Singapore—Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) made some major announcements over the weekend as they held a media briefing on September 14, Saturday, to unveil their new developments.
First was the announcement that the party’s website has been revamped, “ with content updated and prepared for the GE.” Engineer-volunteers have been working on SDP’s new site since February in order to offer a faster and better experience especially for mobile users.
Secondly, SDP’s vice-chairman John Tan and media management head Benjamin Pwee also said that the party’s manifesto, in the form of a coffee table book entitled “The Way Forward” will be launched on September 28, Saturday, at The Colonial@Scotts at 31 Scotts Road. The manifesto book will be launched also in commemoration of the party’s 39th anniversary.
Finally, Messrs Tan and Pwee also announced SDP’s plans to hold its pre-election rally on October 19 at Hong Lim Park. While applications to hold the rally were submitted last week, SDP has yet to receive approval for it and thus announced that the venue and date may still be changed.
The chief purpose of the rally is to highlight SDP’s 3 main messages, which are
- No to 9 % GST
- No to 10M population
- No to the retention of our CPF savings
Mr Pwee and Mr Tan opened the floor to questions, with one question from The Independent SG garnering a long and thoughtful response from Mr Tan.
He was asked for a clarification concerning the retention of CPF savings, given that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had recently talked about in his speech in last month’s National Day Rally.
Mr Tan replied, “The retention of CPF, yes, the Prime Minister said something about that during the last National Day Rally, but if you go through his speech again, the retention is still there, pretty much, it has not been taken away. The minimum sum is still there.
The minimum sum is something a lot of people are unhappy about and they want to take back their money. People recall, especially older people like myself… my cohort of citizens will recall how they kept our money, and they promised to return it to us at the age of 55.
And then that promise became so elusive. From 55 to 60, and then 62, and it keeps on moving.
So the retention is still pretty much there. They try to modify things now and then. This recent one is not the first time they are doing that. They have been modifying the CPF scheme now and then sometime to make people a little happier, to smooth down the complains a little bit, but generally you see the basic structure is pretty much still unchanged.”
Mr Pwee said that SDP’s policy team will flesh out the party’s messages in more detail before the pre-election rally, given that in the time before the scheduled date of October 19th, the government may yet have other official announcements.
However, the three topics already mentioned are the three “chosen topics that we want to focus the pre-election rally on,” he added.
On Monday, Dr Chee Soon Juan, the head of the SDP, also announced the launch of the party’s manifesto book on his Facebook account,
“After months of work in design and layout, we are proud to announce the launching of our manifesto for the coming GE. A political manifesto is a declaration of a party’s vision and mission, a pronouncement of its plans and policies. This is exactly the purpose of this important publication – a signal of the SDP’s intent to change Singapore for the better. Come join us for this grand occasion and support the party showing this nation The Way Forward. #SDPNOW #TheWayForward”