Apr 9

Not long ago when I attended my first women caucus of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) in Batanes, Phlippines, I remember telling the participants that the SDP did not have a women’s wing because of the small number of women in the party.

(I said – to great laughter – that we were so few in number that the previous women’s caucus was attended by our former chairman, Mr Gandhi Ambalam.)

I am proud to say that, today, we have grown so much so that the Women Democrats, headed by Chee Siok Chin, are now the engine of the party.

(Photo: Jaslyn Go, with fellow Woman Democrat Chong Wai Fung, in a discussion with SDP Secretary-General Dr Chee Soon Juan at a CALD conference.)

But being a woman and a mother (I have two lovely children) and being actively engaged in a political party is not easy. There are meetings to attend, walkabouts to go, and events to organise on top of taking care of family.

I am not complaining. I chose to have kids and I am glad I did. I see my role in the SDP as a service to my country. My role as a mother does not hinder my pursuit of democracy in Singapore. I have learned to strike a balance between being a mother, wife, daughter and my contribution to the SDP – the party I believe will bring change we so badly need in Singapore.

But even then, I have been criticised for doing what I believe in. Years ago, I was prosecuted for participating in an illegal assembly. Even though I had to attend court, I did not let that affect my responsibilities as a mother. I asked the court for early breaks so that I could rush home to send my children to school and then to pick them up.

I was criticised for being a bad mother who exposed my kids to the danger of protests. Fast forward to 16 February 2013 where about five thousand people turned up to protest against the Government’s population white paper. Among them were young children, some of them even holding placards.

(Photo: Jaslyn Go with her kids at the Tak Boleh Tahan protest in 2008, far left; kids at the protest against the White Paper in 2013)

As parents, we should use opportunities to impart the right values to our children – values of justice, equality and democracy – and not just press to do well in exams. I am not just bringing up my children, I am also teaching them to become good and responsible citizens of tomorrow. I love them and that is why I want them to inherit a democratic society in the future.

I’m heartened that, finally, people see that peaceful protests are a legitimate way of expressing themselves and, when I look back, I am glad that I stood together with my party leaders, Dr Chee and Siok Chin and others, and fought for our rights to peaceful assembly.

And when I’m done attending court or organising a conference for the party, my day doesn’t end. Dinner, laundry, and other chores have to be done. Again, I’m not complaining. I just want to encourage women that if we are committed to bringing about change, we have to make sacrifices and adjustments. Yes, we can be good mothers, good wives and good leaders all rolled into one. (Of course it helps when my husband stays home to look after the kids while I am tending to party matters – he would score more brownie points if he could do the laundry as well).

I hope that more women will come forward and be that strong voice for Singapore. Our nation needs us at this crucial period. We should not have to choose between being a mother and being a representative of democracy. We can do both. Indeed, we must if we are women.


Jaslyn Go is a member of The Women Democrats
.

Jun 22

Home News Singapore Jaslyn Go calls for greater Asian women political participation
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THURSDAY, 21 JUNE 2012
Singapore Democrats

Jaslyn Go (4th from right) encourages ASEAN women to play greater role in politics

Gender equality in Singapore is still a far way off, said Ms Jaslyn Go, SDP’s representative at the ASEAN Women’s Forum that was held in Bangkok last week.

The ASEAN Women’s Forum sought to examine the progress the ASEAN region has made in regards to female political leadership.

Women parliamentarians from the region (including Dr Nalinee Taveesin, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office of Thailand and Ms Maria Climaco, Deputy Speaker of the Philippine Parliament) were in attendance.

Ms Go pointed out that the PAP Government is good only in providing lip service when it comes to granting Singaporeans’ their civil liberties and women’s rights.

The Women’s Charter was enacted in Singapore in 1961 to outlaw polygamy and to provide women with some basic and legal rights. Since then, however, little has been done to advance gender equality in Singapore especially in the area of politics.

This is evident is the national leadership where there are no women in the cabinet. Less than 20 percent of MPs are women.

Ms Go reiterated the SDP’s position that there should be more women in top leadership, more being done to enhance work-life balance for women, and more being done to end trafficking of women in Singapore.

Women’s political parity will assure that more women’s voices are heard and that more women’s perspectives are honored, creating a more natural balance in local, regional and global affairs. A balance that should properly reflect the fact that women comprise 50% of the world’s population and must have an equal say in tackling its problems and in prompting its ideals.

Ms Go also pointed out that by educating and empowering women, men will likewise be empowered especially in an autocratic state like Singapore.

Furthermore, the issue of women’s political empowerment is not just about gender issues but also creating a holistic perspective at the national and international levels, including issues of war and peace, healthcare, education, etc. These are issues that require input from both genders and people from all walks of life.

Ms Go related the work of the SDP’s Women Democrats (WD) in Singapore. The WD are actively working to encourage the greater involvement of women in the country’s political process. In March this year, it organised a public forum to discuss the issue of discrimination against women in Singapore. It will also be holding a workshop to talk about Holistic Health for Women on 1 July 2012.

She encouraged greater networking among ASEAN women politicians and activists, and sharing each others’ experiences.

Reinforcing her point was Dr Rainer Adam, Regional Director of the Southeast and East Asian Regional Office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF). Dr Adam pointed out that women represented only 18 percent of all elected officials in Asia. He noted that politics continues to be a career that is not open to women, something that he hopes will change.

Dr. Adam suggested that ASEAN needs to establish a “system that allows women to get exposure and experience [in politics]”. FNF was one of the sponsors of the forum.

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May 23

One of my favourite introduction..

Credit to for this video…

May 23

A big thank you to the videographer who video my entire speech…Thank You.

May 23
Before I start my rally speech, I would like to address the glaring newspaper headlines I read this morning that say “Opposition Disappearing Act” – I watch the clip on PAP’s rally that the Pasir Ris-Ponggol Team claimed that “opposition 看不到人(hokkien)”.  I would like to say that is absolutely not true.  We have been doing our rounds of walkabout and during 1 of our walkabout, we met Grace Fu, she refused to be photograph with me, Tessa Wong from SPH can attest to that as she’s the one who made the request to her.  My point is, doesn’t mean that she refused to be photograph with us, the MSM refused to report on our walkabout means that we opposition are not walking the ground.  Many voters will agree with me that they don’t see their MP until election time, they are the one disappearing even though they are paid to work for the constituents.
Fellow Singaporeans, voters of Yuhua constituency,
It is my honor to stand on this stage today to address my fellow Singaporeans.  We are here for a purpose. For You – to hear what we at sdp got to offer and we at SDP is here to tell you what we can do for you.

From the past elections, we can see that after every win, PAP seem to forget what they promised us. They raised the GST, they raised the transport fees, they raised the salaries for the President and ministers .  What is left for us people?  We have to work hard to pay for all these increases.

在几年前,我在一间女厕看到了一个写在墙上的涂鸦。上面是这样写的"新加坡人是全世界最听话的人"这句话没写错。GST起,HDB起,车费起,COE起, 连PAP的薪水也起的时候,没人敢出声或抗议,反而更积极的赚钱补贴。一分工维持不了不断上升的生活费,我们就打第二份工,再不够,就第三份。每天忙碌, 辛苦工作,只是为了讨一口饭吃,拱一个屋子住。这是PAP所谓的瑞士生活水平标准吗?

有一首歌是这样唱的,三份天注定,七份靠打拼,“爱拼才会赢” 可是在新加坡是,“我们拼,PAP赢!你们说对吗?


Do we want this kind of life?  Where we slog ourselves till we die just to pay PAP millions to enjoy life?  Now in fact, we are made to pay for MPs tuition fee too.

Look at the recent President’s pay increase.  A $860K increase.  How many of us, actually enjoy such pay or pay increase in a lifetime?

When we are faced with recession, instead of going through thick and thin with us, our PAP MP has the audacity to tell us to eat fish if chicken is too expensive, to buy non branded bread instead of Gardenia or Sunshine, to eat frozen meat instead of fresh ones.  By their theory , argument,since their pay is getting too expensive, let’s go for opposition which are willing to serve at a fraction of their salary!

我经常在自己的能力范围之内,亲身去帮助那些穷苦的新加坡人,尤其是那些必须为生存而收集铁罐和厚纸箱的老年人。但是,我现在终于深刻的了解到,这些种种的社会问题,其实都是由PAP的各种不良政策造成的。我也发现,要能够真正徹底的解决这些问题,我和大家都必须一起勇敢的站出来讲话, 呼吁大家千万不要再支持PAP了。

PAP govt has all along given the excuse that they have to pay top dollars in order to attract top talents to become MPs, Ministers, but look at their performances in perspective.  Do they deserve the high salaries paid to them?

We have MM declaring it the golden period only to be hit by recession shortly after.  We have Mas Salemat escape from our high security ISD detention center, we have YOG over budget by 3 times, we have our Minster for Environment justify flood in Bt Timah that ‘is once in 50 years” and that “Orchard Road will never flood” only to have Orchard flood a few months later.  So, these are the kind of talents we are paying for?  Talents to make mistakes at our expense?
What is the point of having MPs with look good credential but yet cant relate to the ground?

在一次走访中,有一些年长的居民问我们 “你会讲华语吗”, 我回答”会啊”, 他们又问我, “你会讲福建吗?”, 我又回答说”会啊”. 他们继续问我”广东,潮州还有海南话呢?”  这时我就回答他们说”uncle啊,如果能讲这么多语言但不会讲人民的语言或话有么用呢?

在这里我要强调的是新加坡民主党是一个以人民为先的政党, 我们的任务是为人民说话.

Change in SG is long overdue.  Currently there is a wind of chance blowing across the world.  There are new leaders in the US, UK, France, Philippines, Ireland, in fact are changes everywhere.  Singaporeans must follow this trend and not be afraid of change.

When you vote for us, you are not just voting for a individual but the party – SDP.  We have a competent, compassionate & caring team that offer alternatives to counter the unfair, unjust policies for PAP.  We are a party with dedicated researching teams that help formulate alternative polices with the people in mind.

Please vote for us to be your voice in parliament.

请投我们一票让我们在国会替你们发言!
Apr 29

SDP GE2011 Rally Schedule
Day: Friday
Date: Apr 29, 2011
Time: 7.00pm

Location: Jurong East Stadium, 21 Jurong East St 31
Nearest MRT: Chinese Garden

Apr 29
I am proud to be the master of ceremony together with Bentley for SDP’s 9 days of rallies…

This is just the start, do come down and show your support to SDP at all our rallies..

Vote for SDP!  Vote for a CONSTRUCTIVE, COMPETENT & CARING SDP!  Let us be your voice in parliament!

Democrats take PAP to task for uncaring policies at first rally

Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 April 2011
Singapore Democrats

Democrats kicked off the GE2011 campaign with a rousing rally at an open field in the Commonwealth estate. All of the 11 candidates took to the stage to press home the SDP’s case against the uncaring and out-of-touch policies of the PAP.

Candidate for Yuhua, Ms Teo Soh Lung led with the first speech of the evening. She touched on issues relating to government transparency, and questioned the quality of the PAP leadership.

Mr John Tan, who leads the Sembawang team, raised the immigration policy and its impact on employment and wages. He strongly advocated for the SDP’s Singaporeans First policy which requires employers to create an environment where Singaporeans are employed before a case can be made for employing a foreigner.

Mr Sadasivam Veriyah spoke eloquently in Tamil, English and Malay, addressing the concerns of the people in relation to being ignored by the government and finding it impossible to enable their voices to be heard.

Mr Mohd Isa addressed the crowd in Malay, with some remarks in English at the end of his speech. He addressed housing issues and told the people that this election is about them, rather than about the PAP.

Bukit Panjang candidate, Mr Alec Tok, showing a good grasp of constituency issues, addressed serious local problems in Bukit Panjang including gangsterism. He also questioned why Singaporean children are being given second priority in education.

Mr Jarrod Luo, our youngest candidate, speaking effortlessly in English and Mandarin, gave a rousing speech where he highlighted the PAP’s shortcomings and advised the crowd to vote PAP if it wanted more of the same.

Dr James Gomez, challenged the health policies of the current Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan who is his contender in Sembawang GRC. He highlighted how the minister’s shameful statements about parents being placed in nursing homes in Johor are not new but were also made previously.

Ms Michelle Lee, a mother of three and a teacher of underprivileged children asked the audience to reclaim Singapore for themselves and not allow the PAP’s rhetoric to sidetrack them from their desire for change and progress. Michelle completed her speech with some remarks in Chinese which were well-received.

Mr Tan Jee Say took the crowd through a reasoned defence of his economic proposals, contained in a highly-regarded paper that the government has been at pains to criticise. He showed how the government’s criticisms of his proposals are totally at variance with sound economic thinking and reveals the government’s short-sightedness in refusing to consider alternative ideas. Mr Tan also made some remarks in Mandarin.

Dr Vincent Wijeysingha addressed the deep-seated concerns of the people about the quality of the government’s social policy and encouraged the audience to recognise that, whereas the government is warning people of the ill effects of opposition wins, in fact those fears have already been realised with its mismanagement of the economy and society these last five years.

Dr Ang Yong Guan was the last, and extremely, popular speaker. Moving back and forth between English and Mandarin with a lot of dialect thrown in, he fired the crowd’s imagination with his observations of the quality of life, from his political (and professional) standpoints.

The highlight of the evening was the signing of The SDP Promise which all the candidates did. The SDP Promise is a 10-point pledge to residents if our candidates are voted into office which include contributing 50 percent of their MPs’ allowance to the party to upgrade our services to our constituents.

Danny the Democracy Bear was of course on hand to lend some assistance. He was on stage to encourage his colleagues as they gave their all in lively evening.

Apologies for sound system

Many of those who attended the rally said that those standing at the back of the crowd could not hear the speakers very well. We apologise for the problem. The situation will be rectified and the sound system will be improved for tomorrow’s rally at the Jurong Stadium starting at 7 pm.

Note: More rally photos at SDP’s facebook


Date/time:
29 Apr 2011, Friday, 7pm
Venue:
Jurong East Stadium, 21 Jurong East St 31
Nearest MRT: Chinese Garden

Apr 29

Apr 18
The SDP will be accountable with the people’s money Print E-mail
Saturday, 16 April 2011
Singapore Democrats

In 2008, the Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council (HBTC) lost $8 million of its sinking funds in bad investments. The HBTC had used the funds to buy what tourned out to be toxic financial products from Lehman Brothers, DBS and Merrill Lynch.

The HBTC financial debacle was a small version of the GIC and Temasek Holdings. Together the twin investment conglomerates, one run by Mr Lee Kuan Yew and the other by his daughter-in-law Mdm Ho Chng, lost a total of $140 billion of our reserves.

The Singapore Democrats have made it clear in our economic manifesto It’s About You. It is not the government’s business amass a fortune through taxes, levies and fees, and then use these funds to get into business ventures and other investments.

At the constituency level, we make The SDP Promise that we will not adopt such a high-risk approach if we are elected and put in charge of the town council.

Instead we will channel whatever savings that we achieve back to the residents. And we will do this in consultation with our constituencts.

This approach is in stark contrast with the current HBTC approach adopted by the PAP MPs. From 2002 to 2008, the Town Council had amassed a total of $118 million.

The burning question is: Why is a town council chalking up such a fortune while many of its constituents continue to live hand-to-mouth? In our house visits we met many residents who cannot get by. One lady in her 60s teared up when we asked her for her views. She said that it was difficult to make ends meet. So how does she do it? “Kiam kiam chia loh (eat sparingly),” she replied.

sdp_promise_flyer_2This is why the Singapore Democrats make The SDP Promise that we will not authorise any unsafe investments but instead return the excess funds back to the residents. This can be done in a variety of ways: Embarking on infrastructural projects, lowering conservancy charges, helping needy constituents, etc.

Whatever decision we make it will be done in consultation with the residents.

Our stand is that we are stewards of the people’s money. It is they who decide what they want to do with their funds.

This stands in stark contrast to the PAP’s approach where it insists on being the master instead of the servant. It squeezes every cent from the people and then use the money to generate economic and political power for itself. Worse, it does not allow Singaporeans to know or have a say in how the funds are used.

This will change under the SDP starting with the Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council.

Apr 18
The SDP Promise – our MPs’ pledge Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 April 2011
Singapore Democrats

At the top of The SDP Promise is the pledge that our Members of Parliament will contribute 50 percent of their allowance to improve the party’s service to the constituents.

We make this promise because we want to avoid the situation where MPs run for office to financially enrich themselves. We see public office as a service to the nation, not a means to getting rich.
We do not want a situation where we have MPs become multi-millionaires while neglecting their roles as a voice for the people. In other words, the priority of our MPs when they get into parliament is to speak up and not to safeguard their seats and allowances by remaining silent.

The Singapore Democrats take such a view seriously so much so that at the party conference in 2009, we amended our constitution and wrote into it a provision that mandated that our MPs contribute 50 percent of their Public Office Allowance to the party.

The funds will be used for research and policy studies purposes. A parliamentary opposition must propose workable alternatives and this requires research. The SDP intends to build a strong department in this area and this requires funding for a professional staff.

sdp_promise_flyer_2We will also use the money to train our staff and activists to provide better services to the residents. We expect a high level of professionalism in our interaction with our constituents. Training and development of our members and volunteers is therefore a priority for us.

As announced, we will also put aside money to seed and maintain an endowment fund for the needy. Among some of the projects that we envision are subsidised tuition programmes for children from poorer families, legal clinics for those who cannot afford professional lawyers, meals and medical care for the elderly poor and so on.

The party will draw up our own budget where the various departments and sections will present their requirements and expenditure estimates. Funds will be allocated after the party approves the budget.

This will be another first in Singapore where the opposition will professionalise and systematise its operations so that we continually upgrade the party and our service to the nation.

Apr 18
We make you The SDP Promise Print E-mail
Saturday, 09 April 2011
Singapore Democrats

Chee Soon Juan taking questions from the media

The Singapore Democrats launched The SDP Promise today. With the members of the Central Executive Committee present, Chairman Gandhi Ambalam welcomed the members of the media and the public.

He said that the SDP is making these promises because it is intent of changing policies that hurt the people.

He then passed the floor to Assistant Secretary-General who highlighted the main reason for the 10-point Promise which is that the Singapore Democrats want to make the political system in Singapore transparent and accountable.

By making our promises explicit, the SDP is effectively inviting our constituents to track the performance of our Parliamentarians. A party that makes no promises before elections, cannot be held accountable after the elections. We want our voters to know clearly what they are voting for and what they can expect when they elect our candidates into Parliament.

The SDP Promise
Dear Residents,sdp_promise_flyer_2

The SDP is contesting in this constituency. In seeking the opportunity to serve as your representatives in Parliament, we make you The SDP Promise. In the running of our constituency, we pledge:
1. To contribute 50% of our MP’s allowance to improve our party’s service to you and to seed an endowment fund for the needy.

2. Not to authorise any unsafe investments that place your funds at risk, unlike the PAP which lost $8 million of Town Council’s surpluses in toxic investments.

3. To run our Town Councils with you by getting residents involved in precinct management committees. Together, we will maintain our estate in a way that is better than the PAP’s town councils.

4. To conduct, in addition to our weekly Meet-the-People’s sessions, quarterly town hall meetings to obtain your views on policies that affect you and take them to parliament.
As your representatives, we pledge to work for the following as priority matters in Parliament:
5. Abolish the GST for essential items and foodstuffs, and reduce other items to 3%.

6. Introduce the Singaporeans First Policy to ensure that Singaporeans are given priority for jobs and stop the PAP from overcrowding our city.

7. Abolish the CPF Minimum Sum Scheme and return the hard-earned savings to the people.

8. Reduce cost of medications, consultation fees, polyclinics and hospitals.

9. Introduce minimum wage laws.

10. Reduce the class size from 40 to 20.

Apr 18
The difference between SDP and PAP town halls Print E-mail
Saturday, 09 April 2011
Singapore Democrats

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
Secretary-General
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.

Event: Public launch of The SDP Promise

Date: 9 April 2011, Saturday

Time: 3:30 pm

Place: The Public House, 42 Circular Road

Apr 18
“Ask her what is she going to do about the HDB prices!” Print E-mail
Sunday, 03 April 2011
Singapore Democrats

A resident at the Yuhua constituency today was visibly upset with the PAP’s policies of high HDB prices, and he made it known during the Singapore Democrats’ campaign walkabout this morning.

“Ask her what is she going to do about the HDB prices!” he shouted in Hokkien, referring to Ms Grace Fu who was also doing her rounds at the hawker centre. “Are they going to let it go up to one million dollars? Now my son can’t afford to buy one.”

His voice was quivering as continued to lambaste Ms Fu who was handing out Yuhua newslatters as part of her campaign material.

The SDP entourage assured the gentleman that if Yuhua residents elected our candidate, we would bring up the matter in Parliament and ensured that a solution be worked out to make HDB flats affordable to Singaporeans.

A few minutes later we encountered a stallholder who complained that many of the vendors at the food centre were angry because they had contributed some money towards a pool of funds for the management of matters related to the hawker centre.

Speaking in Chinese, the vendor said that they did not know what the funds were being used for and they were not consulted. He asked the SDP to take up the issue and see what could be done to resolve the matter.

On a separate occasion, a bus driver who lived at Yuhua indicated to us that Mdm Fu, as he called her, was not a popular MP. “Many residents don’t like her,” he said, “she has a smug attitude.”

The two camps ran into each other today at the Yuhua Village Food Centre. Dr Chee Soon Juan and Ms Fu exchanged pleasantries before moving on in their respective campaigns.

The Yuhua SMC residents seems to be more vocal and throwing up a number of complaints against both the PAP and its MP. Last week one voter complained loudly that the it seemed that the PAP could not find locals to be its candidates.

Following its now regular visits to the SMC, the Democrats made our way to the Ghim Moh Food Centre which is part of the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC where we met with residents who were out having lunch.

Yesterday, the party concentrated our campaign at the Bukit Panjang constituency where we again distributed flyers and sold The New Democrat. The groundwork continued into the evening as party activists and campaign volunteers worked tirelesly to canvass for support.

We urge our supporteres to step forward in this crucial time and volunteer your time and energy in helping our candidates get into Parliament.

Apr 18

SDP members talk about Yuhua walkabout

Apr 1

Jaslyn Go: Social activist, potential election candidate

March 29, 2011 by admin
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics

Written by Ng E-Jay
29 March 2011

On Monday, the Straits Times introduced Ms Jaslyn Go as a potential election candidate for the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP). She was seen making her rounds at Yuhua constituency, an area formerly a part of Jurong GRC. If she contests in Yuhua, she will likely be facing PAP’s Grace Fu.

But what the Straits Times did not report was the heart-rending story of a 39-year old female resident of Yuhua, who is living in dire circumstances, and who told the SDP team that all she wanted was a decent paying job so that she could care for her family and “keep our heads high with dignity“. [1]

Mdm Tan is living in a 3-room flat with her three children. The SDP reported that she had lost her job as a cleaner because she would take time off to attend to her children whenever one of them fell ill. Mdm Tan had sought the help of her Member of Parliament, Ms Grace Fu, but to no avail. The utilities in the flat, including electricity and water, are under threat of being disconnected. [2]

The SDP team provided Mdm Tan and her children with basic necessities and also brought along a doctor to render medical assistance to one of her kids.

Jaslyn Go has been involved in this kind of community work and social activism for over a year with the SDP, way before she had any inkling that she might be a potential election candidate.

I believe one of the first community initiatives she participated with SDP was a visit to a nursing home in September 2009.

Jaslyn’s career in social activism has its roots in her keen observation of the problems ordinary people face in their day-to-day chores.

In February 2009, she came across an incident in which a Tanjong Pagar Town Council staff member was loudly and publicly berating a cleaner for not doing his work properly. Even if the worker was not up to scratch, Jaslyn pointed out that there was no necessity for such behaviour from the council staff. She wrote to the town council to register her concern and to ask that all workers be treated with respect. (See here and here.)

But Jaslyn’s involvement in political and civil activism goes back even further than that.

She was one of the Tak Boleh Tahan 18 who were charged in court for participating in an assembly and procession without a permit in March 2008. The group of 18 had commemorated World Consumer Right’s Day by holding a press conference at Parliament House and a subsequent walk-about at Funan Centre. Some members had also carried placards and distributed flyers engaging Singaporeans on the issue of the rising cost of living.

Fast forward to today, three years later, and the mainstream media finally acknowledges that the escalating cost of living is indeed one of the “hot-button” election issues. [3]

Three years ago, activists and SDP members had already sounded the alarm that Singaporeans were being hurt by rising inflation. However, it is only today, when the elections are drawing near, that the issue is brought out into the open by the media. It is three years too late, and countless individuals like Mdm Tan of Yuhua constituency have suffered under the failed policies of the PAP.

An eloquent speaker in both languages

Jaslyn is effectively bilingual and and an eloquent speaker in both English and Mandarin.

She helped to deliver SDP’s National Day Message in 2009 together with three other SDP woman activists,

and she also delivered SDP’s Chinese New Year Message in 2011.

Last year in November, Jaslyn participated in a large-scale SDP-led event at Hong Lim Park and delivered her maiden pre-election speech in Mandarin (English translation, Original Mandarin version).

International networking for SDP

Jaslyn also frequently represents the SDP at international conferences.

She represented the SDP at the Council of Asian Liberal Democrats’ (CALD) Women’s Caucus that was held at the Philippine island of Batanes in May 2009, and attended CALD’s general assembly held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 2010.

In April 2010, Jaslyn joined two other activists, John Tan and Seelan Palay, in attending the 6th Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy, held in Jakarta, Indonesia. She used the opportunity to establish goodwill and friendship with members of Partai Demokrat (Democratic Party), lead by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, as well as other pro-democracy parties in Indonesia. (See here.)

Jaslyn also represented the SDP at Liberal International’s (LI) annual congress that was held at Cairo, Egypt in November 2009, during which SDP was formally accepted as an LI observer.

During the LI congress in 2009, Jaslyn met Mr Ayman Nour, the leading Egyptian opposition politician who toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak earlier this year. After the successful uprising, Jaslyn penned a congratulatory letter to Mr Nour in which she said:

Hosni Mubarak held elections during his entire reign and always claimed a overwhelming majority of the votes. We know that that has been a lie. It takes for the people to hold peaceful assemblies in order to force such governments to hold free elections which is exactly what Egyptians did.

The Singapore Democratic Party is also working for free and fair elections and one day I believe that we in Singapore will also bring about democratic change.

Jaslyn Go: “I will not live by fear”

After it was announced that the Tak Boleh Tahan 18 group would be charged in court in 2008, the SDP asked Jaslyn Go what prompted a young mother of two to stand up for her rights and the rights of her fellow citizens in a country known for crushing dissent with frightening efficiency?

Jaslyn answered simply: “I will not live by the fear the PAP seeks to instill in its citizens … … I used to be very poor when I was young. Now that I am better off, I hope I can do my part and highlight the plight our elderly and poor in Singapore are going through.

If we continue to allow the PAP to rule with an iron fist, the people’s problems will not be addressed and I fear that the younger generation will suffer more than we are now as the cost of living are skyrocketing and our jobs are being taken over by foreigners.

That, in a nutshell, is what Jaslyn stands for.

Mar 31
“I want a decent paying job,” says Yuhua resident Print E-mail
Monday, 28 March 2011
Singapore Democrats

“I want a decent paying job to look after my three school-going sons with dignity,” said the 39-year old mother, a resident of Yuhua SMC.

This website reported last week that Mdm Tan had narrated her plight to the Singapore Democrats during our walkabout in the constituency last Thursday evening. It was obvious that Mdm Tan was in dire straits, living in her three-room flat with three sons.

The six-member SDP team returned to visit Mdm Tan yesterday during our walkabout at the constituency. The visit was kept low-key and private at the request of Mdm Tan. Among the team were Mr Gandhi Ambalam, Ms Jaslyn Go, and Mr Sylvester Lim (pictured).

We brought along some food stuffs and other basic necessities for the family. A medical doctor was also in the SDP team to render assistance to the boys who looked like in poor health. All of them were diagnosed as having eye infection.

The team stayed and chatted with Mdm Tan who said that she had inculcated in her children not to depend on charity. “For people like me, charity is not the answer. We want a job to keep our heads high with dignity,” Mdm Tan stressed. She lost her job as a cleaner for taking time off to attend to her children whenever one of them fell ill.

Mdm Tan’s case hammers home our point that lower-income Singaporeans should not have to depend on handouts and Budget goodies to survive. Instead there must be legislation that ensures the rights of Singaporean workers to be paid fair and living wages. Minimum Wage is what the Singapore Democrats promise to fight for in the next Parliament if elected.

