To live is to strive to be the best that you can be. To live in a community is to help our fellowmen and women to seize the opportunities to be the best that they can be. This is what politics is, or at least, should be.
Politics is about managing the community’s economic activity and its resources so that no one is denied the chance to be the person he or she can be.
Politics is about humility. A politician’s employer is every member of the community who puts the politician in a position of responsibility to help facilitate their quest for a better a life, a more comfortable life, a fulfilling life, and yes, a fairer life.
Politics is about outrage. Every child who slips through the educational cracks is an insult to our common humanity. Every parent who has to work two jobs to ensure there is food on the table is evidence of the failure of our programmes. Every elderly person who cannot make ends meet because their CPF savings have not been enough to see them through their old age offends against policy-making.
And every person thrown in jail, or exiled, or bankrupted because they don’t share the priorities of those who hold power shows how impoverished those priorities are and dishonours those who hold them.
Politics is about action. I cannot live in a world where some people have more than they know what to do with while others have to choose between paying the rent and a monthly family outing.
I cannot live in a world that provides a better education for “the more than ordinarily endowed” among us (former PM Lee Kuan Yew’s words) and an inferior offering to the “lumpen mass”.
And I refuse to live in a world where our leaders pretend octogenarians collecting cardboard and tin cans to make ends meet do not exist while paying themselves the highest wages in the world.
The SDP does not believe in discredited ideas of totally equal distribution of income. We do not advocate a dictatorship of the proletariat.
The SDP is a party of excellence, a party of daring, of creativity, a party that rewards those who contribute to the community.
But the SDP also asks us all, challenges us, to spare a thought for those less fortunate than ourselves. Because you have achieved more from the system, we ask you, from that part of your being that is outraged and pained by suffering, to share your expertise, your skills, your wealth, and your preparedness to give more back to the nation.
We are a party that believes in the essential goodness of human beings. We are confident that given a choice, all human beings will choose to share more equally the national pie so that no child goes hungry, no older person is denied healthcare, and no family must queue at a charity to get its groceries.
We are not a party that is motivated by money. We are not a party that believes in growth at all cost.
We are a party that believes in a sustainable economy, a creative and innovative marketplace, a stable community, and with room for dissent. We do not believe in throwing those who do not agree with us into jail.
We are the party that Singaporeans are seeking because we aspire to serve you; we believe that government is about service. Help us to help you. Come on board with your ideas, your energy, your enthusiasm.
And, if I may repeat an appeal I’ve made on this website before, consider making a donation; elections cost money! Contesting the general elections, we need all the help you can offer. Be a part of the future.