Singapore – The General Elections’ first Party Political Broadcast aired on Thursday evening (July 2), giving representatives from contesting parties a chance to highlight their campaigns. For the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), the message was about trust and being an opposition party that does its homework.
Seven eligible parties were featured during the political broadcast: the People’s Action Party represented by Mr Heng Swee Keat; Progress Singapore Party with Dr Tan Cheng Bock; The Workers’ Party with Mr Pritam Singh; Singapore Democratic Party with Dr Chee Soon Juan; Peoples Voice with Mr Michael Fang Amin; National Solidarity Party with Mr Spencer Ng; and The Reform Party represented by Mr Charles Yeo. Airtime and sequence of appearance were provided following the number of candidates fielded.
Dr Chee touched on the issue of trust towards the incumbent party at the beginning of his speech. He enumerated how a promise was made to lessen the burden of a high cost of living, yet the opposite has occurred through increased healthcare costs and electricity rates, among other examples. “Trust doesn’t come from what you say, it comes from what you do,” said Dr Chee. He highlighted how the SDP would stick to their commitment to speaking up for the people through their 4Y1N campaign. “Politics is not about self-gratification,” said Dr Chee and added the SDP would be the kind of opposition that does its homework, one that is “competent, constructive and compassionate.”
Members from the online community shared their opinions on his speech through the comments, with some noting his style of delivery which had “feeling and good pacing” and had a “newscaster vibe.” A few extended their support, coming from Bukit Batok, the constituency Dr Chee is fielding for the elections.
Read his speech in full:
“Good evening, my fellow Singaporeans. In the last elections, Mr Lee Hsien Loong asked voters to trust the PAP and promised that the government will work to lessen the burden of our cost of living. He has not kept his promise. He has increased our cost of living by raising water prices, Town Council fees, healthcare costs, electricity rates, bus fares, school fees – you name it. Soon, he will raise the GST (Goods and Services Tax). He has brought in even more foreign workers to compete with us for our jobs. The future of Singaporeans, young and old, is looking increasingly bleak.
Trust the PAP? Trust doesn’t come from what you say; it comes from what you do. Worse, we were told that the prices of our flats would never fall. But now, the PAP admits that our flats will decline in value until they become worthless at the end of the 99-year lease.
The ministers have little to worry about. They lavish themselves with astronomical salaries. PM Lee collects about $200,000 a month. Even the junior entry-level ministers are paid $100,000 a month. How long do we average Singaporeans have to work to earn that amount?
The SDP has committed to changing all this by building a future of promise and hope for Singapore. We do this because we are committed to our beliefs. We have drawn up an alternative vision for Singapore crystallised in our 4Y1N campaign.
Yes number 1: suspend the GST until end 2021. Yes number 2: introduce a retrenchment benefit scheme for retrenched workers. Yes number 3: provide a $500 monthly income for the elderly. Yes number 4: to put the people first. And the one No is to say ‘No’ to a 10-million population. Due to time constraints, I can’t go into detail about our proposals, but please tune in to our speeches online on Facebook and YouTube, and we’ll explain how we’re going to push for these policies and how we’re going to pay for them. Please join us then.
Through the decades, the SPD has never wavered in our commitment to speak up for you. To us, politics is not about self-glorification. Neither is it about enriching ourselves. Rather, it is about speaking up for you, our fellow citizens. And we do this by striving to be the kind of opposition that you’ve told us that you want: competent, constructive and compassionate – a responsible opposition that does its homework, one that criticises the PAP when it is warranted but gives credit when credit is due. It is with this spirit that we continue to serve the country and serve it with pride and humility. It is in this spirit that we invite you, dear Singaporeans, to build a brighter and more hopeful tomorrow with us. Thank you and good night.”