2021 New Year message by Progress Singapore Party (PSP)’s Secretary General, Dr Tan Cheng Bock
As we usher in a new year, I like to spend some time reflecting about how this year has been significant for the development of our political institutions, maturing of our electorate and how heartened I am to see so many brave men and women who have stepped forward without fear of reprisal to stand alongside me to contest in GE2020. I like to thank all of you for your courageous efforts.
In 2020, many Singaporeans have awakened to what we can become as a nation and as a country, when we espouse greater compassion, transparency and accountability.
Singapore is no longer the same nation when I stepped forward to serve as a politician some 40 years ago. Today, there is so much elitism and political patronage that it takes one more than just merit to become successful in one’s career and in life. This is a very troubling trend and we need to stop this before it is too late.
PSP’s members and supporters have stepped forward to serve for the same reason – we want to build a better Singapore, we want to build a society that is more equitable and just.
The year 2020 has been a very tough year for all of us. We are going through one of the worst recessions since independence and this downturn has taken a toll on all of us in one way or another. Some of us have lost our jobs; some were taken ill because of COVID 19, while the rest are just hoping that New Year will bring the much anticipated reprieve from the current economic malaise.
The world stood still because of this invisible foe – it is one that can’t been seen but it wreaked havoc to so many communities that large swathes of land came under lockdown to stop the virus from spreading. We read of reports of large overseas communities slipping back into poverty as a result.
Singapore is neither immune nor is it spared from the economic ravages of this bug. Many Singaporeans have slipped below the poverty line and the government’s reluctance to set a poverty line has made it more difficult to identify and help those that need help and assistance.
The implementation of the COVID19 vaccination programme gives us a ray of hope. But all it can do is to stop the spread of the virus. We still need to build our economy, lift those who have fallen behind, retrain and reskill our workforce and make our economy vibrant and robust like it was prior to the recession.
It takes more than a wish to get Singapore back on her feet. Obviously, it is more than a wish, it takes determination and grit; it takes men of steel and men who have done this before running large and small companies that have created good employment opportunities for Singaporeans.
At PSP, we share the concern of many Singaporeans that the current political office holders are cut from the same cloth bringing with them the experience of running large garrisons but little knowledge and knowhow in reviving companies and the economy.
And this is where PSP shines the brightest. We have talent to help steer this ailing economy in the right direction. You will hear more from our NCMPs in the budget deliberations next year.
We have a strong reserve and we hope that the government will take prudent steps to alleviate the plight of both individuals and businesses that are struggling.
At PSP, we stand shoulder to shoulder with you in good times and in bad. I spend every moment thinking about what we can do to make Singapore better, to rebuild our lives and our economy.
I like to add a word of caution as I conclude my remarks for 2020; we need to be vigilant for new strands of COVID19. So, let’s continue to practise good hygiene, safe distancing and wear a surgical mask when you step out of your home. I do hope that this pandemic will taper off in the days to come.
Wishing 2021 to be a year of new opportunities and hope with lots of happiness and health for all. Join us in ushering a New Year and also join us in ushering greater transparency and accountability.
Happy New Year!
For Country, For People.