The SDP has launched our policy papertitled A Singapore for All Singaporeans: Addressing the Concerns ofthe Malay Community in which we propose a 10-point plan to improvethe conditions of the Malay community in Singapore:$CUT$
1. Improve economic conditions. Interms of earning power, 20% of Malay families live on less than$1,500/month. Malays still significantly lag the Chinese and Indiansin terms of earning power. The SDP will push for minimum wage andretrenchment benefits to help uplift the Malay communityeconomically.
2. Make healthcare affordable.Healthcare in Singapore is expensive. Many Singaporeans avoidscreenings and are saddled with huge debts when they arehospitalised. Also, low-income mothers with poor nutrition are likelyto give birth to babies of low birth weight and this could affect thechild’s learning abilities in later years. To keep healthcareaffordable, the SDP’s healthcare plan proposes that
- Medisave be scrapped and the money returned to our CPF accounts.
- Singaporeans pay an average of $40/month (taken from our CPF) into a national fund. This is one-third of what we currently pay into Medisave.
- When we are hospitalised, we pay only 10% of the bill, the government pays 90% from the national fund. For more information about SDP’s heathcare plan, click here.
3. Nationalise pre-school education.Kindergarten education can affect future learning and classroomachievement of students. As such, the Ministry of Education shouldtake charge of kindergartens and provide trained teachers andinexpensive fees instead of leaving pre-schools unregulated.
4. Lower tertiary education fees.Malays make up only 5% of university students, compared to 22% forthe Chinese and 35% for Indians. To help reduce this gap, the SDPproposes that tertiary education fees be lowered so that all studentswho qualify, especially those from needy families, can afford itsfees.
5. Fund madrasahs. Madrasahs do notreceive state funds even though their students take the PSLE andO-level exams. Under the SDP alternative, Madrasahs will receivestate assistance in funding, consistent with the government fundingmissionary schools. In return, madrasah schools will recruitnon-Muslim teachers to teach secular subjects.
6. End discrimination in the SAF.Distrust of Singaporean Malays to serve in the SAF will breeddisloyalty and negatively affect our country’s national security. TheSDP proposes that recruitment and promotion of SAF personnel,including NSmen, be based on performance and not race.
7. Introduce the Fair Employment Act.Workplace discrimination against minority ethnic groups remians aproblem. Anti-discrimination legislation should be introduced tominimise the problem.
8. Abolish the Ethnic IntegrationProgramme (EIP). The EIP restricts where ethic minorities may live.This is unfair as the political voice of these groups is dissipated.Also, re-sale prices of their HDB flats are negatively affectedbecause they can only sell their flats to their own race which haslower buying power. The SDP alternative will abolish the EIP.
9. Make housing affordable. Publichousing in Singapore is very expensive. The SDP has drawn up analternative housing plan that makes HDB flats affordable: We want tointroduce Non-Open Market (NOM) flats where HDB sells flats withoutadding the cost of land.
This reduces prices by more than halfof present levels. The reduced prices allow flat owners to save theirCPF money for retirement or to make other investments. If and whenNOM owners want to sell their flats, however, they have to sell themback to the HDB. For more information about SDP’s housing plan, click here.
10. Make Mendakinon-partisan. Mendaki was first set up more than 30 years ago toraise the level of education of Malays. After three decades of itsexistence, the majority of Malays are still lagging in education.This is because Mendaki is highly partisan with a PAP minister as itschairman and several PAP MPs on its board of directors.
The SDP wants to see Mendaki’sgoverning body nominated by civil society and Malay-Muslimorganisations to be confirmed through a parliamentary process andserve a two-year term. The unhealthy practice of putting PAP membersin the organisation’s leadership structure will stop.
To read the full copy of A Singapore for All Singaporeans: Addressing the Concerns of the Malay Community, please clickhere.