Singapore—One demographic on the radar of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) is the newest crop of voters—today’s millennials. The SDP is hoping that young Singaporeans will help solidify its base for the upcoming General Election (GE).
Because of this, the SDP is bringing up issues and concerns close to the hearts of the youth.
At a walkabout on Sunday, November 3, at Ghim Moh Market and Food Centre, Dr Paul Anath Tambyah, the Chairman of the SDP, told members of the press that there’s a “new generation of voters in Singapore, the millennials, who feel that some of their concerns are not being addressed”.
One specific concern Dr Tambyah brought up is employment.
“There is a push for people to keep being employed and one of the downsides of keeping older people in the workforce is that there are fewer opportunities for young people to come up.
The nature of work is changing, the cost of living is going up, the cost of raising kids, the cost of buying your first home — these are real issues facing young people.”
The SDP head spoke of the need for millennials to be represented in parliament.
“I think they would appreciate having people who are able to speak up for them in parliament.”
TODAY reports that Chee Soon Juan, the party’s secretary-general had expressed a few months ago, at a walkabout in Yuhua, that SDP was giving serious thought to having younger candidates in the upcoming GE.
Journalists asked Dr Tambyah if the party would include more younger candidates in its line-up for the election.
While he did not answer directly, Dr Tambyah did sat that the SDP candidates’ average age may “probably go down at least by a year or two”.
SDP looks to bring about change in the coming ballot, and change was the theme of their recent pre-election rally, which was held on October 19 at Hong Lim Park.
The party asked attendees, “Are you ready for change?”
One main point that speakers at the SDP rally drove home were the promises made by the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) in the last General Election (GE), and how they’ve gone unfulfilled.
At the rally, Dr Chee said, “I will demonstrate to you and leave you in absolutely no doubt how the PAP says one thing before the elections and does another after the elections.”
He played a video of PM Lee saying in an election rally in 2015 that the elderly poor would live with dignity. Dr Chee said that this is just one of the promises that the PAP has not kept, with the suicide rate among older Singaporeans at a record high, according to data from the Samaritans of Singapore in 2017.
He also pointed to what he said were contradictions in what the Government has said when it comes to foreign workers.
“Mr Lee assured the nation that we must carefully manage the inflow of foreign workers and ensure that they complement, rather than displace Singaporeans workers.
If the Government had carefully managed the inflow of foreign workers as Mr Lee had assured us in 2003, why did Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam contradict him by pointing out that dependence on foreign PMETs (professionals, managers, executive and technicians) has become unsustainable?”/ TISG