media relations, manpower support and campaign logistics for Goh up until the news that Goh was announced ineligible.
According to several party cadres, this was done without Leong’s involvement or full agreement.
The move by Dr Tan and his loyalists angered senior PSP members.
They did not like Goh or having to be at the beck and call of the Dr Tan’s loyalist group, and having to keep the PSP’s support for Goh a secret from the public as this was what Dr Tan wanted.
Said one senior party member:
“We felt that Dr Tan should not have added factionalism and internal politics in the party by forming his own breakaway group with his friends and ball-carriers.”
Things got more heated when Dr Tan shifted to support Tan Kin Lian after Goh was barred from contesting.
“We thought that never mind just let it pass since it’s all over, but instead the group just totally didn’t bother about our concerns and hopped to Tan Kin Lian. This was never run by the party properly.”
Said another party cadre:
“We don’t know for sure if it was all Dr Tan’s decision, or whether his ‘ball-carriers’ were the ones pushing him to do things and he trusted them and went along.”
The frustration with Dr Tan and the breakaway PSP group’s actions culminated in a party member leaking an email in which PSP members were asked to volunteer as counting agents for Tan Kin Lian’s campaign.
The PSP officially responded by saying that the party did not endorse any candidate, and that the email was sent at the “initiative of an individual”.
However, a senior party member called this a “half-truth”.
“It’s true that the party, as a party, did not ‘endorse’ any particular candidate because not everyone was aware of what was going on. But Dr Tan and his gang were already supporting George (Goh) and TKL (Tan Kin Lian).”
RW understands that several PSP cadres are considering resignation, unless there is some form of punishment for Dr Tan’s loyalists and “ball-carriers” to teach them a lesson.
“We should be one united party, not one where there are 2 leadership teams. Those people who are out for personal glory and go behind Mun Wai’s back should all be disciplined. That is fair. Not they screw up and he is left to clear their rubbish.”