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Continuing with our groundwork as we push towards the next general elections, Singapore Democrats held a block party for residents at Holland Drive on Sunday, 14 Oct 2012. The estate borders the Tanjong Pagar and Holland Bukit Timah GRCs.$CUT$
It was another opportunity to spend time getting to know the people and to be of assistance to them.
One case involved a 62-year-old lady who works as a cleaner and is paid $700 per month. She told the SDP team that she was often left without cash because she receives her pay late. She stays alone in a rented flat and is behind in her utilities payments which have totaled more than $200.
She uses her income mainly to pay for polyclinic bills. She tried to apply for social welfare assistance but was rejected and told to continue to work.
She asked the SDP to help her write to the authorities to waive or reduce her utilities charges.
A couple talked with us about the high HDB prices and were looking to downgrade because they wanted to retire and needed some income. They were unsuccessful in the balloting and could not afford to buy from the resale market as the prices were too high.
Members also explained The SDP National Healthcare Plan to residents. Many were receptive of our proposal to lower out-of-pocket payments for patients and agreed that the Government should shoulder a greater burden of the national healthcare expenditure.
A few of the residents helped us spread the news to the residents inthe vicinity when they learntthat the SDP was going to hold our Block Party in the estate. Several showed up from areas where we did not distribute our flyers.
A hawker turned up to take us to meet his friends who were congregated for their usual Sunday morning breakfast. He intimated that the MP for their area, Mr Chan Chun Sing, was not as well-liked as Mr Lim Swee Say, the former MP and encouraged the SDP to send a team to contest there.
Such events allow the Singapore Democrats to get up close with residents and listen to their views. The number of people whom we meet are much less than at our walkabouts. However, this is more than made up for the friendships we make and, hopefully, this will build the faith and trust of the people in the SDP.