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Democrats kicked off the GE2011 campaign with a rousing rally at an open field in the Commonwealth estate. All of the 11 candidates took to the stage to press home the SDP’s case against the uncaring and out-of-touch policies of the PAP.
Candidate for Yuhua, Ms Teo Soh Lung led with the first speech of the evening. She touched on issues relating to government transparency, and questioned the quality of the PAP leadership.
Mr John Tan, who leads the Sembawang team, raised the immigration policy and its impact on employment and wages. He strongly advocated for the SDP’s Singaporeans First policy which requires employers to create an environment where Singaporeans are employed before a case can be made for employing a foreigner.
Mr Sadasivam Veriyah spoke eloquently in Tamil, English and Malay, addressing the concerns of the people in relation to being ignored by the government and finding it impossible to enable their voices to be heard.
Mr Mohd Isa addressed the crowd in Malay, with some remarks in English at the end of his speech. He addressed housing issues and told the people that this election is about them, rather than about the PAP.
Bukit Panjang candidate, Mr Alec Tok, showing a good grasp of constituency issues, addressed serious local problems in Bukit Panjang including gangsterism. He also questioned why Singaporean children are being given second priority in education.
Mr Jarrod Luo, our youngest candidate, speaking effortlessly in English and Mandarin, gave a rousing speech where he highlighted the PAP’s shortcomings and advised the crowd to vote PAP if it wanted more of the same.
Dr James Gomez, challenged the health policies of the current Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan who is his contender in Sembawang GRC. He highlighted how the minister’s shameful statements about parents being placed in nursing homes in Johor are not new but were also made previously.
Ms Michelle Lee, a mother of three and a teacher of underprivileged children asked the audience to reclaim Singapore for themselves and not allow the PAP’s rhetoric to sidetrack them from their desire for change and progress. Michelle completed her speech with some remarks in Chinese which were well-received.
Mr Tan Jee Say took the crowd through a reasoned defence of his economic proposals, contained in a highly-regarded paper that the government has been at pains to criticise. He showed how the government’s criticisms of his proposals are totally at variance with sound economic thinking and reveals the government’s short-sightedness in refusing to consider alternative ideas. Mr Tan also made some remarks in Mandarin.
Dr Vincent Wijeysingha addressed the deep-seated concerns of the people about the quality of the government’s social policy and encouraged the audience to recognise that, whereas the government is warning people of the ill effects of opposition wins, in fact those fears have already been realised with its mismanagement of the economy and society these last five years.
Dr Ang Yong Guan was the last, and extremely, popular speaker. Moving back and forth between English and Mandarin with a lot of dialect thrown in, he fired the crowd’s imagination with his observations of the quality of life, from his political (and professional) standpoints.
The highlight of the evening was the signing of The SDP Promise which all the candidates did. The SDP Promise is a 10-point pledge to residents if our candidates are voted into office which include contributing 50 percent of their MPs’ allowance to the party to upgrade our services to our constituents.
Danny the Democracy Bear was of course on hand to lend some assistance. He was on stage to encourage his colleagues as they gave their all in lively evening.
Apologies for sound system
Many of those who attended the rally said that those standing at the back of the crowd could not hear the speakers very well. We apologise for the problem. The situation will be rectified and the sound system will be improved for tomorrow’s rally at the Jurong Stadium starting at 7 pm.
Date/time: 29 Apr 2011, Friday, 7pm
Venue: Jurong East Stadium, 21 Jurong East St 31
Nearest MRT: Chinese Garden