Cheng Bock on WP's chances, PAP's problem and Tharman's charisma

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Former PAP man and a contender for the last presidential elections, Tan Cheng Bock, thinks the Workers’ Party is likely to win more seats in the next elections.

That analysis is based on his view that the government has got itself into a “very tight situation” because of the unchecked entry of foreigners into the country.

He told MyPaper: “The original lax policy has created a lot of problems. If you suddenly pull the brakes too hard…you titrate wrongly, you have a big, big problem, because the companies will suffer.”

The government may be “overdoing it” now by tightening labour flows, as businesses are facing a manpower crunch, he said.

“I think it’s good because the WP can make the Government work harder, and also I think debate on issues will be much better.”

On PAP’s point that the opposition party sits on the fence on issues, Tan said: “They don’t have to put forth an alternative every time an issue comes up. You can always wait. Timing is very important in politics…So they will know when to push their agenda.”

On PAP’s performance since GE 2011, he said there is a renewed vigour in fighting for votes but they still have not “nailed it…there is still a lack of trust.”

Another issue is the divide in the party with grassroots leaders being upset with the leadership parachuting “prefectorial, army, navy types” to become MPs.

He cited Tharman  Shanmugaratnam as an exception. “(he) is a very practical chap, he  knows how to move the ground…he’s got the charisma to convince me that I want to go along with him.”