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The SDP kept up our ground effort in preparation for the next elections. Even though the GE is not expected until 2016, we are not waiting until the last minute to get our message to our voters.$CUT$
Yesterday, members visited nearly 20 blocks in the Marsiling area which is part of the Sembawang GRC where we contested in 2011.
We continued to be warmly received with many residents indicating that they wanted to receive our newspaper, The New Democrat, and e-newsletter, SDP Connect. Several signed up as volunteers.
As with previous visits, many of the residents related the pressures of the high cost of living. A Malay lady told us of her difficulties to make ends meet. She is the sole bread-winner working as a cleaner for $800 per month. She takes care of her mother-in-law who is sick. Her husband was recently retrenched and her son is still in school.
She is saddled with hefty medical bills which she cannot completely pay off. The electricity was cut off after she owed the PUB more than $400. A kind neighbour helped her pay the bills.
She approached MUIS for help but the officials there grilled her with many questions and even asked her to volunteer with the organisation before they would offer her financial support. She indicated that her PAP MP, Mr Hawaizi Daipi, hasn’t been of much assistance.
Another Malay man who was married to a Filipino woman with three sons said that he still cannot obtain PR for his wife despite more than 13 years of marriage. He said that nationals from China seem to get their PRs easily.
A resident who operates as a karang guni man could not find a job and had to resort to collecting used items for sale to make a living. He was threatened by the Sembawang Town Council several times with fines because he left the collected items along the corridor, adding that the Town Council personnel was very unfriendly. He also lamented that the PAP is not taking care of the citizens.
Another resident was very happy to see us but noted that his friends were afraid to vote for the opposition because they feared that their votes could be traced. We assured him that the voting process is secret and the authorities cannot tell who individual voters voted for.
A group of Malay residents invited us to a gathering where they discussed current affairs.
As with previous visits, we will be meeting with our new-found friends for kopi sessions to keep them involved and informed of our activities. We want to continue to listen to them and hear what they have to say about their concerns and what we can do to help.
The campaign continues…onward to GE2016!