New political party by oppositionist in Singapore

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Singapore, Apr 19 (UNI) Singapore's veteran opposition politician Josha Benjamin Jeyaretnam has applied to form a new political party here.

The 82-year-old lawyer made political history in 1981 by being the first to win an opposition parliamentary seat and breaking the monopoly of the ruling People's Action Party (PAP).

He was rated as the biggest political foe of Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and served in Parliament from 1981-1986 and 1997-2001 as member of the Workers' Party.

He applied to register Reform Party on Thursday, local media reports said today.

The 1926 born Mr Jeyaretnam, an Anglican Christian of Sri Lankan descent, is making a political come back after having been discharged as a bankrupt in May last year.

His political career was hit in 2001 when he lost a libel case, having to pay some 600,000 Singapore dollars to the ruling PAP leaders including then Prime Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong.

Mr Jeyaretnam would be 85 years old at the next expected general elections in Singapore, which would be a challenge for him to be pitted against the younger parliamentarians from the ruling PAP and opposition parties, political observers said.

UNI XC SKB AS1103

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