Following discussions with our Swedish counterparts, the Singapore Democrats yesterday announced at a press conference (none of which was reported by the local media) that a programme would be developed to promote democracy in Singapore.
Called the Sweden-Singapore Initiative for Democracy (SSID), the group will plan and implement projects that would provide Singaporeans the opportunity and means to advance democracy in this country. The SSID will focus on how to:
Make the election system in Singapore genuinely free and fair. Efforts will be made to raise awareness of the undemocratic nature of the electoral process in Singapore and to seek the support of the international community to redress this situation.
Break the PAPs stranglehold on the local mass media. Projects will be undertaken to focus on how the Government controls the press through the Newspaper Printing and Presses Act and to examine the possibilities of breaking up this monopoly. The SSID will look into the possibility of setting up a webcast to broadcast news into Singapore.
Expand the role of civil society in the political process. Training workshops will be organized for civil society members to share knowledge and skills necessary for developing a healthy and robust civil society.
Continue to encourage the youth to become more politically aware and active. Apart from organizing youth forums and training sessions, young Singaporeans will also have the opportunity to participate in exchange programmes through internships and attachments with political parties, government departments and NGOs in Sweden. Full scholarships will also be available to students to study in Swedish universities.
Increase awareness on the abuse of human, political and civil rights in Singapore. Campaigns and exercises will be implemented to educate Singaporeans about the need for protection of our basic rights. Efforts will continue to be made to pressure the Singapore Government to ratify the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights adopted by the United Nations.
Protect the rights and interests of Singaporean workers. Conferences on labour issues and the lack of protection of workers rights will be organized. Efforts will also be made to link up with international labour groups to bring the plight of workers in Singapore to the attention of the international community.
Details of the projects will be announced on this website as and when they occur. So make sure this website is firmly on your bookmark list!