Suzana W. Pereira
I believe in the SDP and all that it is doing in the best interests of all Singaporeans.
I believe in the freedom of speech and expression. I can’t go on living in a country where most citizens are in mortal fear of expressing their pain, stress, anger and disapproval of huge numbers of foreigners who, with the help of the PAP, make us second class citizens, in our own country.
I resent the fact that we are not treated as rightful citizens of the country we are born and bred in. We are being short-changed of our many rights.
An example is the sick elderly, many of whom are put in hospital corridors when they are hospitalised. On the other hand, financially able foreign patients are accommodated in comfortable rooms.
There is much dissatisfaction and anger about Singaporeans not being able to withdraw their CPF at 55 years of age, as originally promised by the PAP government.
Singaporeans feel insecure and under pressure when employers look to hiring foreigner first because they will accept lower wages.
I remember that one of the SDP’s policies that attracted my attention was its retrenchment insurance scheme. Should a Singaporean worker lose his or her job, there is a kind of compensation based on their last drawn salary for about a year and if still unemployed, another six months of a reduced amount would be paid to them.
In the meantime, the government will help these retrenched workers look for jobs. This policy and many others that are beneficial to Singaporeans can only come to fruition when the SDP is voted into Parliament.
So, when I was invited to the SDP’s campaign launch on 10 January 2015 (the slogan was Your Voice In Parliament} I did not hesitate to attend. I wanted to be better informed about alternative policies the SDP has to offer.
Having attended the talk, I was very impressed with what I saw and heard. I was drawn by the humility and selflessness of Dr Chee Soon Juan. Unlike the PAP, who practises character assassination of their political rivals, Dr Chee prefers to focus on offering viable alternatives to the policies of the PAP which, in my view, do not serve the interests of Singaporeans.
Because of my advanced age, I am unsure about my usefulness to the SDP. Nevertheless, I will do what I can to bring about change in Singapore because I am greatly inspired by Dr Chee’s evident passion for justice and democracy, which I share.
When Ms Chee Siok Chin approached me to sign on as a member but I initially refused, thinking about my age. However, Ms Chee was most encouraging and dispelled all my doubts about my ability to contribute to the party. I first signed on as a volunteer, to test the waters, and after almost 5 months, I am now a proud member of the SDP.
I have renewed hope and passion for the future of Singapore. My dream is now to see Dr Chee Soon Juan and his dedicated team, in Parliament, as the alternative voice of the people.
Susan Pereira is a retiree. She had worked in the public relations department at SingTel.