The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) posted its campaign slogan for the coming General Election — 4YES◦1NO (4Y◦1N) — on its Facebook page on Monday (May 18).
Since elections must be called by April next year, the SDP is one of the first political parties to share its platform.
The ideas behind its campaign were brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, which it reasons has “wrought major and irrevocable changes to the politico-socio-economic landscape” that Singapore must face in the coming years.
The SDP claims that it will deal with these challenges head-on in order to address the inevitable changes that come with what it is calling a “post-Covid future”.
The party shares that Yes #1 is to “Suspend Goods and Services Tax (GST)” until the end of 2021. It believes that, due to the economic fallout that has occurred from the Covid-19 crisis, increasing it to 9% will only hurt the poor while not truly affecting the rich. It adds that suspending the GST will be beneficial in both boosting the economy and supporting businesses.
Yes #2 is “Pay Retrenchment Benefits”. Its plans include the SDP RESTART (Re-Employment Scheme And Temporary Assistance For The Retrenched) programme. Under this, any employee retrenched due to Covid-19 will receive 75 per cent of his or her last drawn salary for the first six months, 50 per cent for the second six months and 25 per cent for the final six months, capped at the median wage.
The party explains that Yes #3 is to “Provide Income For Retirees”, which will be done through its Retirement Income Scheme For The Elderly (RISE). It will work on getting the bottom 80 per cent of retirees over the age of 65 to receive at least S$500 monthly. Many of the elderly depend on their working children to support them, while some do not have children to help them at all.
The video mentions that a Household Expenditure Survey revealed that most retiree households get at least S$500 from their employed children. But due to the expected pay cuts and possible retrenchments due to the pandemic, some of these households will suffer because these children will no longer be able to support their ageing parents while supporting their own families. The SDP aims to use RISE to also lessen the stress and expectation placed on the younger work force.
Yes #4 is to “Put People First”. The SDP believes that “the bedrock of any nation is its people”. While the PAP has passed legislation in case a general election is held amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the SDP is more concerned about the health and safety of the public. It maintains that the PAP failed at properly handling the crisis, which caused the second wave of infections in the country. It also claims that this was due to the PAP’s refusal to lock down the country earlier, to its delayed mandates about mask-wearing in public, as well as ignoring the poor conditions in the foreign worker dormitories. The SDP asserts it will make sure to put its citizens first.
Meanwhile, the only “no” in SDPs campaign slogan: “No To 10 Million Population”. It explains that it does not agree with the PAP’s plans to raise it to 10 million by allowing more foreigners into the country. The SDP points out that at least 1 out of 4 foreigners holds a PMET (Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians) job, which could disadvantage Singaporeans, especially if the foreign population increases.
The SDP says that its campaign plan is focused mostly on the needs of Singaporeans by first dealing with the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic and, second, by guaranteeing that the long-term issues are also handled properly. As its GE campaign continues, it will continue to develop and share its proposals and ideas in the coming days.
Watch the full video here: