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The SDP and supporters continued with the Tak Boleh Tahan (TBT) campaign at Toa Payoh yesterday in remembrance of the late J B Jeyaretnam. The activists donned black arm-bands as a mark of respect for the opposition leader.
Mr Jeyaretnam had always spoke up for the poor and down-trodden and yesterday’s exercise was especially poignant in light of the fact that the Government has, in one demented swoop, increased electricity rates by 21 percent. The increase came into effect yesterday.
As they passed out TBT leaflets, the activists reminded residents there that without an opposition in Parliament, the PAP Government was free to implement such intolerable policies especially at a time when the economy is entering a recession and inflation is biting in.
Residents doing their morning marketing swarmed the table at one stage and asked for copies of the flyers. When the issue of the electricity rate hike was raised, some started shaking their heads.
“What for,” said one elderly lady, “give us with the left hand and then take back with the right hand.” She was referring to the Growth Dividends and rebate packages that the Government had given out.
Most of the people read the flyers while the were eating their breakfast and some even whilst they were walking. They were certainly enthralled by the information showing the salaries of the ministers and contrasting those with the hardship of the people.
Mr Jeyaretnam had all his political career been a voice of the working class. He skewered the ministers for paying themselves so lavishly. His calls for human rights and democracy was always to empower the people.
Yesterday’s walkabout continues this long journey to give Singaporeans a voice so that they will not be at the mercy of the Government.
Following the morning event, some of the activists went to Mr Jeyaretnam’s wake at Mount Vernon. There will be a service at the St Andrew’s Cathedral at 2:00 pm on 4 Oct, Saturday. The hearse will leave for the Mandai crematorium following the service at 3:30 pm.
This will be the last opportunity to bid farewell to a man that has sacrficed so much for our nation.
There will also be a candle-light get-together at Hong Lim Park on Saturday beginning from 6:30 to 10:00 pm in honour of the late opposition leader.