Today the SDP is proud to unveil our manifesto, The Way Forward. A manifesto is a declaration of a political party’s vision and policies for the country.
This is exactly what The Way Forward is – a document that lays out the SDP’s plans on what Singapore needs to do to secure a bright and democratic future, and how the SDP will go about it to fulfill this vision.
Foremost is our guiding principle “people before profit, rights before riches, wisdom before wealth” which is etched on the back cover. It is more than a slogan; it undergirds our policies which occupy the centre of our manifesto.
In other words, we put our people first, we uphold democracy, and we eschew short-term fixes for our nation’s problems – an approach that is diametrically opposite to what the PAP does.
Chairman Paul Tambyah welcomed guests and highlighted the SDP's mission to build a Singapore where all Singaporeans have the equal opportunity to progress and succeed. He also talked about the 3Cs of being competent, constructive and compassionate.
Young Democrat (YD) Naresh Subramaniam (pictured above) also spoke. He told the audience that he joined the SDP because he believed in the party's values and philosophy of speaking up for the underdog and our emphasis on putting people first. He also highlighted the fact that he and his fellow YDs are proud of the work they are doing and helping to build the SDP into a party of and for the future.
Mr Ben Pwee, who joined the SDP earlier this year, then spoke about the SDP's policies. Our ideas and proposals in the key areas such as cost of living, healthcare, housing, population, the economy, education, the Malay community, ministerial salaries offer Singaporeans a viable set of policies to take Singapore forward. Many of our ideas have been adopted by the government and echoed by PAP MPs.
An important segment in the manifesto is our plans for running of town councils in the eventuality that we win our contests. We have spelt out in detail how we are going to effect a smooth and seamless takeover of the running of the estates as well as described how we are going to be transparent and accountable in running town council operations.
We make explicit our policies and plans because this is what voters expect from parties asking for their votes. It is the least that a responsible and constructive party can and should do.
In short, we want to give Singaporeans a reason to vote for the SDP, not just against the PAP. We want to paint a clear picture of the alternative Singapore that we are calling the people to vote for.
These alternative policies will form the thrust of our message in the coming GE and The Way Forward forges that clear path that we are taking in our campaign.