The Online Citizen joined the Reform Party at its walkabout in Jurong West last Sunday. The walkabout took place at the Jurong West Market and Food Centre.
By 8am, the market was already bustling with activities. One could hear the familiar haggling between the stallholders and housewives in the wet market, and children pestering their parents over the choice of breakfast at the food centre.
(Left: Kenneth Jeyaretnam leading the RP crew, Photo Credit: TOC)
The Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the Reform Party was represented by Kenneth Jeyaretnam (Secretary-General), Edmund Ng (Chairman), James Teo (Treasurer), Tony Tan (Member) and Justin Ong (Youth Wing President). Other party cadres were present to support the effort of the CEC, including Miss Nicole Seah, a recent NUS graduate. She joined the Reform Party a month ago.
Perhaps change was already in the air. The Reform Party was well-received at the Jurong West Market and Food Centre. An elderly chinese lady who declined to be named told The Online Citizen that she is very glad that the legacy of J.B. Jeyaretnam lives on in his son Kenneth Jeyaretnam.
"We need more Opposition such as the Reform Party in Parliament to voice out the concerns of ordinary Singaporeans on coping with the escalating cost of living. My son is struggling to pay my hospital bills while providing for the rest of the family and repaying his HDB mortgage," she said.
At the wet market, a vegetable stallholder expressed her disapproval with the Jurong Town Council. The ceiling above her stall has been leaking for a few months and the Town Council has yet to take action despite her frequent complaints.
"They [the Jurong Town Council] don't understand my predicament. When it rains, the ceiling leaks a lot and this contaminates my vegetables. Nobody wants to buy contaminated products," she said in Teochew.
A 22-year-old Jurong resident said that his heart resonates with the Reform Party's vision in a democracy backed by transparency, accountability and inclusiveness.
(Right: Reaching out to wet market patrons, Photo Credit: Reform Party)
A society is judged by how it treats its weakest members. "The state should provide a safety net for the most vulnerable members of society. Those in genuine need should not be made to feel grateful for what should be an entitlement," he said.
The Online Citizen queried the Reform Party whether the Reform Party would participate in a 3-way fight with the People's Action Party and the National Solidarity Party for Jurong GRC. Jurong GRC is currently a PAP ward while the National Solidarity Party has been conducting community outreach in Jurong GRC every Wednesday. The Reform Party declined to comment. The recent surge in political party activities among PAP and the Opposition has led to many speculating when the next General Election will take place.
More photos of the RP walkabout
Newly revamped Reform Party aims to secure one GRC in upcoming election
Lianhe Wanbao, Sunday, 11 October 2009
The newly revamped Reform Party aims to secure at least one GRC in the upcoming election.
The party started regular walkabouts at Blk 502 and 503 of Jurong West this morning. Helmed by the party leader Kenneth Jeyaretnam, the party aims to prioritise their energies into such groundwork.
Jeyaretnam said that the party previously headed to Geylang Serai for a Hari Raya walkabout. They will be doing another one for Deepavali. Following that, the party will visit Tampines.
Jeyaretnam added, “As for the GRC we will be targeting, we have not reached a decision on that as of now. However, we feel that it is important to raise awareness of our Party, which is why we have commenced walkabouts at different parts of Singapore.”
One year ago, the party was led by the late JB Jeyaretnam. Kenneth, his son, took over the reins four months ago and commemorated the revival of the party with a one-year anniversary dinner, where he announced plans for economic reform and a new team.
Jeyaretnam said, “Apart from the economy, governmental reforms, we also hope to improve upon civil liberties and human issues. We also hope to reform education and aim to bring the minimum up to at least O Levels.”
The party entourage comprised of 8 people who went into the hustle and bustle of the wet market at block 503-505 of Jurong West Street 52.
The Jurong GRC is currently occupied by Tharman. It was previously contested in 2001 by the Singapore Democratic Party.
Newly formed Youth Wing attracts 15 members in short span of 3 months
Lianhe Wanbao, Sunday, 11 October 2009
The newly formed youth wing of the party attracted 15 members over the short span of 3 months.
Kenneth Jeyaretnam said, “We believe that young people have strong ideals and want to regain ownership of their country. They are also hungry for change, which explains the increase in membership intake.”
The president of the youth wing is 25-year-old Wong Wei Shi (Justin Ong), who is a banker with DBS. He graduated from NUS.
Jeyaretnam said, “We currently have 30 members in the party. We would like to encourage those who would like to see change in our country to stand up and join the party. Together we can work towards this common dream.”