Three opposition parties used their first rallies yesterday to air their grouses and push for changes in policy areas such as the Central Provident Fund (CPF) scheme and immigration.
During the National Solidarity Party's (NSP) rally in Woodlands for the Sembawang GRC, the nine speakers stuck to themes outlined in the party's manifesto.
NSP new face Kevryn Lim, 26, blamed the recent MRT breakdown on the infrastructure's inability to handle the growing population. Ms Lim, who is up against a PAP team led by Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan in the five-man Sembawang GRC, said: "Why was the MRT not built according to the projected population increase? Why do Singaporeans have to suffer because of the 6.9 million population projection?"
But the NSP speakers stopped short of giving suggestions on ways to tackle overpopulation and the widening income gap, citing time constraints.
The NSP's acting secretary-general Lim Tean and president Sebastian Teo invited the audience to come for subsequent rallies, with the latter promising that the party "will not just highlight issues but offer solutions" as well.
Added Mr Lim: "I know I didn't have much of a chance to address you tonight, but on other nights I shall be going into more substantial issues, like the CPF and how foreign workers are taking away Singaporean jobs."
The NSP is fielding 12 candidates, who are contesting MacPherson SMC and Pioneer SMC, as well as Sembawang and Tampines GRCs.
During the Singapore Democratic Alliance's (SDA) rally in Pasir Ris Park for the Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, its chief media officer and candidate Harminder Pal Singh called for Singaporeans to be offered greater choice in managing their CPF savings. He said: "There are Singaporeans who know to invest money, and this group of people, at age 55, should have the choice to take that money out and make their own investments, which may give them better returns than the small CPF returns we are getting.
"Let us have the choice. If people say 'I need the money', maybe let him withdraw half and keep the other half as earning interest. At 55, we want the right to have our money back."
The SDA is up against a six-member PAP team led by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean in the GRC, the opposition party's sole battleground.
Meanwhile at the Bukit Gombak Stadium rally for Chua Chu Kang GRC, the People's Power Party (PPP) sought to tackle the issue of immigration, and suggested that foreign workers should be assessed before being given the S Pass or permanent resident status.
Said PPP chief Goh Meng Seng, who is running against a PAP team helmed by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong: "We are not xenophobic, we are not against foreigners, but we are against PAP's ruthless population growth policy."
This article was first published on September 5, 2015.
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