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GE2020: Each topic in SPP's manifesto attracts different voters, says party chief Steve Chia

GE2020: Each topic in SPP's manifesto attracts different voters, says party chief Steve Chia

The Singapore People's Party's (SPP) party chief, Steve Chia, who is contesting in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, during a walkabout at Toa Payoh Lorong 2 on Jul 6, 2020. (Photo: Christy Yip)

SINGAPORE: The Singapore People’s Party’s 10 manifesto topics each attract different voters, said party chief Steve Chia on Monday (Jul 6). 

The party has raised issues on environmental issues, which resonate with the young, while the elderly are happy that mental health concerns are being brought up, Mr Chia explained. 

Another group is also concerned about the Central Provident Fund (CPF). “They want to borrow from the CPF and they are very happy that we mentioned that,” said Mr Chia. Some others asked how the party would address the depreciation of Housing & Development Board flats as their 99-year lease expires.  

“We have suggested ideas for consideration in Parliament,” said Mr Chia. “With the collective wisdom of the people, I believe that a feasible solution can be worked up over time.” 

Mr Chia was secretary-general of the National Solidarity Party (NSP) from 2001 to 2005, and was a former Non-Constituency Member of Parliament from 2001 to 2006, during which NSP was under the Singapore Democratic Alliance.

READ: GE2020: SPP launches manifesto calling for voting age to be cut to 18, no further increase in GST

Speaking to CNA on the sidelines of a party walkabout in Toa Payoh Lorong 2, Mr Chia said they are “working hard to convince more people to give (them) the support to bring about change in the area”. 

Alongside him were about ten volunteers and the party’s candidates for the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Mr Osman Sulaiman, Mr Melvyn Chiu and Mr Williiamson Lee. They are up against the incumbent People’s Action Party team, led by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen. 

The group fanned out across blocks and shops to distribute party flyers and their manifesto. Some could be heard telling residents “Polling Day is this Friday” as they went door to door, at times stopping at length to seek resident’s feedback. 

When asked what changes the party hopes to bring to the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, Mr Chia said they would want to “work full time to listen to the people”.

“By listening … we will know what do they want, what are their needs and how they want society to be governed,” he said. 

Mr Chia, having left his contact details on the party’s manifesto, said he has received many questions about their plans via direct messaging. “Many of them agree with me (on) the importance of paying attention and listening,” he said. 

The SPP team distributes about 4,000 flyers at each walkabout, where they cover markets, MRT stations and Housing Board flats, said Mr Chia. “We have been talking to residents on the one to one basis … letting them see us, ask us questions."

As the campaign inches closer to Polling Day, Mr Chia hopes to convince more voters of their plans. “Hopefully in the next three days, more people will read our manifesto, about our candidates … what kind of balance we want to seek for, alternative ideas we want to bring across,” he said. 

“Hopefully that can convince the voters to vote for us to pass the 50 per cent mark.” 

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Source: CNA/ch


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