Tan Kin Lian: SDP’s alternative economic vision sensible

June 14, 2010
Singapore Democrats

This post is at least a year old. Some of the links in this post may no longer work correctly.

Singapore Democrats

Former NTUC Income CEO and financial analyst, Mr Tan Kin Lian, has come out in support of the Singapore Democrats’ economic proposal. Mr Tan says that he finds the alternative programme “to be quite sensible”.

Mr Tan writes his own blog and, in one of his posts, he highlighted the high cost of living in Singapore, widening wage gap, and stagnant incomes as problem areas in the current state of our economy. “What is the alternative?” he asked and pointed to the SDP’s programme.

Mr Tan came into prominence in the local scene when he championed the cause of investors who were hit by the toxic mini-bonds saga in 2008. He organised weekly meetings at the Speakers’ Corner which attracted hundreds of participants.

Mr Tan is of the view that Singapore needs an egalitarian economic system. This is also the Democrats’ position. Singapore must work towards an economy where everyone benefits. At present we have the PAP’s unsustainable elitist system where the super rich keep on getting richer at the expense of the rest of society.

The key elements of the SDP’s programme are:

  • changing the way we measure economic growth by using other indices of well-being of the people rather than just relying on the GDP. A high GDP figure does not indicate how the poorer segments of society benefit, if at all,  from the growth. The SDP proposes using the Genuine Progress Index instead of, or in conjunction with, the GDP.

  • narrowing the income divide by introducing minimum wage legislation, implementing a retrenchment entitlement policy, and increasing spending for social programmes especially those helping the needy and elderly. These policies provide a safety net for those who fall through the economic crack. They also give people greater spending power which ultimately benefits the economy.

  • moving away from being overly dependent on multinational corporations (MNCs) and start to cultivate homegrown entrepreneurs. To achieve this we also need to dismantle our Government-linked companies (GLCs) which are monopolising the domestic commercial sector. Our dependence on MNCs and GLCs is a main reason why the income gap is so wide.

The PAP often accuses the opposition of not being able to offer Singaporeans a viable alternative. This is completely untrue. The Singapore Democrats have been and will always be a party that is constructive and offers solutions for our nation’s problems.

This elections the SDP will focus on our economic platform which is workable, realistic and necessary for our country. For a complete account of the our proposal, please click here.