Singapore – Opposition Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) introduced three candidates who got up close and personal with the media and answered queries on issues such as climate change and the rising cost of living leading to depression as well as representation of motorcyclists in Singapore.
Dr Chee Soon Juan, along with Mr Alfred Tan, Ms Min Cheong and Mr Robin Low, held a two-part virtual press conference on Tuesday (June 30), and addressed quite a few concerns from media representatives.
Bukit Timah is an interesting GRC
Marketing communications professional, Ms Cheong, who is contesting in Holland-Bukit Timah Group Representation Constituency (GRC), was asked to share some of the issues she’s heard from residents in the area during her walkabouts. As someone who grew up in Bukit Timah, Ms Cheong noted how the community was an “interesting GRC with a varied demographics.” The elderly and those coming from lower-income households are concerned about healthcare costs, CPF (Central Provident Fund), employment, and cost of living. At the same time, those living at the more affluent areas are focused on ideology. “They’re very concerned about representation in Parliament, fairness and equality, and slightly more issues based on principle,” said Mr Cheong. “With the four candidates that we have there, we hope that we can bring our respective experiences and expertise to best represent the different sectors and communities there.”
She was also asked how high a priority climate change was for her, given she’s a younger candidate. Ms Cheong explained that the issue is a party-wide concern, not just for the youth section of SDP. “When it comes down to the GRCs, we will listen to the residents. If it’s brought up to us and ranks high on a municipal level, then it would be something that we will want to address.” Dr Chee added on the issue of climate change and commented on how it is a “great threat.” He reiterated the importance of getting the opposition into Parliament to push for such policies in making Singapore a greener place.
Robin Low on depression and motorcyclist representation in Parliament
Mr Low first shared how he entered politics, amid friends cautioning him otherwise. “There is a lot of fear that needs to be addressed,” said Mr Low. After meeting his mom’s senior friends in Toa Payoh, Mr Low realised that he had to address the level of depression among residents in the area. “I have to do something. I can’t just sit back and be on the sidelines because they’re talking about suicide, dying and having a good death.” The seniors expressed they didn’t want to be a burden to their children due to expensive medical costs, said Mr Low. “There is something is wrong with the system, and there needs to be more things done for the marginalised communities. Whatever is being done now is definitely not enough,” he added.
As a biker and a part of a substantial sector in Singapore, Mr Low also wants more representation of motorcyclists in Parliament. “We deserve a voice. There are so many different rules involved that puts us at a disadvantage,” said Mr Low. He mentioned how the costs of keeping a motorcycle has gone up, which is a burden for those who can’t afford their own vehicle or easily take public transport. “There isn’t enough representation because who else in Parliament rides a bike?” he said.
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