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The Singapore Democrats held a dinner at Fort Canning Centre last Saturday night to thank our campaign workers during GE 2011. Nearly 400 members and volunteers turned up at the get-together.
Dr Vincent Wijeysingha who was the canididate for the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC thanked our guests and called on them to continue to help the Party on the ‘Road to 2016’ when the next general elections is expected to be held.
Principal Election Agent, Mr Jeffrey George, also addressed the audience. He highlighted many of the inconsistencies in regulations and procedures emanating from the Elections Department especially during Polling Day. This caused much confusion and inconvenience to the Party’s operations and poll monitoring.
Secretary-General Chee Soon Juan spoke next and called on the volunteers and new members to build on the foundation of the Party by working the ground.
“There is no shortcut. We need to work and work hard,” he said in his presentation. “We need to invest our time on the ground. We need to expend our energy. That’s the only way that we are going to get things done and earn our support.”
He also laid out plans for the SDP to step up its ground work in the constituencies that the Party had contested in with one addition: Tanjong Pagar GRC.
“Let us get to the ground and let us convince the people of Sembawang, Holland, Bukit Timah, Bukit Panjang, Yuhua and, if I may add, Tanjong Pagar that we are worthy of their support, worthy to be their political leaders, and worthy to be their public servants.”
This would close a geographical corridor that the Democrats will be working on: from Sembawang GRC in the north, to Holland and Bukit Timah in the middle, to Tanjong Pagar in the southern part of the island.
Dr Chee also announced plans to form sub-committees to design and implement programmes that would streamline the Party’s ground work as well as serve residents in the constituencies.
Some of these include community services, communications, training and development, policy studies, fund-raising, and ground operations.
The community services sub-committee will look into progarmmes that would, for instance, provide legal and medical assistance for needy families. Other ideas include reaching out to youths who may otherwise feel dislocated from the community. This can be done through programmes that would facilitate their involvement and integration in community affairs.
The communications sub-committee will, among other things, look into getting the SDP’s message directly across to the residents as the Party’s news is still heavily censored by the state media.
The policy studies group will identify problem areas in the PAP’s policies, study them and write the Party’s alternatives programmes. This will further strengthen our position as constructive opposition party capable of producing realsitic and workable solutions for our country’s problems.
The Party will also look into providing training sessions through the training and development sub-committee to develop the potential of our members and volunteers. This will enhance the effectiveness of the party in our internal operations as well as our rapport with the public.
Many among the dinner attendees signed up as members. Among them were professionals in various fields with skills and expertise which we hope to tap for the various sub-committees.
As the venue was filled to capacity last night, we will be contacting more of our volunteers for another get-together.
We encourage our supporters who may not have had the chance to volunteer for our campaign during the GE but who would like to get involved, to email us at [email protected]. There’s no time to waste, let’s get busy on the Road to 2016.