Singapore — The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) held its first day of online rallies on June 30, via Facebook. The SDP is fielding 11 candidates over two GRCs and three SMCs for the 2020 General Elections.
During the rally, Bryan Lim Boon Heng, Dr James Gomez, and Dr Paul Tambyah took the floor to appeal to Singaporeans to vote for SDP.
Mr Lim started the rally off by raising the issue of having the elections held in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. He pushed viewers to think, asking “can you, your family, your children, your grandparents, even afford to pay the price for the PAP’s self interest?”
Furthermore, Mr Lim brought up the issue of current President, Mdm Halimah Yacob leaving her post at the Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC to take up her current role. He said that she had “abandoned the faith of the Marsiling-Yew Tee voters”.
Additionally, on that matter, Mr Lim pointed out that the court ruled against holding a by-election to have another minority Member of Parliament in the GRC, and Mr Zaqy Mohamad was instead appointed to stand in for Mdm Yacob in her Marsiling ward.
Mr Zaqy is the Member of Parliament for the Chua Chu Kang GRC, and Mr Lim asked if Mr Zaqy would have been able to give his undivided attention to residents.
The GRC system was made to ensure minority representation, and Mdm Yacob was the only minority member in the GRC.
On the issue of HDB lift upgradings, Mr Lim appealed to the online viewers, highlighting that he had brought the lift issues up to Mr Lawrence Wong, a member of the Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC team, and even started online petitions for the lift upgrading.
He also added that MP Ong Tee Koon only announced that the lifts would be upgraded after he highlighted the trouble that residents were going through because of the problems with the lifts.
Mr Lim is part of the four-member team contesting in the Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC.
Dr Gomez, in his segment of the rally, shared an anecdote of a man with four children, being terminated from his job after cost cutting measures were put in place. He spoke of how “in PAP’s Singapore, there is no job security, retirement safety, or a clear future for our children and loved ones”.
He also reiterated SDP’s “4Y1N” campaign causes.
The pandemic, he said, was an opportunity for Singaporeans to have a different system of governance in place, and to replace the trickle-down approach that the current system employs.
Dr Gomez is part of the SDP’s four-member team contesting in the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC.
Dr Tambyah also took the floor, first saying that Singaporeans deserve to “freely enjoy the excellent healthcare, education and housing we have in Singapore without having to mortgage our future”.
He added that 2020 has the potential to become another watershed election like in 2011, but that there is a real risk of a total opposition wipeout. He appealed to viewers that SDP will resist the effort of the government to divide Singaporeans by generation, race, or religion.
“When the SDP makes a pledge, we keep our word.” he said. Dr Tambyah also stressed that SDP cannot hold the government accountable until they are elected into Parliament, and emphasised that he wishes to deny PAP a two-thirds majority in Parliament, which currently allows them to make amendments to the Constitution at will.
Dr Tambyah reiterated that having 93 PAP MPs in Parliament locked into groupthink, was not the way Singapore should move forward.
He rounded up the rally by raising an example of how SDP has contributed to changes in policies, with PAP borrowing policies from the SDP and “watering it down”. Before the SDP healthcare plan, Dr Tambyah stated that Medishield did not cover pre existing illnesses like diabetes or cancer, but after the SDP put forward a call for universal healthcare, Medishield Life now provides for these pre existing illnesses.
The rally ended with Dr Tambyah thanking supporters and declaring “Majulah Singapura”.
Dr Tambyah is contesting in the Bukit Panjang SMC.