Minimum wage must also be implemented with our Singaporeans First Policy where folks like Mdm Tan are given priority over foreign workers and where she doesn’t have to compete with them for ever decreasing wages.

Third, the taxes and fees like the GST and water and electricity tariffs must be reduced to allow such families to make ends meet.

Reporters had queried current PAP MP for Yuhua, Ms Grace Fu, about Mdm Tan. The SDP was told that Ms Fu said that she was not aware of the case and had no information about the situation.

Ms Fu’s problem is reflective of the PAP. While advocating stratospheric levels of income for “talent” like their ministers, they are unaware of the many hardship cases of Singaporeans struggling to survive.

Unlike the PAP, the Singapore Democrats advocate that the Government dispenses with the kind of patronage system where pork-barrel politics is the order of the day. In its place we must have a system of laws that ensures that Singaporeans are paid their due and not be exploited by employers.

After listening to her struggle to live a decent life in Singapore, the team gave Mdm Tan bags of groceries donated by the party and well-wishers.

The team left Mdm Tan and her sons with the assurance: “Please, feel free to call us should you need any assistance.”

Mar 31

Mar 28, 2011

Female candidates may battle in Yuhua in repeat of history

By Tessa Wong & Tham Yuen-C

SDP members Jarrod Luo and Jaslyn Go meeting residents during a walkabout in Yuhua. Ms Go, an entrepreneur, was introduced as a potential candidate for the area, which could see her in a contest with incumbent PAP MP and Senior Minister of State Grace Fu. — ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

TWENTY years ago, two women representing the People’s Action Party (PAP) and the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) faced off at the general election in Yuhua.
This year, history could repeat itself with a similar contest in the single-seat ward.
The two potential candidates are incumbent PAP MP and Senior Minister of State (National Development and Education) Grace Fu, who turns 47 on Tuesday; and the SDP’s Jaslyn Go, 38, an entrepreneur.
The last time it saw such a contest was in 1991, when the PAP’s Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon went against SDP’s Toh Kim Kiat, in what was then called ‘the battle of the China dolls’.
Ms Fu told reporters at a PAP Community Foundation event yesterday that she had based her planning on the assumption that she would be fielded as a candidate there because she was the incumbent.
‘Unless something really quite unexpected turns up, I should be fielded as a candidate here. I would like to be fielded as a candidate here,’ she said.
Yuhua was part of Jurong GRC in the 2006 election, when the PAP was returned unopposed. In the 2001 election, the PAP team won with 79.7 per cent of the votes against a team from the SDP.
SDP leaders who visited a hawker centre in Jurong East yesterday introduced Ms Go as their potential candidate.
Ms Go, who greeted residents in English and Mandarin, is married to a businessman and has two children aged six and seven.
She is also secretary of the United Singapore Democrats – a registered political party that serves as an alternative vehicle for SDP supporters.
SDP chief Chee Soon Juan said the party would campaign on national issues, such as the cost of living and influx of foreigners and foreign workers.
At the SDP walkabout yesterday, Dr Chee indicated that the SDP may soon be able to resolve three-cornered fights with the National Solidarity Party (NSP) in Yuhua and Whampoa – the single-seat wards that both parties are keen on: ‘(The NSP is) concentrating on Whampoa and we on Yuhua. We haven’t been to Whampoa in the last couple of weeks. So we want to make sure everyone gets what he wants, and make sure it’s a win-win situation for everyone.’
NSP president Sebastian Teo declined to confirm the arrangement yesterday, but said: ‘If the SDP intends to field a credible candidate, the NSP will seriously consider giving Yuhua to them.’
The SDP also introduced another potential candidate, Mr Sylvester Lim, 50, during a tour of Bukit Panjang yesterday.
Mr Lim, runs an automotive tuning business and is married to a clinic assistant. They have a 22-year-old son.
The former St Joseph’s Institution student, who has an Industrial Technical Certificate in electrical engineering, is an SDP central executive committee member.
He identified the rising cost of living and depressed wages as key issues he would raise if fielded in Bukit Panjang.
The party will also address local issues such as the lack of a polyclinic and the town council’s $8 million exposure to toxic investment products in 2008.
The PAP’s Dr Teo Ho Pin, who beat the SDP’s Ling How Doong with 77.2 per cent of the valid vote in the 2006 polls, said he did not expect many Bukit Panjang voters to side with the SDP on the issues it cited.
‘The residents understand that we have looked into their problems and are making efforts to help them,’ he said.
He added that some private clinics in Bukit Panjang now offer polyclinic-like services and rates, and said residents were told of the overall positive returns on the town council’s investments.
Additional reporting by Andrea Ong
Mar 31

Mar 20, 2011

Opposition to field at least 40 newcomers

Biggest haul in more than 20 years includes more entrepreneurs, women than PAP slate

By Kor Kian Beng and Jeremy Au Yong, Political Correspondent

The next general election could see opposition parties fielding at least 40 first-time candidates – their biggest slate of newcomers in more than 20 years.

So far, opposition parties have unveiled 13 as candidates. Sources have identified another 15 as highly likely and 12 as possible contestants.

This year’s haul is larger than that in 2006, when 27 of the 47 who stepped forward for the opposition were first-timers.

From 1988 to 2001, opposition parties mustered no more than 40 candidates in all in each election to challenge the People’s Action Party (PAP). This round, the opposition has pledged to contest all 87 seats up for grabs.

The bulk of the newcomers – and arguably the best-qualified – belong to the Workers’ Party (WP) and the National Solidarity Party (NSP). Each has 10 or more new faces.

Political observers say this is an outcome of the two parties’ proactive recruitment efforts and their reputations being stronger with more realistic chances of winning.

The NSP is likely to field Ms Hazel Poa, 41, the first former government administrative officer to contest under an opposition banner. She served for four years in the Government’s elite Administrative Service, from 1992 to 1995.

