The Workers’ Party (WP) on Wednesday (24 June) released a publicity video titled “The Workers’ Party GE2020: Make Your Vote Count” for the coming general election (GE), which is slated to take place on 10 July.
Sharing how WP’s walk with Singapore continues this GE, party secretary-general Pritam Singh said that political outreach lies in the heart of WP’s approach — seen via initiatives documented in the video such as selling the Party’s newsletter “The Hammer” to residents nearly every weekend.
Party members who have been Members of Parliament — such as Mr Singh and central executive committee member Leon Perera — engage with residents via weekly Meet-the-People sessions.
Social activist Raeesah Khan, one of the new faces of WP unveiled by the party yesterday, said that she assists the WP MPs at the Meet-the-People sessions as a case writer.
“I won’t say it’s hard, but it is challenging at times because I began to understand the people and their different worries,” she said.
Mr Singh, who is also the vice-chairman of the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC), said that town councillors are involved in the daily operations of the town council.
He added that grassroots events, house visits and coffeeshop walks have served as opportunities for the town councillors and WP members and volunteers to “get to know the residents better”.
Advertising executive Nicole Seah — one of WP’s new faces — said that the one thing that struck her the most when going on house visits with WP volunteers “is their dedication and their commitment to the cause”.
“It really isn’t easy … You have to do several house visits a week, on top of market walks, on top of Hammer sales, and on top of Party events,” she said.
“So the fact that the volunteers continue to do these, week in, week out, I think that really keeps me going on a personal level,” Ms Seah added.
Singapore, in lawyer and AHTC town councillor Fadli Fawzi’s view, is a nation in which “many different lives are united by hope and not fear of the future”.
Economics professor Jamus Lim said that the major difference with the work carried out by WP is that it is part of a greater movement “that hopes to offer an alternative voice for Singaporeans”.
Ms Khan, Ms Seah, Mr Fadli and Prof Lim are among WP members who have been seen walking the ground recently.
Mr Singh said that WP aims to create “contrast” and balance “so that you can see clearly the road ahead”.
“I think for the Workers’ Party, not everything is black and white. When it’s too bright, it becomes too blinding for anyone to see properly. Too dark, it will be too hard to look for a way around,” he added.
Mr Perera said that uniting Singaporeans as a people is not about having only one set of political views or only supporting one political party.
He added that “for the same reason that there should be more than one telco, more than one car maker, more than one healthcare company”, “healthy competition” in the political landscape “breeds better outcomes”.
Chairman Sylvia Lim opined that avoiding “groupthink” and instead having “representatives from different political parties” will serve Singapore well.
Mr Singh expressed his hope for WP members elected into Parliament to represent the interests of Singaporeans again.
“They must scrutinise policies, tax plans and budgets very closely. Fight for the aspirations of Singaporeans and fearlessly voice the concerns of their constituents,” he stressed.
Yudhishthra Nathan, WP Youth Wing exco member and a junior research assistant at Singapore-ETH Centre, espoused a similar view.
“Whether it is about protecting the economic interests of Singaporeans who just want a fairer shot at providing for their families, or whether it is about keeping the government fair and just, the faith that Singaporeans have put in us is too important to give up on,” he said.