So what are you going to do about another hike?

September 12, 2003
Singapore Democrats

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Chee Siok Chin
Head, Women Democrats

The PAP government has done it again this time increasing in the prices of hospital services.

Despite the economic downturn, the government has so far increased charges for usage of electricity, bus and MRT fares, car park fees, GST (to begin next year) and now hospital charges.

It is typical of the ruling party to implement policies in such an imperious manner. Decisions are made based purely in a dollars and cents perspective. Little consideration is accorded to those who are barely making ends meet and (heaven forbid) have to be hospitalized due to ill health.

Singaporeans may be outraged. But no one can do anything about it, at least, not with the present political system that the PAP has forced upon Singaporeans.

Some write to the newspapers, others to the Ministry of Health, and yet others moan about it over the Internet. However, these are just avenues to vent ones frustrations. Blunt as it sounds, nothing these well-meaning Singaporeans say will matter to the PAP.

Little has changed in the governments style over the past four decades. However, our way of life, our needs, our ideals are certainly evolving. The autocratic system must not be accepted as the norm under which a democratic country is governed.

Singaporeans must know that we have the right to have our concerns and hardships heard, and to pressure the government to change its uncaring and unthinking policies. Tons of letters from the public have been written to the various Ministries regarding some of these unwelcome policies, unfortunately, with little impact on the policy-makers here.

So what can Singaporeans do to influence the decisions that this government dishes out to the very people it is supposed to serve?

The only way this government is going sit up and really listen to the people is when its policies are challenged and transparency of its motives insisted upon. Singaporeans must not forget that this government, like all governments, must be responsible for its actions and must be held accountable to its people.

The SDP is the party that has been working towards this end. It wants to educate and empower Singaporeans. It has stood up to the PAP government and challenged its authoritarian ways. To this end, support from Singaporeans for the SDP is imperative if we are serious about making this government listen and care for the people whose very lives are in their hands.

The Singapore Democrats have made a commitment to champion the cause of the oppressed and injustice in Singapore. However, we need to do this in partnership with the people. Support from you in any form goes a long way into making our country one that Singaporeans can really claim ownership of.