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Neighborhood gossip guilds, mahjong kakis, kopitiam beer buddies, and soccer fan clubs. What do these groups have in common? A lot according to the SDP’s GO! (Ground Operations) team.
These are the residents’ groups that the party’s Ground Operations Sub-Committee are going to tap into to beef up the SDP’s grassroots campaign. The mission? To make our presence on the ground even more significant.
Attended by 20 participants at the workshop held last Saturday to chart the Road to 2016, the GO! team’s blueprint will revolve around a cell system that will include working with groups mentioned above.
The Sub-Committee is further divided into five units to focus in the following functional areas: walkabouts, social functions, recruitment, forums, and campus networking.
Our plans for walkabouts and door-to-door visits to the residents will continue as they have before GE 2011. These activities will take place in the various zones that we have identified in the northern, central and southern parts of the island. They will include constituencies that we contested in the elections as well as in areas adjoining these wards including the present Tanjong Pagar GRC.
The social functions unit will bring members and Singaporeans together to meet and mingle so that the public can get to know the party better and what we hope to achieve for Singapore.
In collaboration with other Sub-Committees especially Policy Studies, GO! will organise public forums to address the issues and concerns that affect residents.
An important aspect of GO!’s work will be to reach out to our student population. The Singapore Democrats have been concerned about the de-politicisation of an entire generation of young Singaporeans.
This has led to our youths becoming apathetic about national issues. As a result we have squandered away our most prized asset: young, creative and dynamic Singaporeans who hold the key to the success of the future of this nation.
The SDP’s campus network units aims to reverse this process by connecting with tertiary-level students on campuses and engaging them on relevant issues through group discussions and/or forums. Through the process we hope to empower youths to question the status quo and to take proactive roles in their community.
A few years ago, SDP leaders visited the various campuses at the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and the National Institute of Education. Then, university officials stopped the Democrats from engaging the students. Pro-PAP student bodies, in the meantime, continued to invite government ministers and other opposition parties to its functions while excluding the SDP.
Officialdom continues to use the education system to propagandize for the PAP instead of educating them of the need and importance of independent and critical thinking.
Finally the recruitment unit will, as the name suggests, focus on expanding the membership base of the SDP. We saw a surge in the number of Singaporeans joining us following the recently concluded GE.
Facilitated by Mr John Tan and Mr Sylvester Lim, GO! will be the backbone in the party’s operations as we move forward to expand our presence on the ground in our quest to win seats in parliament and be the voice for Singaporeans.