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Following the announcement of The SDP Promise where the party pledges to hold town hall meetings to gather feedback from constituents on policy matters if elected, Today pointed out that Mr Mah Bow Tan from Tampines GRC has been conducting such meetings with his residents.
The newspaper wanted to know how the SDP town hall meetings would be different from the Tampines ones. Below is the SDP’s response:
The SDP-proposed Town Hall meetings are designed with one purpose: To listen to the people and to carry their concerns with us to Parliament.
This cannot be more different from the town halls held in Tampines by Mr Mah Bow Tan which are, essentially, organised to talk at the residents. PAP forums are meant to get their members and supporters to propagate what the Government wants the constituents to hear and comply with.
If the PAP town halls are truly designed to listen to the people, then many of its policies such as exorbitant ministerial salaries, high HDB prices, influx of foreign workers would not be standing today.
It is because the PAP has put in place an undemocratic system to allow it to do as it pleases that make its town halls and other kinds of forums meaningless wayang sessions.
The SDP has attempted to hold meetings with the residents in the past but we have been denied the right to do so. One example, is the sale of the Fajar wet market to Sheng Shiong. At that time we had applied for a permit to have a public forum with residents of Bukit Panjang over the issue.
The police, however, banned the meeting. This is the undemocratic practice put in place by the PAP that allows the government to do as it pleases without regard to the views of the people.
Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratic Party
The party will officially launch The SDP Promise this afternoon. With this Promise, we bring politics and public service in Singapore to a new level where Singaporeans will take charge of their own political destiny.
The SDP Promise is a pledge to run government in a transparent and accountable manner. We want to give back the governance of Singapore back to Singaporeans.
This is a practice completely alien to the PAP which has hijacked the political process and made the people serve the government instead of the government serving the people.
So come to the launch this afternoon and support this landmark initiative. We are going on a walkabout to publicise this document immediately following the launch and we invite you to join us. Transport will be provided.