In this year’s Christmas message, Ms Regina Chin looks back at a tough 2012 for Singaporeans but looks forward to a positive future in which the SDP can serve the people.$CUT$
Text of Regina Chin’s Christmas Message:
As we move towards the Christmascelebrations and the end of the year, our thoughts naturally lookback on the past year. It is a time of reflection and a time ofassessment. We ask ourselves what we have achieved and how we havecontributed to our community.
We shouldn’t forget that the messageof the founder of Christianity, which is shared by all the majorreligions, is the Golden Rule: Do to others as you would like them todo to you. This is essentially a message of community because it asksus to examine how we have treated our fellow men and women.
2012 has been a difficult year formany, and a challenging year for most. We have struggled with risingprices and wages that will, for yet another year, remain stagnant inreal terms. House prices are reaching record highs as thegovernment’s cooling measures fail to take effect. The number offoreign workers displacing citizens continues to grow andunemployment has been higher for local than for foreign labour.
The economic predictions for next yeargive us cause for concern. By all measures, we will face a year ofslower growth. Analysts have been revising their growth forecasts anumber of times in the last few months and we watch to see how thesituation in Europe as well as in China affect the global economy. Anew administration in the United States, new leaders in Japan, China,Korea, and General Elections across the Causeway add to theuncertainty.
In recent months, the governmentunveiled a feedback programme called the National Conversation. Whilethis could have been an excellent opportunity to listen carefully andhumbly to the views of the people, instead the government chose tostage-manage the process to such a degree that many have withdrawnfrom it. They rightly think it is a move to validate the PAP ratherthan genuinely kickstart a process of reflection and renewal.
The government appears to be strugglingto understand the concerns of our people even as they face veryserious administrative challenges. The handling of the recent strikeby bus drivers from China, alongside several other industrial actionsover the year, have shown us that the government does not understandthe challenges the people face. The resignation of the Speaker addsfurther to our lack of confidence and worry about the quality ofleadership.
And so, we move into 2013 with a senseof unease, unsure of what the future will bring and whether ourgovernment will be able to meet the challenges. For the welfare ofour people, we hope it does.
We at the SDP reflect on a year of hardwork and intensive initiatives to refine our policies and disseminatethem to the electorate.
In February we issued our second ShadowBudget and shortly after, in March, we published our healthcarepolicy paper. Later in the year we published our housing proposals.We based our calculations on an underlying philosophy of quality,affordable services which meet the real needs of our citizens.
We also managed to accomplish a gooddeal of work in Communications and Ground Operations. The partywebsite has been totally revamped and we completed another of ourLet’s Talk video series. We carried out several largescalewalkabouts throughout the year and a series of Residents BlockParties and Open Houses.
We hope to continue to serve you inthis way in 2013 and to share with a wider audience our alternativeproposals for the good of Singapore.
The internet has widened the space forSingaporeans to engage with one another and also to participate inpolicymaking. Despite their mistrust of the people and the beliefthat we should leave our country’s government to better minds, ourpeople have shown through their commitment and good sense, that theyare more than capable of being equal partners in nationbuilding.
This is a beneficial change for Singapore. It givescitizens a sense of belonging and comforts us, as we see thegovernment stumbling from one difficulty to another, that we are ableto improve on policy through our contributions.
At the SDP, wefeel positive about the future, despite the challenges ahead. We areconfident of the good sense of our fellow Singaporeans and have nodoubt about their commitment to our nation.
We look forward toanother year of meeting and serving the people. We invite you to joinus in our venture.
From all us here at the Singapore Democrats, wewish you a happy Christmas and a successful and fulfilling yearahead.