List of political parties in Singapore

This is a list of political parties in Singapore, including existing and historical ones. The earliest political parties were established in the lead-up to Singapore first Legislative Council elections in 1948. Singapore is a republic. While the country has a multi-party system, the dominant political party have often been the People's Action Party since 1965, along with the main opposition party, the Workers' Party. Minority governments are uncommon, as elections have not resulted in a hung parliament since independence.

Legislative power is vested in parliament, which consists of the president as its head and a single chamber whose members are elected by popular vote. The role of the president as the head of state has been, historically, largely ceremonial although the constitution was amended in 1991 to give the president some veto powers in a few key decisions such as the use of the national reserves, as well as the appointment of key judiciary, civil service and Singapore Armed Forces posts. They also exercise powers over national security matters.

Singapore has consistently been rated as the most least-corrupt country in Asia and globally amongst the top five by Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, and the degree of accountability and transparency is reflected in the public's high level of satisfaction with the political institutions. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times also considers the country's civil service to be one of the most efficient and uncorrupt bureaucracies in the world, with a high standard of discipline and accountability.[1] The World Bank's governance indicators have also rated Singapore highly on rule of law, control of corruption and government effectiveness.[2]

HistoryEdit

Pre-independenceEdit

Amongst the oldest parties, the Malay Union, traced its history back to 14 May 1926, was initially a non-political association as the party only participated in the 1955 election. The Progressive Party and Labour Party, both established in the late 1940s, were some of the pioneering local establishments, with the PP the only party to contest in the first elections in 1948, and the LP coming on board in 1951. By 1955, the fledgling British colony had seven parties contesting, and reached a pinnacle of 13 parties in 1959. A total of three parties were established in the 1940s, 12 in the 1950s and five in the 1960s.

Post-independenceEdit

20th centuryEdit

Post-independence Singapore saw the dominance of the People's Action Party, which first came into power in 1959. On 16 May 1960, a new Societies Ordinance was passed, and in December 1966, local parties were forbidden from being affiliated to foreign ones. This directly impacted the handful of small parties with links to Malaysia, most of which renamed themselves and/or cut formal foreign ties. The PAP's dominance stemming from Singapore's economic advancement further weakened the smaller opposition parties, with a majority of Singaporeans voting for the PAP in subsequent elections. To date, 13 parties have officially dissolved, mostly through mergers with other parties.

Still, new parties continued to be established. Seven new parties were formed in the 1970s (including the Justice Party, Singapore and the United Front, the preprocessor of today's Democratic Progressive Party), two in the 1980s, two in the 1990s, three in the 2000s, and six in the 2010s. The newest party to be registered is Singapore United Party, on 24 December 2020.[3] There are therefore a total of 30 registered political parties today, of which ten have never contested in an election.

21st centuryEdit

Over the years, alliances between political parties existed, however short-lived. Presently, only one functioning multi-party alliance, the Singapore Democratic Alliance, which was formed on 3 July 2001, initially composed of the Singapore People's Party (SPP), National Solidarity Party, Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Singapura and the Justice Party, Singapore, with the SPP being the lead party. The vision was to bring all opposition parties under one banner to counter the PAP's dominance, but it was met with limited success due to opposition infighting. The NSP left the alliance in 2007, and in 2010, the SPP itself left when there was internal disagreements over the SPP's attempts to bring in the newly formed Reform Party.

