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Tuesday August 7th 2018

Five options for Dr Tan Cheng Bock during GE 2020

Dr Tan Cheng Bock seems to be the hottest property around these days with so many political parties seeking after his winning collaboration for GE 2020.

There are five possible options available for the good doctor:-

1. Collaboration with Workers’ Party

Workers’ Party has fired the first salvo at winning the doctor’s hand by inviting him along for the Aljunied GRC’s Iftar during Ramadan recently and the cheerful doctor seems at ease with the opposition group of MPs.

Collaboration with WP seems rightful and even legit as the opposition party is the only one with six elected MPs in Parliament right now and they are rebranding itself with a new leadership team in place.

Dr Tan’s inclusion will definitely strengthen the opposition party and he can even head a GRC team with very strong chance of winning as well.

However, there are some downside to the collaboration if the good doctor teams up with WP notably it’s strict party protocol and exclusive brand of politics as it doesn’t really mix well with the other opposition parties.

To his credit, Dr Tan has shared his presence with many other parties and lay groups as well and if he joins up with WP as a candidate it is unsure how this will affect the opposition party’s strict protocol.

Nevertheless, politically speaking, standing as a candidate with WP either in a SMC or GRC, Dr Tan will bring forth much value-added experience and probably even a strong winning ticket to the party as well and it should be mutually beneficial.

Chances of winning: Very high especially in SMC

2. Collaboration with Harapan Sg

The next best thing that Tun Mahathir has brought to the world besides his earth-shaking win at the polls in Malaysia is the formation of Harapan Sg in Singapore.

For the longest time, Singaporeans have being crying out for a unifying formation of small opposition parties so that they can be seen as credible and united so Harapan Sg is the best thing that has happened to us so far even though WP has distanced itself from the coalition.

The next question to ask is – will the doctor join up with Harapan Sg as a candidate?

As it is a coalition, he has the liberty to join as an independent candidate together with other parties even if he is being field in a SMC/GRC. He does not really have to sign up with any party though his hand will surely be courted by the many splinter opposition parties.

As a coalition candidate, Dr Tan will also be able to gain access to it’s strength and diversity even though he will by virtue of his stature also lend much weight to Harapan Sg.

For the rest of the other opposition parties to move forward, Dr Tan’s decision to join Harapan Sg will be more far-reaching and impactful than if he simply joins up with WP. His inclusion in any constituency will definitely strengthen the winning chance of that team.

Chances of winning: High

3. Standing as an independent candidate

The good doctor also can stand as an independent candidate in any SMC after consultation with the opposition party which has contested in that ward before so that there won’t be any three-party collision..

However, this move will have very reduced impact on the scope of opposition parties as a whole as he is still confining himself to being a solo opposition politician.

If we know Dr Tan’s mindset well enough, he is trying to improve the political landscape of the country all along and if possible  help to lend a voice to the down-trodden and unfortunate.

His style so far is inclusive and collaborative rather than exclusive and divisive so standing as an independent candidate will not be his calling.

However, if he still insists on standing as a independent candidate, his chances of winning is still relatively high but he will lose his definite clout as a opposition unifier. If he loses as an independent, he will surely fade away into oblivion afterwards.

Chances of winning: High

4. Forming his own party

Dr Tan can also form his own party and call the shots in a densely-crowded arena of opposition politics.

He will probably attract alot of former white supporters who are gunning for change but still waiting for a credible leader to appear.

He has the mould of Tun Mahathir who has helped to swing alot of UMNO voters to his coalition resulting in the collapse of the Malaysian government. Without the Tun, the swing will not be as serious and Nazik will still be the PM though his days will be numbered.

Though we may not witness the collapse of the PAP government in this coming election, Dr Tan will certainly help to swing alot of white supporters to his fold resulting in reduced majority for the ruling party.

But will the doctor form his own political party and go head on with his former master? So far, there is no such indication though he has a strong team heralded from his post-PE days to usher in the new party with ease. He could also attract alot of young professionals who are looking for a credible voice in the political wilderness.

Nevertheless, we already have too many small splinter opposition parties for 2.3 million voters and bringing in one more surely will not be idle.

Chances of winning: Moderately high

5. Not standing as a candidate in GE 2020

Many people have predicted that Dr Tan will stand as a candidate for the next election but there is still a slim chance that he may not contest due to various reasons.

He has mentioned several times that he is ready to mould candidates to win election like a mentor and they can be people gleaned from the opposition or ruling party reinforcing his personal neutrality on the matter.

Its one thing to stand as a President candidate but another to go against his former master in a general election as a candidate.

Its like going against someone who has fed him for close to two decades and it is something one has to come to terms with though what the ruling party did to his candidacy chance during the last PE may have push him into the dark side.

The chances of Dr Tan staying on the sideline during GE 2020 remain remote and we all relish someone from the ruling party standing up as a candidate as an opposition so that the political landscape can be drastically altered.

The people and country are all crying out for change and the mere sign of seeing Dr Tan challenging the incumbent will send many into wild cries of ecstasy.

The absence of Dr Tan in GE 2020 will definitely disappoint many as they see the good doctor as a messiah coming out to save the country…

Written by: Gilbert Goh

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