Her husband Tony Tan, 41, a Singapore Armed Forces scholarship holder who served as a major, is also an NSP candidate. They run a chain of tuition centres.

As for the WP, its A-list is likely to include Mr Chen Show Mao, 50, a Beijing-based corporate lawyer in international law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell.

He is a Rhodes Scholarship winner, has degrees from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford universities, and sits on the Singapore Management University’s law school advisory board, alongside former chief justice Yong Pung How and senior counsel and retired PAP MP Davinder Singh.

Two other rookies who will be keenly watched are Mrs Lina Chiam, 62, wife of Potong Pasir MP Chiam See Tong, and Reform Party chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam, 52, a former hedge fund manager in London and elder son of the late opposition veteran J.B. Jeyaretnam.

The current batch of opposition freshmen are slightly older than those in the PAP batch. The average age for the opposition slate is 42.9 years, based on the ages of the 28 confirmed and likely new faces, five of whom are aged 50 and above.

The average age for the PAP’s likely slate of 24 new faces is 39.2.

While the PAP has drawn many of its new faces from the public sector and the unions, the opposition slate has more entrepreneurs and more women. The opposition lineup is likely to include eight businessmen, compared with the PAP’s one; and nine women, compared with the PAP’s three.

The opposition newcomer ranks also include three social workers, a theatre director, two academics, and eight holding rank-and-file jobs in the private sector.

Political analyst Derek da Cunha said the high-profile rookies could help the opposition win support. ‘Most voters take it for granted that PAP candidates would be highly qualified… but when the opposition takes the effort to put up a particularly strong candidate, that is something that is clearly new and will attract interest and scrutiny,’ he said.

WP chief Low Thia Khiang, 54, has urged voters to view opposition renewal as a key issue at these polls. He hopes voters, especially younger ones, will support new leaders ‘who can give them an alternative choice’ and lead the opposition movement in future.

Tampines GRC voter Ng Kah Fei, 31, an engineer, said new opposition leaders must also prove they have good proposals to improve Singapore, and not repeat the ‘same complaints’ that the opposition has made over the years.

Sembawang GRC resident Ouyang Huixian, 23, an associate at a financial education firm, said: ‘I won’t choose opposition just for the sake of having opposition representation. The candidate must have drive, genuine empathy for people on the ground, and also a sound understanding of key issues.’

kianbeng@sph.com.sg

jeremyau@sph.com.sg



OPPOSITION’S NEW FACES

WORKERS’ PARTY (WP)

Mr Chen Show Mao, 50, a partner in international law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell’s Beijing office.Likely battleground: A group representation constituency (GRC)

Mr Gerald Giam, 34, senior IT consultant and WP assistant webmaster.Likely battleground: East Coast GRC

Dr John Yam, 48, business consultant and WP Northern Area Committee chairmanLikely battleground: Nee Soon GRC

Mr Png Eng Huat, 49, businessman, WP Eastern Area Committee vice-chairmanLikely battleground: East Coast GRC

Mr Mohamed Fazli Talip, 29, financial adviserLikely battleground: East Coast GRC

Mr Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap, 35, a counsellor with a voluntary welfare organisationLikely battleground: Aljunied GRC

Mr Koh Choong Yong, 37, IT consultant, WP webmaster and youth wing presidentLikely battleground: Unknown

Ms Angela Faye Oon, 32, researcherLikely battleground: Nee Soon GRC

Ms Ng Swee Bee, 30, executive assistant in a local company and WP organising secretaryLikely battleground: Unknown

Ms Frieda Chan, 34, social worker and WP central executive committee member.Likely battleground: Unknown


NATIONAL SOLIDARITY PARTY (NSP)

Mr Tony Tan, 41, owns a chain of tuition centresLikely battleground: Moulmein-Kallang GRC

Ms Hazel Poa, 41, owns a chain of tuition centresLikely battleground: Moulmein-Kallang GRC

Mr Jeisilan Sivalingam, 41, productivity consultantLikely battleground: Moulmein-Kallang GRC

Mrs Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss, 48, lawyerLikely battleground: Mountbatten single-member constituency (SMC)

Ms Nor Lella Mardiiiah Mohamed, 37, business consultant, head of NSP’s Malay bureauLikely battleground: Moulmein-Kallang GRC

Mr Raymond Lim, 27, consulting analystLikely battleground: Tampines GRC

Mr Gilbert Goh , 49, career counsellorLikely battleground: Unknown

Mr Syafarin Sarif, 35, project managerLikely battleground: Tampines GRC

Ms Noraini Yunus, 42, customer acquisition officerLikely battleground: Unknown


SINGAPORE DEMOCRATIC PARTY (SDP)

Dr Vincent Wijeysingha, 40, executive director of migrant workers’ rights group Transient Workers Count TooLikely battleground: Holland-Bukit Timah GRC

Mr Michael Fernandez, 77, former unionist and ex-detainee under the Internal Security ActLikely battleground: Holland-Bukit Timah GRC

Mr John Tan, 49, academic and SDP assistant secretary- generalLikely battleground: Holland-Bukit Timah GRC

Ms Jaslyn Go, 38, entrepreneur and secretary of the United Singapore Democrats partyLikely battleground: Unknown


SINGAPORE PEOPLE’S PARTY (SPP)

Mrs Lina Chiam, 62, wife of Potong Pasir MP Chiam See Tong and a former nurse, SPP second vice-chairmanLikely battleground: Potong Pasir SMC


REFORM PARTY (RP)

Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam, 52, former hedge fund manager and RP secretary-generalLikely battleground: Radin Mas or Pioneer SMC

Mr Alec Tok, 45, New York-based theatre directorLikely battleground: Unknown


SINGAPORE DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE (SDA)

A grouping comprising Singapore Malay National Organisation (PKMS) and Singapore Justice Party

Mr Nazem Suki, 42, owner of a trading company and PKMS secretary-generalLikely battleground: Radin Mas SMC


INDEPENDENT

Mr Andrew Kuan, 57, runs his own business consultancy, a presidential hopeful in 2005Likely battleground: Joo Chiat SMC

Mar 31
Stop the PAP before it’s too late Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 March 2011
Jaslyn Go

My name is Jaslyn Go. I was born in 1972. The third child. It was a joyous occasion for the Go family. But the Government saw it differently. My birth was an offence and my parents were fined a hefty sum of money. This was because Mr Lee Kuan Yew insisted that families, especially if you were not among the elite, could have only two children.

