One of my favourite introduction..
Credit to temasekstory for this video…
A big thank you to the videographer who video my entire speech…Thank You.
Fromthe 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.
|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!
|Thursday, 28 April 2011|
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
|The SDP will be accountable with the people’s money|
|Saturday, 16 April 2011|
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.
This 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.
|The SDP Promise – our MPs’ pledge|
|Thursday, 14 April 2011|
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.
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.
We 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.
|We make you The SDP Promise|
|Saturday, 09 April 2011|
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 difference between SDP and PAP town halls|
|Saturday, 09 April 2011|
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 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
|“Ask her what is she going to do about the HDB prices!”|
|Sunday, 03 April 2011|
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.
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“. 
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. 
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. 
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.
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.
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.
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.
|“I want a decent paying job,” says Yuhua resident|
|Monday, 28 March 2011|
“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.”
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.’
OPPOSITION’S NEW FACES
WORKERS’ PARTY (WP)
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
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
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
Mrs Lina Chiam, 62, wife of Potong Pasir MP Chiam See Tong and a former nurse, SPP second vice-chairmanLikely battleground: Potong Pasir SMC
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
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
Mr Andrew Kuan, 57, runs his own business consultancy, a presidential hopeful in 2005Likely battleground: Joo Chiat SMC
|Stop the PAP before it’s too late|
|Saturday, 19 March 2011|
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.
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.
|Democrats step up campaign at Yuhua and Holland-BT|
|Monday, 14 March 2011|
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.”
You need a Flash Player enabled browser to view this YouTube video
|Democrats campaign in Whampoa and Yuhua SMCs|
|Monday, 28 February 2011|
Democrats at the Yuhua Food Centre
The Singapore Democrats launched our campaigns in the Whampoa and Yuhua SMCs yesterday with walkabouts in both the constituencies. Members and supporters were out and about the Whampoa Food Centre to meet with residents early on Sunday morning.
Several people came up to greet the men and women in red, and asked if we were going to contest there.A few of them said that they were expecting to see us there as they had been following this website and had read that we were visiting Whampoa that morning.
At the same time, we were selling copies of The New Democrat which didn’t take long to be sell out. Members also distributed flyers asking the residents to visit our website. One gentleman said that he had come all the way from the East to meet us.
An hour or so later, everyone boarded a chartered bus to Jurong for the second leg of our walkabout. Yuhua SMC was our destination. We wanted to go back to our old stomping ground where we had been campaigning for years. The SDP had contested the Jurong GRC in the 2001 general elections.
Jaslyn Go speaking with a resident
As in Whampoa, we spread our message of needing to keep the cost of living and how we needed to get into Parliament in order to achieve this.
“After each election,” Dr Chee Soon Juan reminded the electorate, “the GST went up from three to five and now to seven percent. What’s it going to be after this elections? Nine percent? Eleven percent?”
He urged voters to support the party and send our candidates to parliament when the time came: “Help us to help you. Help us to get into Parliament to speak up for you.”
Following the rounds at the Jurong estate, members again boarded the bus to head back for Whampoa.
All this time Danny was with us and, as usual, he was charming everyone whom he met especially our little friends.
As hard as the work was, we had a good time and meeting folks who seemed happy to see us and were receptive to our message. The high rate of our newspaper sales confirmed our feeling that we have come to the right constituiencies to contest the PAP.