Speaking at a media doorstop this morning (August 4) at Yuhua Village Market and Food Centre, SDP’s Secretary-General Dr Chee Soon Juan says Singaporeans have “lost a lot of confidence” in Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s leadership.
Dr Chee commented on previous elections saying the difference between the current electoral season and previous ones is “the deterioration of the situation right now in Singapore”.
In criticising Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, Dr Chee adds that many on the ground were asking, “(How is) Mr Heng as the incoming prime minister, any different from the current prime minister?”
Chee says according to feedback his party is getting, there is “nothing to give you that sense of confidence that (Heng) knows that things need to change”.
“Everybody’s just doing what everybody else is talking about…and then we’re just having more of the same,” he says.
About the incumbents, Dr Chee remarked, “Over the last few years, I think Singaporeans have lost a lot of confidence in (PM Lee’s) leadership. And that’s why people are feeling a lot more anxious”.
“And that, for the sake of Singapore’s future, cannot continue”, the Secretary-general of SDP remarked.
Chee’s comments came a day after the party announced that for the upcoming general election, it would be contesting in the same five constituencies as it did in 2015.
That year, the party fielded 11 candidates and secured a 31.23 per cent share of the valid votes for the seats it contested – making it the second-best performing opposition party despite not winning any seats.
The SDP also took the media doorstop as an occasion to debut two new Young Democrats – Ms Min Cheong and Mr Fadly – whom they hope will be able to reach out to and empower more youths.
In an exclusive interview, Ms Min Cheong told TISG she wishes to develop a more “critical-thinking and open society”.
She hopes she and her colleague will be able to encourage more people to participate in the political process, and also contribute their views.
“So it will be really good to encourage more people, especially youths, to step up and share their ideas”, she says, adding that it would be really crucial for society to move forward.
Mr Fadly adds that he would also like to create more political awareness, especially amongst young voters.
“At the end of the day, politics affects everyday life – housing, when you buy a house, your jobs, all of these. So (its about) political re-education – to ensure that they (are able to) make an informed choice when the time comes to vote. And not to vote just for the sake of voting”, he says.
Both Mr Fadly and Ms Min Cheong are part of the SDP’s youth arm.