SDP GE2011 Rally Schedule
Date: Apr 29, 2011
Location: Jurong East Stadium, 21 Jurong East St 31
Nearest MRT: Chinese Garden
SDP GE2011 Rally Schedule
Date: Apr 29, 2011
Location: Jurong East Stadium, 21 Jurong East St 31
Nearest MRT: Chinese Garden
|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.