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Without doubt, the Singapore Democratic Party has established itself as a leader when it comes to constructing workable and realistic alternative policies. We have done this through our Manifesto, It’s About You and Shadow Budget 2011.
This is set to grow stronger as we set up our Policy Studies Sub-Committee which is tasked with tracking and studying PAP Government policies. We will provide Singaporeans with detailed alternative plans on how Singapore should proceed.
This process was set in motion last Saturday when 40 participants were in the thick of drawing up plans to get the Policy Studies Sub-Committee and its work underway.
Facilitated by Mr Tan Jee Say and Dr James Gomez, the group got down to brass tacks by coming up with a working structure. The Sub-Committee was sub-divided into three units focusing on the political, economic, and social aspects of policy-making.
The units will track policy matters of the 15 ministries and highlight current policy concerns. They will organise focus group discussions and public forums.
This process will enable the party to consult Singaporeans so that the public is intimately involved in the policies that will affect them. Policy briefs and position papers will be published.
All of this will ultimately feed into our party manifesto.
The Political Unit, coordinated by Mr Jeremy Chen, will track the Prime Minister`s Office and the Ministries of Law; Home Affairs; Foreign Affairs; and Defence. Because of the impending presidential elections, it will focus on issues surrounding the subject including the eligibility criteria and the selection process of presidential candidates.
The Economic Unit will focus on the Ministries of Finance; National Development; Manpower; Trade and Industry; and Transport. The Unit will embark on reviewing the party’s current economic policies.
The third cluster is the Social Unit which will review policies on social integration and public housing as its immediate task. It will monitor policies coming from the Ministries of Community Development, Youth and Sports; Education; Environment and Water Resources; Health; and Information, Communication and the Arts.
The Sub-Committee is also looking into establishing a research and development unit to collect and organize data in key policy areas, undertake primary research via surveys and interviews, and conduct research training. There is also the consideration of setting up a think-tank to conduct policy research.
To aid in our efforts to formulate alternative policies, the SDP will set up advisory panels in key policy areas such as healthcare, law, media and the arts, economics and education.
The set up will enable the SDP to continue our leadership in providing solutions to the problems created by the PAP and its policies.