Messrs Vincent Cheng and Tan Kin Lian will be speaking at the SDP’s pre-election rally this Saturday at Hong Lim Park. Mr Cheng was arrested in 1987 under the Internal Security Act, ridiculously alleged of “masterminding” a Marxist conspiracy against the government.
A Catholic church worker, Mr Cheng was detained for three years during which he was beaten and abused. “I was an ISA detainee in 1987,” Mr Cheng said, “arbitrarily arrested and detained, never charged, never brought to trial and never convicted, only hideously and ceremoniously insulted and condemned. It is now 23 years. I still bear the scars.”
Mr Cheng was replying to the National Library Board after it banned him from speaking at a seminar at the National Library earlier this year organised by the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) History Society.
Another speaker Mr Tan Kin Lian is no stranger to Speaker’s Corner. He had organised a series of meetings in 2008 with investors who made severe osses from toxic financial products during the economic crisis in 2008.
Mr Tan, former CEO of NTUC Income, had rallied the investors and provded information as well as much needed guidance during a time of uncertainty and financial turmoil. He continues to provide financial advice in his blog.
Both men will be among a slate of speakers at this Saturday’s rally who will take the stage that will outline the Singapore Democrats’ message to voters at the coming general elections expected sometime at the end of this year.
One clear theme that will emerge from the rally will be the rising cost of living in Singapore and inability of Singaporeans to keep up given the level of wages here. This problem is, of course, made worse by the PAP’s policy of flooding Singapore with cheap foreign labour. These two intertwining issues will be the focus of the rally and the GE.
The party will also be driving home the SDP’s solutions to these problems.
Voters know very little about these alternative ideas because they have been censored by the media. This is despite the fact that we have been been pushing for them for more that a decade. The media continues to black out this fact, leaving Singaporeans to think that the opposition is not constructive.
For example, the idea of minimum wage is supported even by voices from the establishment. Yet the media refuses to report that Singaporeans have a choice on this issue by voting for the SDP which wants to introduce such a policy.
We hope to change this with the rally on Saturday. We invite all Singaporeans who are concerned with the current situation in Singapore and the path the PAP is taking us down to come to the rally and support us.
The event will also be a fund-raiser for us. We’ll have our publications and other items for sale. We need funds to print our posters, distribute our flyers, conduct our rallies, etc. We need the people’s support in order to be able to compete effectively with the PAP in the elections.
So come join Mr Cheng and Mr Tan and all of us at Hong Lim Park starting at 5 pm this Saturday, 25 September. Wear something in red and be part of the effort to get the Singapore Democrats elected because we are the the voice – your voice – that you so desperately need in Parliament.