After the 2015 Singaporean general election, 4 new political parties were formed, Progress Singapore Party (PSP), Red Dot United, Peoples Voice (PV) and Singapore United Party (SUP). Peoples Voice was formed by Lim Tean in 2018 after he resigned from the National Solidarity Party in 2017.[4][5][6]

PSP was founded in 2019 by former People's Action Party Member of Parliament Tan Cheng Bock and 11 other members.[7] Former Progress Singapore Party members Ravi Philemon and Michelle Lee, together with other former members of other political parties submitted an application to form the Red Dot United to the Registry of Societies.[8]

Another party was formed out of former members of the Reform Party in the aftermath of the 2020 Singaporean general election, called the Singapore United Party.[9]

LegislationEdit

Under the current legislation, all political parties (termed "Political Associations") must be registered under the Societies Act. As such, the following rules pertaining to political associations apply:

  • All members of political parties must be Singaporean citizens.
  • Political Association must not be affiliated or connected with any organisation outside Singapore. The fact that a political association uses a name or symbol which is the same as that of an organisation outside Singapore shall be deemed to be sufficient evidence that the political association has an affiliation or connection with that organisation.

The government has the power to dissolve the party if it contravenes the above rules, or any other rule applicable to all forms of registered societies.

Under the Political Donations Act which came into force on 15 February 2001, Political Associations are also barred from accepting any donation in cash or kind from impermissible donors, or from anonymous donors where the value exceeds S$5,000. The government announced[10] that it was to "prevent foreigners from interfering in domestic politics through the financial support for any association's cause", and cited an example of a case in 1959 when S$700,000 was sent to Chew Swee Kee, then Education Minister from the Singapore People's Alliance by a "neighbouring intelligence service in a "black operation" against the interests of Singapore". Another case was also cited pertaining to foreign financial support for Francis Seow of the Workers' Party in 1988.

The People's Action Party donated $20,000 to Australian political parties through (Singtel-owned) Optus in 2010, although the motives and details of the donation remain unverified.[11]

Political partiesEdit

There have been a total of 43 political parties (not including Malaysia's parties, those contested in both Malaysia and Singapore elections, or those which contested during Singapore's merger with Malaysia) in Singapore.

  Party or Alliance active
  Party or Alliance active, but collated to another party or alliance
  Party or Alliance dissolved
