On 3 June, the GE2020 constituency broadcasts were held online where we saw candidates for the following constituencies reaffirm their stance and promises to the people in a 2-hour long broadcast:
- Aljunied GRC: Workers’ Party and People’s Action Party
- Ang Mo Kio GRC: People’s Action Party and Reform Party
- Bishan Toa Payoh GRC: People’s Action Party and Singapore People’s Party
- Bukit Batok SMC: People’s Action Party and Singapore Democratic Party
- Bukit Panjang SMC: People’s Action Party and Singapore Democratic Party
Narrowing in on the SMCs, both Bukit Batok and Bukit Panjang SMCs were being contested by Singapore Democratic Party frontrunners Dr Chee Soon Juan and Dr Paul Tambayah respectively.
Bukit Batok SMC is being contested by PAP’s Mr Murali Pillai and SDP’s Dr Chee Soon Juan. Mr Murali started off his speech with how out of the 26 fatalities in Singapore, one was a Bukit Batok resident who was the sole breadwinner of the family. When his widow reached out to Mr Murali for help, he started the Helping Hands Fund and ended off by reasserting how he had fostered close relations with Bukit Batok’s residents.
Following Mr Murali’s speech, Dr Chee came on and protested against MPs working on a part-time basis. He cited how between having a Town Council to run, taking care of residents’ needs and concerns, reviewing proposed bills and finally speaking up in Parliament, he just could not see how being an MP was a part-time job. There was also the danger of overlooking discrepancies leading to the jeopardizing of residents’ safety.
He went on to highlight how ruling party PAP’s MPs outsourced their work to profit-making businesses called managing agents, which were funded by residents.
If elected, he resolved to carry out his duties as an MP on a full-time basis instead of employing managing agents. He would ensure the most qualified professionals handled the jobs, reporting directly to him to ensure nothing fell through the cracks.
In the first 100 days of being elected, he promised to publish an interim financial report, report on the handover process, announce a Town Council budgetary plan and produce a 12- month work plan, to ensure transparency.
On his end, he would set aside a portion of his MP allowance to fund activities for the elderly, set up a trust fund to assist lower-income households and run enrichment programmes for children to develop their critical thinking.
Bukit Panjang SMC is being contested by PAP’s Liang Eng Hwa and SDP’s Paul Tambyah. Mr Liang started off by elaborating how Bukit Panjang had developed over the past few years and how pleased he was to have played a part in its growth. He cited his past successes in the Bukit Panjang district as examples, such as securing a number of new bus services (e.g. 972, 973, 976) as well as the SGD$344 million LRT upgrade, emphasizing the importance of constant redevelopment.
The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a whole new set of challenges for Singaporeans, and if elected, he promised to assuage the concerns of jobseekers by working hand in hand with them to improve employability and to tap on the various Jobs and Skills Programmes to assist them.
Dr Paul Tambyah started off by saying how he had listened to the concerns of the people which included rising noise levels at loading bays and lift upgrading delays.
He was quick to arrow Minister Khaw Boon Wan for his comments on how the Bukit Panjang LRT was an “after-thought” and was constructed following “political pressure”. He went on to say how no one he had met had placed such political pressure on PAP and contemplated how the various redevelopment projects were selected.
If elected, he reiterated Dr Chee’s point on how SDP would run the Town Council by themselves with the active participation of residents, ensuring full public transparency while avoiding toxic financial investments.
He accused the PAP of recklessness because of their decision to hold the 2020 General Elections in the midst of a global pandemic, hoping to recreate the 2001 Elections which were held immediately after the 9/11 disaster. PAP’s agenda, he claims, is to eradicate the opposition entirely, which would prove disastrous for future generations.
He reaffirmed SDP’s slogan “4Y1N” and planned to fund these policies by using slightly more of the NIRC and raising wealth taxes to achieve SDP’s goal, without requiring them to tap on Singapore’s reserves.
“It is much better to have the cash in the hands of the people rather than in corporations, hoping that some of it trickles down to the rest of us” he affirms.
He ended off by expressing his happiness over PAP retracting its goal to achieve a population of 10 million population. /TISG
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