The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has expressed its willingness to join its efforts with those of other opposition parties in Singapore to achieve a common goal, namely “a freer and more democratic Singapore”.
Speaking at the SDP General Election Campaign Kick-Off at Mandarin Orchard on Saturday (23 Feb), party chairman Paul Tambyah said: “We are happy to work with other parties in our goal for a freer and more democratic Singapore.”
Dr Tambyah added: “SDP is a party with a clear ideology that puts people first over profits … It is a constructive party with a tenacity and a commitment to democracy and justice.”
SDP will be using #SDPNOW – The Way Forward as its GE 2019 slogan.
The campaign launch, according to SDP, was received with great enthusiasm from a “standing room only crowd”, and witnessed “many young faces in the crowd, several of whom were university, JC and polytechnic students” despite the abrupt change of venue.
“This bodes well for the party as we continue to reach out to Singapore’s youth and to excite them about the party and our plans for our nation’s future,” said SDP.
The original venue management KCC (Kingdom Community Church) Ventures Pte Ltd had cancelled the SDP campaign launch just one day prior to the event due to “JTC inspection” and political reasons, according to the party in a statement on Friday (22 Feb).
“This latest episode highlights the sick situation this country finds itself under PAP rule – gripped by fear and bullying. Contracts and agreements are broken last-minute with impunity.
“The SDP will not take such action lying down, we are strongly considering taking legal action,” warned SDP.
Consequently, SDP thanked “the Mandarin Orchard staff for their quick response” to the Party’s request for additional seating from “the original seating capacity of 250 … Another 50 seats were added with later arrivals having to stand,” SDP noted, adding that the party had also “chartered a bus to pick up participants who might have missed our announcement of the change of venue”.
During the campaign launch, SDP distributed information packs containing the Party’s message to voters, a house visit campaign card, information on how to donate and volunteer for SDP, and a copy of SDP’s newspaper The New Democrat.
The party’s Vice-Chairman John Tan revealed that SDP will be updating and re-launching “several policy papers in areas such as cost of living, housing, and healthcare”, on top of organising “a pre-election rally at Hong Lim Park in September” and publishing the SDP’s town council plans.
WATCH: Dr Chee Soon Juan on building trust between leaders and citizens
WATCH: Dr Paul Ananth Tambyah on the need for accountability and transparency in Singapore
“The indifference of this government to suffering is disturbing … We must find our way back”: SDP
In its campaign message, SDP charged that the “indifference” of the present-day People’s Action Party (PAP) government towards suffering is “disturbing”.
“It is a government that has lost its way, utterly bereft of moral values,” the Party said.
“The ministers have little to worry about … They lavish themselves with astronomical salaries. Prime Minister Lee [Hsien Loong] collects $220,000 a month. Even the junior entry-level ministers are paid $100,000 a month. How long do we average Singaporeans have to work to earn that amount?
“And while they live in their bungalows and mansions, low-wage workers sleep in void-decks and 24-hour MacDonald’s outlets because they have nowhere else to go. Our elderly poor have to clear tables and wash toilets to survive, and poor families with young children are evicted from their flats because they cannot afford the rent,” said SDP.
The Party suggested that the predicament of many low-income Singaporeans is a result of misplaced trust in the PAP government.
“In the last elections, PM Lee asked voters to trust the PAP and promised that the government cares for us and will work to improve our lives.
“He has not kept his promise. He has increased our cost of living by raising water prices, Town Council fees, healthcare costs, electricity rates, bus fares, school fees, etc. Soon, he will raise the GST.
“He has brought in even more foreign workers to compete with us for jobs. The future for Singaporeans, young and old, are looking increasingly bleak.
“We were told that the prices of our flats would never fall. But now, the PAP admits that our flats will decline in value until they become worthless at the end of the 99-year lease.
“Trust the PAP? Trust doesn’t come from what you say, it comes from what you do,” SDP stressed.
“We must find our way back. We must find our nation’s heart again because a people without a heart is a people without a future. The SDP is committed to changing this by building a future of promise and hope for Singapore,” said SDP.