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This year will go down in history as the first time that Singapore’s opposition has put up a Shadow Budget. The Singapore Democrats are proud of notching up another first. With
Shadow Budget 2011: Empowering the Nation, we continue to push ourselves to attain the 3 Cs we have set for ourselves, that is, to be a competent, constructive and compassionate party.
We do this in an earnest attempt to take politics in Singapore to a new level.
One aspect of a competent opposition party is the ability to analyse the government’s policies and proposals. In this regard, we hope that we have been able to meet the expectations of the people. A party also needs to articulate clearly what it stands in opposition to the government and delineate the differences so that the electorate has a clear idea of the choice before it.
This is where research comes in. A dedicated policy studies team led by Dr Vincent Wijeysingha has quite adequately pointed out the weaknesses of the PAP’s policies and, more importantly, provided the evidence to substantiate what we say. This, again, requires a certain level of political competence which we continue to strive for.
Not only have we pointed out where the PAP has gone astray, we have also made it a point to propose alternative programmes and provided expenditure estimates of our own to show how these programmes are paid for. We take pride in highlighting the fact that we were able to achieve our funding without adding to the total expenditure laid out in the 2010 Budget.
In this regard, we continue to strengthen our second C: To be a construtive opposition party. Our opponents cannot accuse us of being weak in this department. With the publication of
It’s About You, our alternative economic manifesto, and the various policies we have proposed on this website on education, transport, National service and so on, we have established the SDP as a serious alternative to the PAP.
Through the years, we have challenged ourselves to think more deeply and and rigorously about what is good for the country and to come up with concrete and workable solutions. Our party culture has evolved in not a small way on this front.
There is also our third C, compassion. When we look around us and we see the amount of hardship and poverty that exists in Singapore, we are moved to making sure that the policies we propose are genuinely inclusive and capable of levelling up society. Our expenditure allocation in the Shadow Budget encompasses this party value of a caring government.
We make no apology for proposing a vision that is diametrically opposite to the PAP’s because we see the current policies of relying on cheap labour and easy money from overseas as fundamentally dishonest and ultimately unsustainable.
Compassion has long been a dirty word in the PAP’s world, one where self-centredness and economic growth at all cost predominate. We must make compassion a decent concept again, one that is real and part of our lives.
More than a catch phrase, we want Singaporeans to know that competence, constructiveness, and compassion are qualities that we the Singapore Democrats embody and ones that we will put into practice in our endeavour to serve this nation and lead it to a new and better future.