While speaking live on GE2020 party political broadcast on national television on Thursday (2 July), Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) representative Chee Soon Juan said that the People’s Action Party (PAP) has failed to keep to its promise of reducing the cost of living of Singaporeans.
“In the last elections, Mr Lee Hsien Loong asked voters to trust the PAP and promised that the government will work to lessen the burden of our cost of living,” Dr Chee said in his three-minute long political broadcast speech.
Dr Chee added, “He has not kept his promise. He has increased out cost of living by raising water prices, Town Council fees, healthcare costs, electricity rates, bus fares, school fees – you name it.”
The first of the two party political broadcast for the upcoming general election (GE) was aired on Thursday night, where seven parties were allocated a specific amount of time to deliver their speech. The next broadcast will be next Thursday (9 July).
Since the 1980 election, political parties that fielded at least six candidates under a recognised party symbol are qualified for airtime on free-to-air radio and television.
Dr Chee, who is also SDP’s chief, said in his speech that Mr Lee, who is PAP’s secretary-general, will soon increase the GST as well. If that’s not all, PAP has also brought in more foreign workers into the country, making it hard for Singaporeans to get a job due to the high competition with these foreign workers.
Additionally, Dr Chee pointed out that the future for Singaporeans, both young and old, are also “looking increasingly bleak”.
“Trust the PAP? Trust doesn’t come from what you say, it comes from what you do,” said the SDP chief.
Another point that Dr Chee highlighted was the promise made earlier that the price of HDB flats would never decrease. “But now, the PAP admits that our flats will decline in value until they become worthless at the end of the 99-year lease,” he added.
To this, Dr Chee said the ministers don’t have to worry about falling flat prices because they have “lavish themselves with astronomical salaries”.
“PM Lee collects about $200,000 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?”
As such, Dr Chee said that SDP is “committed” to change this and build a “future of promise and hope for Singapore”.
As to how the party plans to change this, Dr Chee said that the party has come up with an “alternative vision for Singapore” via its “Four Yes, One No” campaign.
“Yes number 1: suspend GST until end 2021, Yes number 2, introduce a retrenchment benefit scheme for retrenched workers, Yes number 3 provide a $500-monthly income for the elderly, Yes number 4 to put the people first and the one No is to say No to a 10-million population,” Dr Chee explained in a quick summary of the party’s GE campaign.
Politics is not about self-glorification
Dr Chee also stated in his speech that SDP has always been committed to speak up for the people, adding that politics is not about self-glorification.
“Through the decades, the SDP has never wavered in our commitment to speak up for you. To us, politics is not about self-glorification. Neither is it about enriching ourselves. Rather, it is about speaking up for you, our fellow citizens,” he said.
He added, “And we do this by striving to be the kind of opposition that you’ve told us that you want: competent, constructive and compassionate – a responsible opposition that does its homework, one that criticises the PAP when it is warranted but gives credit where credit is due.”