Recently, Singapore’s political landscape has garnered significant attention.
As we look forward to the upcoming General Election, expected to take place in 2025, it becomes evident that the opposition remains fragmented.
There are as many as 11 distinct parties in the mix.
For quite some time now, many Singaporeans have urged these opposition parties to unite, emphasising the need for a stronger and more cohesive presence. This call for unity is primarily driven by the dominance of the ruling party, the People’s Action Party (PAP).
Well, they seem to have taken note and heard of the suggestions as four opposition parties are forging an alliance under the name “The Coalition”.
4 Opposition Parties Formed The Coalition
This alliance became official when the announcement was made on Saturday (28 October) via a Facebook post.
The four opposition parties involved are the National Solidarity Party (NSP), Red Dot United (RDU), Singapore People’s Party (SPP) and Singapore United Party (SUP).
Their collective aim in forming the coalition is to collaborate in preparation for the upcoming general election, which is set to take place by November 2025, within the next two years.
Among the key agreements reached, they have committed to avoiding three-cornered contests, crafting a joint manifesto, and exploring the potential for candidate sharing during electoral campaigns.
Essentially, this unity is expected to strengthen their communication with voters and elevate their collective branding, ultimately boosting their prospects of winning constituencies in upcoming elections.
Reasons for The Coalition
The Coalition is committed to fostering support, synergy, and respect among opposition parties.
In a Facebook post, Steve Chia, Secretary-General of the Singapore People’s Party (SPP), outlined The Coalition’s three core principles.
Firstly, they will collaborate with non-governing political parties to provide mutual support.
Their partnership will also harness the synergy of each party’s unique strengths.
Lastly, they will acknowledge and respect the distinct principles, values, and philosophies of the four parties.
The overarching objective of The Coalition is to prevent the People’s Action Party (PAP) from achieving a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
The formation of the coalition follows after a statement was made by the People’s Voice (PV), the Reform Party, the People’s Power Party, and the Democratic Progressive Party in June.
In this statement, they had announced their intention to establish a new alliance, initially named the People’s Alliance.
The Coalition Will Operate Without a Dominant Party or Leader
Addressing the press, Ravi Philemon, the leader of the RDU, explained that the coalition represents a non-formal partnership.
This arrangement will enable each party to maintain its individual identity and branding, considering that they operate in distinct constituencies where the unique needs of the constituents may vary.
CChia emphasised that the coalition operates without a dominant party or leader. Nonetheless, the RDU will take on the secretariat role for administrative purposes.
Chia said that the idea of the coalition was first broached after the 2020 General Election.
He explained that the motivation behind forming the coalition lies in their shared comfort with each party’s principles and philosophies, which led to establishing a cooperative agreement.
However, they are not currently pursuing formal registration as a single party.
Willing to Have Open Dialogues with Other Parties
When asked whether they had engaged in discussions with other parties like the Workers’ Party, the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), and the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) about potential participation in the coalition, Mohd Ridzwan Mohammad, Vice-President of the NSP, said that they are open and willing to have dialogues and discussions with other parties.
The coalition’s official manifesto is slated for release once the election is announced, with a primary focus on bread-and-butter issues such as inflation, the cost of living, and wages, as articulated by the leaders of the four parties.
Chia further elaborated, stating that while they acknowledge that the Government is also addressing many of these issues, they aim to delve into how they can be addressed more effectively according to the needs of Singaporeans.
This discussion and analysis will be presented at the upcoming election.