“I want a decent paying job to look after my three school-going sons with dignity,” said the 39-year old mother, a resident of Yuhua SMC.
This website reported last week that Mdm Tan had narrated her plight to the Singapore Democrats during our walkabout in the constituency last Thursday evening. It was obvious that Mdm Tan was in dire straits, living in her three-room flat with three sons.
The six-member SDP team returned to visit Mdm Tan yesterday during our walkabout at the constituency. The visit was kept low-key and private at the request of Mdm Tan. Among the team were Mr Gandhi Ambalam, Ms Jaslyn Go, and Mr Sylvester Lim (pictured).
We brought along some food stuffs and other basic necessities for the family. A medical doctor was also in the SDP team to render assistance to the boys who looked like in poor health. All of them were diagnosed as having eye infection.
The team stayed and chatted with Mdm Tan who said that she had inculcated in her children not to depend on charity. “For people like me, charity is not the answer. We want a job to keep our heads high with dignity,” Mdm Tan stressed. She lost her job as a cleaner for taking time off to attend to her children whenever one of them fell ill.
Mdm Tan’s case hammers home our point that lower-income Singaporeans should not have to depend on handouts and Budget goodies to survive. Instead there must be legislation that ensures the rights of Singaporean workers to be paid fair and living wages. Minimum Wage is what the Singapore Democrats promise to fight for in the next Parliament if elected.
Minimum wage must also be implemented with our Singaporeans First Policy where folks like Mdm Tan are given priority over foreign workers and where she doesn’t have to compete with them for ever decreasing wages.
Third, the taxes and fees like the GST and water and electricity tariffs must be reduced to allow such families to make ends meet.
Reporters had queried current PAP MP for Yuhua, Ms Grace Fu, about Mdm Tan. The SDP was told that Ms Fu said that she was not aware of the case and had no information about the situation.
Ms Fu’s problem is reflective of the PAP. While advocating stratospheric levels of income for “talent” like their ministers, they are unaware of the many hardship cases of Singaporeans struggling to survive.
Unlike the PAP, the Singapore Democrats advocate that the Government dispenses with the kind of patronage system where pork-barrel politics is the order of the day. In its place we must have a system of laws that ensures that Singaporeans are paid their due and not be exploited by employers.
After listening to her struggle to live a decent life in Singapore, the team gave Mdm Tan bags of groceries donated by the party and well-wishers.
The team left Mdm Tan and her sons with the assurance: “Please, feel free to call us should you need any assistance.”