On today’s (6 July) Facebook Live broadcast hosted by Peoples Voice (PV), its chief Lim Tean spoke about People’s Action Party’s (PAP) Josephine Teo’s performance in the Government, the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), POFMA, as well as universal healthcare and education.
The “live” broadcast today mainly focused on the prospect of Singapore for the next five years. The party chief urged Singaporeans to imagine Singapore as a nation in the next five years if PAP won 93 to zero in the upcoming General Election (GE).
“I want you to ask yourselves, what do you think Singapore will be like in the next five years?”
Mr Lim requested the people of Singapore to vote in enough alternative parties into Parliament as he promised that the people’s lives will improve “by ten times” if that happened.
Judging by the ruling party’s performance in the past five years, the lawyer implied that it hadn’t been easy for Singaporeans to land jobs as well as improve the standard of living.
“Has it been easier for you to find jobs? Easier for your next generation to find jobs? Has it been easier for you to expand the standard of living for the last five years? I’m sure that your answer to many of these questions would be ‘no’.
Life in fact has become a lot tougher.”
He reminded the people that this GE is not about voting for Mr Lim himself but for Singaporeans instead, implying that the nation’s future is in the hands of its citizens.
“This is what the election is about. It is not about voting for me, I ask you to vote for yourselves. On the 10 July, you are voting for yourselves.”
The PV chief was also baffled that PAP’s Heng Swee Keat and Chan Chun Sing are “attempting to get away” with this election without debating the alternative parties. Therefore, he invited Mr Heng and other political parties to a debate on the current affairs, especially on the nation’s response to COVID-19.
Abolishing CECA and POFMA
Mr Lim revealed that one of the aspects of PV’s manifesto which will be presented tomorrow is that CECA must be abolished. He pledged that if PV is in Government, they would stand strong to abolish CECA without giving it a chance for a review.
“We want to freeze the issues of all S passes and reduce significantly the number of employment passes. We want good-paying jobs in Singapore – those that pay S$2,400 and above.”
He did not believe that Singaporeans do not have the ability to take up skilled jobs. And if that issue is true, he proceeded to question the educational system that resulted in this situation where local Singaporeans are not skilled enough.
Just like CECA, the PV chief stands for the abolishment of POFMA because he was concerned about the fairness, corruption, conflicts of interests, and ultimately the freedom of speech in Singapore.
“Make the vote on 10 July as a referendum of POFMA. During this election campaign, can you count how many POFMA that they have issued?”
Believing that there should be a free discussion of issues during an election season, Mr Lim slammed that the “unelected officials” in the ministries took matters in their own hands and accused other parties of “uttering falsehoods”.
Saddened by the lack of creativity in Singapore, he linked this issue to the nation for not enjoying the freedom of speech. He recalled how Singaporean citizens were afraid of expressing their views on sensitive topics in public, fearing that they would be penalised. The chief believed that Singapore should not be a society that is “so scared of the authority”.
“To be a progressive nation, we must move towards total freedom of speech.”
PAP’s tactics in GE
Mr Lim responded to one of his viewers’ comment that pointed out the PAP holding elections during times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. He noted how GEs were held on 11 September 2015 and in times of the “financial crisis”.
“That is typical PAP tactic. The PAP had always used fear to win elections. Because they think that in times of crisis, there is a flight to safety. People flee to them. That is what they’re trying to do with COVID-19.”
Criticising that the ruling party is insensible and how they did not care about public health and safety, the PV chief pointed out that Singaporeans will have to vote when there is still a triple-digit number of COVID-19 cases reported every day.
“No sensible government or a government that cares about the safety and health of its citizens would put them in harm’s way.”
Universal healthcare and education in Singapore
Mr Lim revealed that Singapore has about S$110 billion piled up in Medisave, and he questioned why the nation could not have universal healthcare with that sum of money. He expressed that universal healthcare is the “hallmark” of a first-world nation.
He proceeded to criticise how Singapore’s public services are “run for profit”, implying the existing inequality issues in the country due to neo-liberalism.
Suggesting that the inequality gap can be closed when the Government takes “proactive steps” to redistribute wealth, Mr Lim expressed that the redistribution of wealth “has to be in the form of” free healthcare and education, as well as a minimum wage.