  Party or Alliance registered, but is yet to contest
  Party or Alliance's status unknown

Current Political PartiesEdit

Party Abbr. Established Registered Elections Contested 1 Leader (Secretary-General) MPs
  National Solidarity Party
Parti Perpaduan Nasional
国民团结党
தேசிய ஒருமைப்பாட்டுக் கட்சி
NSP 6 March 1987 6 March 1987 8 (1988, 1991, 1997, 20013, 20063, 2011, 2015, 2020) Spencer Ng
0 / 104
  People's Action Party
Parti Tindakan Rakyat
人民行动党
மக்களின் செயல் கட்சி
PAP 21 November 1954 18 February 1961 16 (1955, 1959, 1963, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1991, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2015, 2020) Lee Hsien Loong
83 / 104
  Progress Singapore Party
Parti Kemajuan Singapura
新加坡前进党
சிங்கப்பூர் முன்னேற்றக் கட்சி
PSP 18 January 2019 28 March 2019 1 (2020) Francis Yuen
2 / 104
  People's Power Party
Parti Kuasa Rakyat
人民力量党
மக்கள் சக்தி கட்சி
PPP 15 May 2015 15 May 2015 2 (2015, 2020) Goh Meng Seng
0 / 104
  Peoples Voice
Suara Rakyat
人民之声
மக்கள் குரல்
PV 29 October 2018 29 October 2018 1 (2020) Lim Tean
0 / 104
  Red Dot United
Titik Merah Bersatu
红点同心党
ஒன்றுபட்ட சிவப்புப் புள்ளி
RDU 26 May 2020 15 June 2020 1 (2020) Ravi Philemon
0 / 104
  Reform Party
Parti Reformasi
革新党
சீர்திருத்தக் கட்சி
RP 3 July 2008 3 July 2008 3 (2011, 2015, 2020) Kenneth Jeyaretnam
0 / 104
  Singapore Democratic Alliance
Perikatan Demokratik Singapura
新加坡民主联盟
சிங்கப்பூர் ஜனநாயக கூட்டணி
SDA 3 July 2001 3 July 2001 5 (2001, 2006, 2011, 2015, 2020) Desmond Lim
0 / 104
  Singapore People's Party
Parti Rakyat Singapura
新加坡人民党
சிங்கப்பூர் மக்கள் கட்சி
SPP 21 November 1994 21 November 1994 6 (1997, 20014, 20064, 2011, 2015, 2020) Steve Chia
0 / 104
  Democratic Progressive Party
Parti Demokratik Progresif
民主进步党
ஜனநாயக முற்போக்குக் கட்சி
DPP 16 March 1973 16 March 1973 5 (1976, 1980, 1984, 1997, 2015) Mohamad Hamim bin Aliyas
0 / 104
  Singapore Democratic Party
Parti Demokratik Singapura
新加坡民主党
சிங்கப்பூர் மக்களாட்சி
SDP 6 August 1980 8 September 1980 10 (1980, 1984, 1988, 1991, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2015, 2020) Chee Soon Juan
0 / 104
Singapore United Party
Parti Bersatu Singapura
新加坡统一党
SUP 24 December 2020 24 December 2020 Andy Zhu
0 / 104
  Workers' Party
Parti Pekerja
工人党
பாட்டாளிக் கட்சி
WP 3 November 1957 30 January 1961 15 (1959, 1963, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1991, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2015, 2020) Pritam Singh
9 / 104
Singapore Justice Party
Parti Keadilan Singapura
新加坡正义党
சிங்கப்பூர் நீதிக் கட்சி
SJP 10 August 1972 10 (1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1991, 20013, 20063, 20113, 20153, 20203)
0 / 104
  Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Singapura
Singapore Malay National Organisation
新加坡马来国民机构
PKMS 23 December 1951 20 February 1961 13 (1955, 1959, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1991, 20012, 20062, 20112, 20152, 20203)
0 / 104

