The Prime Minister cannot avoid callingfor a by-election in Punggol East SMC without inflicting severedamage to his and his party’s political and moral standing.$CUT$
Mr Michael Palmer resigned not just asa Member of Parliament but also as Speaker.
His stepping down hasleft a gaping hole in the legislature that cannot be ignored orpapered over. More importantly, voters of Punggol East have beenbadly let down and they deserve the opportunity to elect anotherrepresentative.
For these reasons, PM Lee Hsien Loong must call anelection in the constituency and soon.
Governance requires not just politicalbut also moral authority. Without moral authority, the PM will findhis power undermined and challenged from within and outside of hisparty. Singaporeans will lose even more confidence in his leadershipand ability to take our country forward. The end-result is that ournation will go further in the wrong direction. A by-election is theonly way that Mr Lee can stem the erosion of his moral authority.
Of course, Mr Lee is anxious to avoidelections especially at this time. For all his expressions ofcontrition and promises to make amends at the end of the last generalelections, nothing has changed. It is nearly two years since the 2011GE and Mr Lee’s broken promises are still fresh in the minds of Singaporeans:
Wages are still down, inflation isrunning up, HDB prices continue to escalate, public transport isstill as crowded, healthcare costs remain as expensive as ever andthe PAP is going ahead with its dangerous plan of bringing in moreand more foreigners even though our country cannot sustain it.
Singaporeans are fed up. They want change. The SDP stands at the vanguard ofchange. We have advocated a series of alternative policy plans thathave given our fellow Singaporeans a clear view of what that changelooks like. We want:
- Ministerial salaries to be brought downand pegged to the wages of the lowest 20 percent earners (see Ethical Salaries For A Public Service Centered Government),
- The national budget to bere-prioritized to invest in education, SMEs and the needy (see Shadow Budget 2012: Securing Our Future),
- To implement a single-payer system to make our hospitals and healthcare system non-profit making and affordable for everyone (see The SDP National Healthcare Plan: Caring For All Singaporeans),
- To introduce Non-Open Market flats tomake HDB prices affordable for our people (see Housing A Nation: Holistic Policies For Affordable Homes),
- The Government to give Singaporeans priority in employment and stop forcing a 6.5million population on our country by indiscriminately bringing in foreigners (see Singaporeans Come First).
The SDP has been working to raise the standard of opposition politics in Singapore and to bethe party that Singaporeans are looking for: competent,constructive and compassionate.