The SDP has been making its rounds in the Toa Payoh-Bishan GRC to sell its newly revived newspaper The New Democrat. Over the past two weeks, Team SDP has been actively getting the newspaper across to residents in the two estates.
Going from coffee shop to hawker center, sales have been brisk with diners readily buying the publication. “We notice that people seem to be more enthusiastic buying our newspaper,” said party chairman Mr Gandhi Ambalam, “this is probably due to the greater unhappiness with the PAP.”
Indeed sales have been noticeably faster than previous years. Already a few thousand copies have been sold since sales started a couple of weeks ago.
The current issue deals mainly with matters related to the cost of living, the withholding of CPF savings by the Government, and influx of foreign workers in Singapore. The newspaper is published in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.
Many people come up and talk to the Democrats about life in Singapore. While visiting a food centre at the Shunfu area this morning, one lady in her 50s told us how difficult it is to make a living. Speaking in Chinese, she said that foreigners coming in to Singapore are making it very difficult for her to find a job.
“All the employers ask me how old I am and when I tell them, they always say that they can get a foreigner who is younger and cheaper,” she said, adding that even if she is able to land a job, it pays her only $40 a day.
“If I get sick and cannot come to work, I won’t get paid,” she continued. “But the foreigners come here and they make a little money and then go back and buy big houses at home. But they don’t have all these expenses that I have.”
Another man in his thirties also expressed his frustration with foreigners, saying: “Aiyah but the Government gives them citizenship so that they can vote for the PAP. It’s not fair.”
Apart from sales at Toa Payoh and Bishan, the Democrats have visited Tampines, Bedok and Geylang Serai during the Hari Raya period as well as the Central Business District during lunch time to sell the newspaper.
Other than the sales SDP members also take the opportunity to chat with voters and to listen to their views.
The message that the Singapore Democrats put across is that we know the difficulties that ordinary Singaporeans are facing in their daily lives.
“But you must support the opposition in order that we can speak up for you in Parliament,” Dr Chee Soon Juan points out, “Without your support, the opposition will not grow and without an opposition the PAP will continue to roll all over you.”
Sales will continue over the next several weeks.