Where’s Dr Tan Cheng Bock?

I am putting up this missing person notice because I am really worried.


Singapore’s political scene came alive (a bit) on 29 July when it was reported that Dr Tan Cheng Bock has been invited to lead an opposition coalition for the next GE. SDP’s Dr Chee was the one who made the proposal at a meeting on 28 July, attended by 7 opposition parties. Comparisons with our neighbours’ Pakatan Harapan came to mind. The ground was excited. People were looking forward.

On the same day, Dr Tan posted on his Facebook on the meeting with the opposition parties. He didn’t say yes to leading the coalition but he didn’t say no either. Basically he left it open and said “Singapore’s interest must always come first”.

Subsequently, followers of Dr Tan’s FB were treated to a video of Dr Tan and his RI alumni friends strumming ukulele and expressing their love for Singapore, in celebration of National Day. That was 3 Aug and the last time we “see” Dr Tan. Though he had a FB post on 9 Aug, there was no video and no pic of him. Only a Singapore flag and a short 24-word National Day post.


That was the last we heard of Dr Tan. At least on Facebook.

Meanwhile, many things have happened in Singapore.

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Dr Chee has again, invited Dr Tan to lead the opposition in the next GE in Dr Chee’s National Day Message in mid Aug. PM Lee announced government’s new plans for HDB flats – VERS, HIP2 etc. HSR confirmed deferred for 2 years. Dr PJ Thum and friends’ high-profile meeting with Dr M in Malaysia which incurred the wrath of many Singaporeans. The Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods had submitted their report and recommendations. WP’s Pritam Singh had an exchange of words with Kirsten Han over the treatment of Dr Thum during and since the Select Committee hearings. Support to repeal or keep Section 377A is still ongoing.

Among the parties who met with Dr Tan at the 28 July meeting, SingFirst’s Tan Jee Say has openly sided with Dr Thum, Reform Party’s Kenneth Jeyaretnam has commended Professor Tommy Koh’s points about Section 377A, People’s Power Party’s Goh Meng Seng has lambasted Pritam Singh for his stand on Dr Thum, National Solidarity Party made its stand clear on HDB’s leasehold argument, and former NSP chief Lim Tean produces his own videos talking about anything he’s angry with the government and does walkabouts.

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But none of these voices is as deafening as Dr Tan’s silence.

What worries me most, is that the silence is not for a day or two. It has been close to 2 months since we last heard anything from Dr Tan. What are his views on the issues above? For example, is he for, against or neutral about Section 377A? How does he view Dr Thum’s meeting with Dr M? Is he supportive of the Select Committee recommendations? Are the 7 opposition parties united in their views on Pritam Singh or does Dr Tan hold a different view from them?

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We are dying to hear what Dr Tan has to offer. If he is serious about the GE, we need to hear his views now, not only when the elections are near.

You can’t be a unifying figure for Singapore when you are nowhere to be found when Singaporeans want to hear from you.

And oh, by the way. The Independent Singapore (TISG) posted an article saying that Dr Tan Cheng Bock has made new comments following the invitation to lead the opposition coalition. But I think TISG saw wrongly. The post that TISG was referring to was actually from 28 September… 2013



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