Singaporeans call for social justice to be part of general election

Pursue Social Justice

A group of Singaporeans have come together to start a campaign to place social justice front and centre in the upcoming general elections.

“Often at [the general election], the loudest and largest will be heard. But the issues, struggles and interests of certain marginalised communities often get neglected in the public debates during [the election]. This campaign seeks to address that problem directly,” said Ronald JJ Wong, one of the initiators of the campaign.

The group has put up a 20-page petition paper covering social justice issues such as poverty and social mobility, the rights of migrant workers, the rights of freelancers in Singapore, and the rights of persons with disabilities.

“These are, in fact, issues which impact many Singaporeans. For instance, with Singapore’s ageing population, a larger fraction of the population will experience some form of disability. On social mobility and poverty, there are reportedly about 1.1 million Singaporeans in households living in relative poverty. Also, it is estimated that there are at least 100,000 freelancers in Singapore, many of whom in the lowest 20th percentile of workers,” said a statement from the group.

A petition to addressed to all Singaporean politicians has also been launched.

Those interested in the campaign can also find more information on their Facebook page, GE 2015: Pursue Social Justice.

The full press release:

GE 2015: PURSUE SOCIAL JUSTICE

AUGUST 2015, SINGAPORE – A group of self-initiated Singaporeans have started a campaign calling for attention to be given at the imminent General Elections (“GE”) to matters relating to social justice in Singapore. We have started an online petition inviting all political parties to respond on certain concerns, especially those pertaining to socio-economically marginalised communities, which are important but would probably be neglected in the upcoming GE.

By getting citizens who are similarly convicted about such concerns to sign the petition, it will send a message to the political parties that these concerns are important to voters and thus, matters of national importance. “Often at GE, the loudest and largest will be heard. But the issues, struggles and interests of certain marginalised communities often get neglected in the public debates during GE. This campaign seeks to address that problem directly,” said Ronald JJ Wong, one of the initiators of the campaign.

The concerns and communities that the group is raising include: social mobility and poverty, freelancers, migrant workers, trafficking in persons, environment and climate change, and persons with disabilities. These are, in fact, issues which impact many Singaporeans. For instance, with Singapore’s ageing population, a larger fraction of the population will experience some form of disability. On social mobility and poverty, there are reportedly about 1.1 million Singaporeans in households living in relative poverty. Also, it is estimated that there are at least 100,000 freelancers in Singapore, many of whom in the lowest 20th percentile of workers. The full petition paper sets out various other statistics and information on these issues and communities.

Singaporeans may sign the online petition at the following URL: https://www.change.org/p/singapore-politicians-ge-2015-pursue-social-justice. People may also follow the campaign for updates on its Facebook page at:  https://www.facebook.com/GE2015socialjustice.

“This is about asking for sustained political action on needful policies for real people,” explained Wong.