SINGAPORE: The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) is committed to addressing issues like the cost of living and competition for jobs from foreign workers, said party secretary-general Chee Soon Juan on Thursday (Jul 2).
Speaking in a televised party broadcast, Dr Chee said that under a People’s Action Party (PAP) government, the cost of living has gone up.
“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,” said Dr Chee.
“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.”
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) will also go up, said Dr Chee, referring to a planned hike in the coming years.
“He has brought in even more foreign workers to compete with us for our jobs. The future for Singaporeans, young and old, are looking increasingly bleak,” he said.
“Trust the PAP? Trust doesn't come from what you say, it comes from what you do.”
Dr Chee added that people were told that the “prices of their 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,” he said.
Singapore’s ministers have little to worry about, Dr Chee said.
“They lavish themselves with astronomical salaries. PM Lee collects about S$200,000 a month. Even the junior entry-level ministers are paid S$100,000 a month. How long do we average Singaporeans have to work to earn that amount?” he asked.
“The SDP is 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,” he said, reiterating his party’s “Four Yes, One No” campaign.
The first yes is to suspend the GST until the end of 2021, the second is to introduce a retrenchment benefit scheme for retrenched workers, the third is to provide S$500 monthly income for the elderly, while the last is to “put the people first”, he said.
“The one no is to say no to a 10 million population,” he added.
“We have drawn up an alternative vision for Singapore crystallised in our 4Yes1No campaign.”
Dr Chee urged people to tune in to SDP’s speeches on Facebook and on YouTube.
“We’ll explain how we’re going to push for these policies and how we’re going to pay for them,” he said.
“Through the decades, the SDP 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.”
He added that the SDP does this by “striving to be the kind of opposition that Singaporeans have told them that they want - competent, constructive and compassionate, a responsible opposition that does its homework, one that criticises the PAP when it is warranted but gives credit where credit is due”.
“It is with this spirit that we continue to serve this 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,” he said.