Fast forward to 2011. The same Mr Lee now laments that Singaporeans are not reproducing quickly enough. With oly 1.2 births per person, Singaporeans cannot replace themselves.
Our population decline did not just emerge from out of the blue. It took years of relentless and ruthless state intervention including, as in my mother’s case, punitive measures to stop Singaporeans from procreating.

Many couples, especially those in the lower-income and lower-educated groups, were pressed to undergo invasive, irreversible medical procedures such as ligation and sterilisation to prevent them from having more babies.

The PAP then discovered that it had miscalculated spectacularly; our birthrate was too low. We are the least fertile country in the world. (Only two other places are less fertile than Singapore –- Hong Kong (1.04) and Macau (0.91). But these are not countries, they are cities in China.)

The Government is now desperately reversing course. Now Singaporeans are suddenly urged to have more than two children.

This is the kind of political abomination – the playing with the people’s lives by this Government – that Singaporeans have had to suffer. Playing God is what the PAP has done and continues to do. It does this by making policy based on personal whims and opinions, not on research.

Population too stressed

Today our fertility rate is still too low. We need at least 2.1 births per person. At this rate, experts calculate, our economy won’t have enough people to sustain it.

The Government is providing monetary incentives for Singaporeans to produce more babies. Few seem to be biting. The reasons for younger Singaporeans not to have children are two-fold: life is too stressful and cost of living is prohibitive.

It is clear that the lifestyle in Singapore where the PAP drives Singaporeans on to achieve GDP growth is backfiring on the country. People are recoiling.

Take Ms Jean Heng, 30, a civil servant who says that life in Singapore is just too stressful: “Work takes up a huge amount of time and I have no energy to take care of kids. If I want to have kids, I would want to devote enough resources in terms of time and money.”

Experts agree say that the high cost of living is a main reason for couples shying away from raisin children. Professor Gavin Jones, a sociologist at the National University of Singapore, says that the high financial and opportunity cost deters young couples from having children.

With HDB flat prices going through the roof, how are couples starting off in life going to afford a home of their own? Without a home, how do you sart a family? Medical fees are escalating by the year and so are eductaion costs. Public transport is a nightmare nowadays and buying a car is insanely expensive.

To have children, it is a must for both spouses to work in order to meet with household expenses. Working parents have little time for their kids which begs the question: Why have children just to leave them un-parented?

The PAP doesn’t get it

So what does the PAP do? It opens the floodgates to foreigners so that we can create an instant population that would give us the number that the PAP wants to see. MM Lee, being the prime architect of this system, now tells us that we need to import younger immigrants.

This policy has destabilised the nation to the extent that Singapore is no longer a country for Singaporeans. It has become an outpost for all who want to come here to make money.

This is how the PAP is dragging the country down the drain. It first discourageous Singaporeans from having children. Then when it realises that our population is shrinking it brings in foreigners to replace us.

The PAP does all this with one and only one objective: To raise the GDP at all cost which is the only way it can legitimise its autocratic rule. Let’s not forget the raising the GDP directly raises the ministers’ salaries. But increasing the GDP doesn’t mean making Singaporeans richer.

There are consequences if we continue to let the PAP rule Singapore unchecked and these consequences will be horrendous for the nation. We must stop the PAP before it’s too late.

Mar 31
Democrats step up campaign at Yuhua and Holland-BT Print E-mail
Monday, 14 March 2011
Singapore Democrats

SDP activists were out and about at the constituencies that we will be contesting in the coming elections. We visited the Yuhua constituency again. This is the second time that the party is visiting the ward in as many weeks.

The morning started off at the Bukit Timah Food Centre which is located at the heart of the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC. After greeting the residents there, we hopped on our bus and proceeded to another busy centre in the GRC, the Ghim Moh market.

The Singapore Democrats have repeatedly visited these centres in the past.The slight drizzle that took place in the early part of the walkabout did not dampen spirits.

Former ISA detainees Mr Michael Fernandez and Mr Vincent Cheng were on hand to greet the voters.

“Support the SDP,” Mr Fernandez told the crowd in Chinese, “we need the opposition in Parliament.” Mr Fernandez has learnt Chinese when he was detained for nine years.

The 78-year-young Democrat has lost none of his verve to speak out for the people, especially workers whose rights he championed as a trade unionist in the 1960s.

As before, residents were generally friendly and welcoming. Some wanted to know who our candidates were. They were quickly introduced to several one of whom was Mr John Tan.

One resident asked Mr Tan: “What are the issues that you will be fighting for?”

“Topmost on our list is the cost of living,” the party’s assistant secretary-general replied. “We know that Singaporeans are hurting from the high expenses and many of these are caused by the PAP’s policies. Singaporeans need to send us into Parliament so that we can keep fees and fares down to a minimum.”

Mr Tan also added that we will ask voters to send a clear message to the Government that Singaporeans are angry at the so-called Foreign talent policy which is a guise to load the population here with cheap labour from overseas.

At the Yuhua constituency which will be a single-seat ward, we encountered at three residents at a bus-stop all of whom expressed their anger at the PAP.

“Yes, please come here,” said one of them in Hokkien. “We need to fight the PAP. Enough of them already!”

We passed out leaflets calling on the electorate to visit this website. “There’s a lot of information that you don’t read in the media because they censor our news,” called out Dr James Gomez to the residents. “And come join our Facebook.”

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