It’s official. The Singapore Democrats now have a viable and realistic economic programme on which to campaign in the coming general elections. Entitled It’s About You, the programme contrasts starkly between the SDP’s and PAP’s economic policies.
The former emphasizes building up a more equal society where everyone, not just the wealthy, get to enjoy the fruits of their labour. The PAP’s approach continues to focus on the superrich, causing inflationary pressures while keeping wages low. Such an elitist system is the cause of the crippling income inequalty in Singapore.
It’s About You was launched yesterday at the SDP’s second pre-election rally. Central Executive Committee members got up on stage to sing Majulah Singapura during the opening ceremony and to recite the national pledge. Party Chairman Gandhi Ambalam then introduced the programe and unveiled the magazine.
Those who wish to purchase a copy can email us at email@example.com.
Speakers took to the podium emphasizing that the PAP cannot continue its propaganda that the opposition does not have alternative ideas for Singapore. They also hammered away at the need for minimum wage. The high cost of living and stagnant wages were the cause of much hardship and angst for working Singaporeans.
The event also saw the first time that Dr James Gomez had spoken under the SDP banner. A new member, Dr Gomez talked about the working poor and the “poverty trap” that many Singaporeans found themselves.
“Countries around the world have begun minimum wages to combat this problem,” Dr Gomez said, “but more is needed and we can no longer trust the PAP to do the right thing. There is something fundamentally wrong with the PAP style of governance which is increasingly unsuitable for modern day Singapore.”
Executive member Mr Sylvester Lim also delivered his maiden speech where he laid out the party’s proposals on how to bring down the cost of living including reducing the GST. He also highlighted the need for a minimum wage law in Singapore.
Ms Jaslyn Go also registered a first when she got on stage. It was the first public speech she had ever made. “I was trembling all over during my speech.” It didn’t show as she delivered a confident performance, speaking about how difficult it is to make ends meet in high-cost Singapore.
During rehearsals, Ms Go was tentative and unsure of herself. But like the successful businesswoman that she is, she applied her mind to the task and when she got on stage, she took control of her message and delivered a commanding address.
Toggling between English and Chinese, Dr Wong Wee Nam gave an impassioned speech, dwelling on the influx of foreigners in Singapore. He warned that with the current immigration policy “native Singaporeans will slowly become a minority.”
He told the audience: “In future, when Singapore becomes less attractive or is under external threat, the foreigners will leave as quickly as they come and Singapore will collapse economically and psychologically.”
He called on Singaporeans to help the SDP and reminded the electorate that a political party is a vehicle for their voice: “The stronger they are, the louder your voice.” This is the one of the first speeches Dr Wong made in more than 10 years after he contested in the general election in 1997.
Other speakers included Mr John Tan, Mr Jufrie Mahmood, Dr Vincent Wijeysingha and Dr Chee Soon Juan.
Dr Wijeysingha delivered yet another impressive performance. He took his oratory to a new level, injecting greater urgency and passion in his speech from his address at the first rally.
He said: “The SDP’s programme offers a constructive and workable alternative, an alternative that the PAP is afraid of, because it has nothing with which to challenge it…leave the government of this country to those who care about it, about its people, about its future.”
Dr Chee rounded out the speeches and told the audience that many of the speakers at the two pre-election rallies would be fielded as candidates in the general elections.
A slate of impressive candidates and a solid alternative economic programme to challenge the PAP’s policies. That’s what Singaporeans can look forward to from the Singapore Democrats in the coming GE. It’s full steam ahead.
(1) A rally to remember!
(2) Speeches at SDP’s It’s About Your Rally
(3) Kenneth Lin speaks at SDP rally
(4) Vincent Wijeyshingha’s speech at SDP’s It’s About You rally