Shirt coloursEdit

The candidates and supporters of the various political parties tend to wear the following shirt colours while making their rounds in various wards or campaigning.

Party Shirt Colour
  Progress Singapore Party Red
White
  Peoples Voice Black
  People's Action Party White
  Workers' Party Light Blue
  Singapore People's Party Purple
  Singapore Democratic Party Red
  National Solidarity Party Orange
  Reform Party Yellow
  Red Dot United Navy Blue
  Singapore Democratic Alliance Light Green
  Democratic Progressive Party White
Orange
  People's Power Party Purple (Light)

Past Political PartiesEdit

Party Alternative name(s) Established Registered Dissolved Elections Contested 1
Malay Union
新加坡马来人联合会
Kesatuan Melayu Singapura
14 May 1926 1961 2 (1955, 1959)
Singapore National Front
新加坡国民阵线
Barisan Nasional Singapura
15 August 1991 NA 0
  Singapore People's Alliance
新加坡人民联盟
Perikatan Rakyat Singapura
10 November 1958 16 May 1965 1 (1959)
  United National Front
联合国民阵线
Barisan Nasional Bersatu
6 March 1970 NA 1 (1972)
  United People's Front
人民联合阵线
Barisan Rakyat Bersatu
20 March 1975 NA 4 (1976, 1980, 1984, 1988)
  United People's Party
人民团结党
Parti Rakyat Bersatu
14 July 1961 1968 1 (1963)
United Singapore Democrats
团结新加坡民主党
Demokrat Singapura Bersatu
25 March 2010 NA 0
  Socialist Front
社会主义阵线
Socialist Front
1 September 2010 NA 0
  Singaporeans First
国人为先
Warga Diutamakan
25 May 2014 19 August 2014 25 June 2020 1 (2015)
Singapore Indian Congress
新加坡印度国民大会党
Kongres India Singapura
Singapore Regional Indian Congress (1946–1953)
Malayan Indian Congress (1953–1968)
August 1946 7 August 1962 NA 1 (1959)
People's Republican Party
人民共和党
Parti Rakyat Republik
30 August 1973 NA 0
  Partai Rakyat
People's Party (Singapore State Division)
人民党 (新加坡州部)
11 November 1955 18 June 1962 NA 2 (1959, 1963)
Singapore Alliance Party
新加坡联盟党
Parti Perikatan Singapura
Singapore Alliance, Perikatan Singapura (1963–1965) 30 May 1963 17 February 1966 NA 1 (1963)
  Angkatan Islam
Islamic Movement
回教阵线
Pan-Malayan Islamic Party
Persatuan Islam Setanah Melayu (1958–1967)
6 August 1958 NA 4 (1959, 1963, 1984, 1988)
  Barisan Sosialis
社会主义阵线
29 July 1961 13 August 1961 1988 5 (1963, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984)
  Citizens' Party
公民党
Parti Warganegara
25 February 1959 13 September 1960 1 (1959)
  Democratic Party
民主党
Parti Demokratik
11 February 1955 5 February 1956 1 (1955)
  Katong United Residents' Association
加东居民统一工会
Persatuan Penduduk Bersatu Katong
11 January 1959 23 June 1960 1 (1959)
  Labour Front
劳工阵线
Barisan Buroh
21 August 1954 28 February 1960 2 (1955, 1959)
Labour Party
劳工党
Parti Buroh
23 March 1948 1961 1 (1951)
  Liberal Socialist Party
自由社会党
Parti Liberal Sosialis
5 February 1956 24 May 1961 10 September 1963 1 (1959)
National Party of Singapore
新加坡国民党
Parti Nasional Singapura
26 February 1971 NA 0
  People's Front
人民阵线
Barisan Rakyat
21 May 1971 NA 2 (1972, 1976)
Parti Kesatuan Rakyat
United Democratic Party
民主统一党
18 June 1962 NA 1 (1963)
People's Liberal Democratic Party
人民自由民主党
Parti Liberal Demokratik Rakyat
2 May 2006 NA 0
Persatuan Melayu Singapura
Singapore Malays Association
新加坡马来人协会
2 February 1952 NA 0
  Progressive Party
进步党
Parti Progresif
25 August 1947 10 May 1956 3 (1948, 1951, 1955)
Singapore Congress
新加坡国民大会党
Kongres Singapura
9 May 1960 29 January 1962 0
Singapore Chinese Party
新加坡华人党
Parti Cina Singapura
Malayan Chinese Association (1950–1967) 26 September 1950 NA 3 (1955, 1959, 19724)
  1. ^ The tally does not include city council elections, by-elections, Malaysian parliamentary elections or presidential elections (the latter which requires nonpartisan candidacy).
  2. ^ The party was contested under the coalition of Singapore People's Party (SPP).
  3. ^ The party was contested under the coalition of Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA).
  4. ^ The party was contested under the coalition of United People's Front (UPF).

Other defunct partiesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Thomas L. Friedman (14 September 2005). "Singapore and Katrina". New York Times. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
  2. ^ "Governance Indicators: 1996-2004". World Bank website. Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  3. ^ "Red Dot United gets approval for registration as political party, set to take part in coming GE". TODAYonline. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  4. ^ "NSP Secretary General Lim Tean quits party suddenly". Mothership.sg. Archived from the original on 27 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  5. ^ "Former opposition party chief Lim Tean forms new political party, People's Voice". TODAYonline. Archived from the original on 27 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Lim Tean resigns as NSP secretary-general". CNA. Archived from the original on 27 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  7. ^ "Tan Cheng Bock files application to form new political party". CNA. Archived from the original on 18 January 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Former PSP members file application to form new political party Red Dot United". CNA. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  9. ^ Sin, Yuen (5 January 2021). "Former Reform Party chairman Andy Zhu and others form new political party, Singapore United Party". The Straits Times. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  10. ^ "Ministry of Home Affairs - Introduction of the Political Donations Act". Archived from the original on 22 January 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  11. ^ "Mayne digs some donations data dirt". crikey.com.au. 1 February 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2018.

External linksEdit