SINGAPORE: Opposition parties have to be clear of their role, which is to make sure that “policies are robustly debated”, said the National Solidarity Party’s secretary-general Spencer Ng on Tuesday (Jul 7).
He was responding to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s lunchtime online Fullerton rally on Monday, where he said the opposition had “nothing to say” about getting Singapore out of the COVID-19 downturn, growing the economy or creating new jobs.
“We are not the Government ... if we are in Parliament, we would definitely question if the Job Support Scheme is enough, especially when it is only for three months,” Mr Ng told CNA on the sidelines of NSP’s house visits at Canberra Link.
“NSP members have experience in managing businesses. We use our own resources to start businesses to help others - we know how much help people on the ground need.”
READ: GE2020 - In Sembawang GRC broadcast, PAP focuses on estate development; NSP highlights cost of living, support for residents
In comparison, the People’s Action Party (PAP) introduces schemes “on a very short-term basis”, he noted.
“They may lack the foresight on how to help locals get through this pandemic.”
When asked how NSP plans to lead the country out of COVID-19, Mr Ng replied that the party has always been very focussed on building up and investing in local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
“It’s listed in our manifesto since our party formation ... we want to build them strong enough so that they can withstand crises.”
During the Prime Minister’s rally on Monday, he said: “They (the opposition) prattle on about the minimum wage or universal basic income”.
“These are fashionable peacetime slogans, not serious wartime plans.”
“Do you really want to vote for parties who, in a crisis, come up with nothing better than old recycled manifestos?” Mr Lee asked.
On Tuesday, while Mr Ng admitted that NSP’s manifestos may not be complete as it does not have “all the figures” and access to public funds, he believes that it is the candidates’ experience that can help Singaporeans through this difficult period.
Mr Ng leads the NSP's Sembawang team which comprises Mr Ivan Yeo Tiong Boon, Mr Sebastian Teo, Mr Yadzeth Haris and Mr Sathin Ravindran.
They are up against Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, Mr Lim Wee Kiak, Mr Vikram Nair, Ms Poh Li San and Ms Mariam Jaafar from the PAP.
With another day of campaigning to go before Cooling-Off day on Thursday, Mr Ng said that it has definitely been a challenge to reach out to residents.
“Usually for opposition parties, we have to gather our own resources which most of the time, is limited,” he said.
In this regard, he said that NSP candidates would make very good town council managers. "We are very concerned over every penny, how much value we can extract from every penny,” he added.
“We have learnt through the hard way.”