Sell the SDP “product” to the political “customer”? No thanks

May 25, 2010
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

A letter writer to the Straits Times Forum has accused Dr Chee Soon Juan for losing the plot and making “tired ramblings”, among other things. He advises Dr Chee to re-invent himself and to sell the SDP as a “product” to the Singaporean “customer”.

But Forum Editor Mr Yap Koon Hong has refused to publish the SDP leader’s reply, saying that Dr Chee had “cast aspersion” on the integrity of the newspaper. This excuse shows how desperate the local media are in making sure that the public does not get to hear and read the Dr Chee’s views.
In another letter, Mr Roy Ong says that the SDP needs to be constructive and not confrontational. Below are Dr Chee’s replies.

All in all, there were six letters that the Straits Times published on 17 April 2010 about the SDP secretary-general.  But the newspaper has refused to publish Dr Chee’s his replies because, in what must be a world’s first, the editor said that Dr Chee had accused the Straits Times, fully owned and run by the PAP Government, of being unfair. (See here and here)

Sell the SDP “product” to the political “customer”? No thanks

I thank Mr Han Tau Kwang for his advice (Chee must reinvent himself, ST, 17 Apr 2010) on how to package the SDP’s “product” to sell it to the political “customer”. Unfortunately it is such kind of politics that has caused people to be so distrustful of politics and politicians.

Politics is also about principles, not just packaging. At the SDP we abide by and advocate principles of democracy, principles upon which a civilised society is built. This is the bedrock of our party.

A party and its politicians who will say or do anything to win votes is not a party that can be relied on to tell the truth to the people. A party that bends in whichever direction the wind blows, especially in an autocratic system like Singapore’s, is a party that acts in its own interest, not the people’s.

Of course, the SDP wants to be a popular party but not at the expense of what is right for Singapore’s future, and certainly not at the expense of the principles of democracy. If the foundations are right, the future will take care of itself.

What is right for our nation’s future is openness, transparency and democratic accountability, political traits that are sorely lacking under the PAP system.

Having said that, the writer may wish to note that with the advent of the Internet, the SDP’s “tired ramblings” have attracted, and is continuing to attract, a growing number of Singaporeans who are getting tired of the PAP’s autocratic ways.

Mr Han also says that the ability of the ruling People’s Action Party to “transform itself to respond to the changing needs of the electorate is also well known.”

Is the writer serious? As recently as the 2006 elections MM Lee Kuan Yew said: “Please do not assume that you can change governments. Young people don’t understand this.”

It is clear the PAP is still as undemocratic as ever and unwilling to mend its ways even as the times and the electorate demand it. It just has to sell itself as one that is lightening up.

Is Mr Han helping to re-package the PAP and sell the “product” to the Singaporean “customer”? Is this is the kind of politics that the writer is asking the SDP to engage in? Thanks, but no thanks.

In the age of the Internet such propagandistic and gimmicky politics will be ripped to shreds by informed netizens, as is presently happening Singapore’s cyberspace.

The SDP will continue to remain true to our principles and to the Singaporean people.

Chee Soon Juan
Secretary-General
Singapore Democratic Party

Read Mr Han Tau Kwang’s letter, (5) Chee must reinvent himself, here.


Constructive opposition? Then read SDP’s alternative ideas

Mr Roy Ong wishes to see a more constructive opposition in Parliament. (I want constructive, not confrontational, politics, ST, Apr 17, 2010) In that case he ought to read the SDP’s Alternative Economic Programme (click here) on which the mass media refuses to report.

The irony is that the PAP, which the writer supports, is also the party that controls the media, a media that block news about the SDP’s alternative ideas. Perhaps, this is why Mr Ong continues to think that the SDP does not “add value to national politics”.

If Mr Ong is genuinely interested in wanting to see a more constructive type of opposition and not just spout the untruth that the SDP is not a constructive opposition, then we wait to hear from him on what he thinks about our alternative programme.

Chee Soon Juan
Secretary-General
Singapore Democratic Party

Read Mr Roy Ong’s letter, (6) I want constructive, not confrontational, politics, here.


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