Some 25 years ago, the song “Home” was composed by Dick Lee and performed by Kit Chan, who did a beautiful remake of it for this year’s National Day. “Home” resonates deeply with our yearning to be connected to our homeland, embrace precious memories from our past and ignite our dreams for our future. It remains loved by Singaporeans, who passionately sing along—and are often moved to tears—whenever it is played.
Presently, our nation is experiencing a phase of deep introspection, driven partly by recent controversies. The lyrics of “Home” provide some comfort that, in times of trouble, our country will find a way to start anew and overcome these challenges.
Just like how the remake of “Home” comes at a time when Singapore and the world at large are at a different juncture from a quarter-century ago, our national policies also need to be re-examined to make them relevant to today’s Singapore.
Making Singapore the home we all cherish requires a revitalised focus on improving the lives and livelihoods of Singaporeans.
To this end, the Workers’ Party will continue to contribute to this effort as a rational, responsible and respectable party representing Singaporeans in Parliament. We have put forth a number of proposals in our election manifestos and in Parliament, and we are glad to see progress in both parliamentary discussions and government policies.
- In February, we asked for an increase in the allowances for full-time National Servicemen, in view of inflationary pressures and increases in the cost of living. In May, it was announced that all National Servicemen will receive allowance increases of up to $200.
- Our Manifesto argued that employers hiring foreign professionals should be required to engage independent consultants to conduct educational credential assessments. This will be implemented for Employment Pass applicants from 1 September 2023. It is a step towards better protection of Singaporeans’ jobs and making the hiring process fairer for all.
- We had proposed wider public housing options to cater to the increasingly diverse needs of singles and residents who prefer to rent. We note that the Government has said it will be studying more equitable housing options for singles, which includes rental.
- We advocated for the introduction of anti-discrimination legislation to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, disability and against Singapore citizens. We look forward to the workplace fairness legislation that the Government intends to table in Parliament in 2024, which will be a step in the right direction towards addressing employment discrimination. Most recently, we also spoke about the less tangible issues but which are nonetheless central to us as Singaporeans, such as Sports, proposing, amongst other things, lifelong and robust medical care for all our athletes, able-bodied or disabled.
The Workers’ Party will continue to raise sensible proposals in Parliament that are in the best interest of Singapore, our Home, and continue to work with Singaporeans to build our dreams together. Outside of Parliament, we will continue to advocate for a fairer, more just, and kinder society, one that makes us proud to be Singaporeans, regardless of race, language or religion.
I wish all Singaporeans, both at home and overseas, a very Happy 58th National Day.
Secretary General of Workers’ Party