SDP: Justice and equality for everyone

Seven political parties delivered their second party messages on television and radio last night. The time allocated was based on the number of contesting candidates. We reproduce the messages that were delivered in English.

Singapore Democratic Party

Friends and fellow Singaporeans, my name is Paul Ananth Tambyah and I am speaking for the Singapore Democratic Party.

Many people ask why they should vote for the SDP. My answer is simple. The SDP is a competent, constructive, compassionate party which has a very strong political philosophy, based on social justice with a clear vision for Singapore. We aim to build a democratic society based on justice and equality.

Equality to us means that all the top schools are open to all children regardless of language stream or ethnicity, where parents do not feel compelled to spend thousands of dollars on tuition just to ensure that their children get a good education.

Equality means a national minimum wage for all workers local or foreign, so migrant workers are not exploited and local workers are not afraid of being replaced by cheaper, less skilled workers. Equality means equal treatment for all religions in the workplace and military.

Justice to us means that basic human rights are recognised for all. Justice also means that people are not penalised for being ill or disabled. Singapore has an excellent healthcare infrastructure with very good doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. The trouble is that public healthcare is very expensive.

Thanks to a parliamentary question, we know that the 3Ms - Medisave, MediShield and Medifund - account for less than 15 per cent of total health expenditure. The rest is paid out of government subsidies, out of pocket or from employer-funded health insurance, which is simply not sustainable.

We need a simpler, fairer healthcare system - we have proposed the SDP's national healthcare plan, which will help Singaporeans get peace of mind not provided by MediShield Life with its high deductibles and rising premiums. A democratic society is one ruled by the people - not by elite natural aristocrats.

The people of Singapore are mature and educated. We can think for ourselves, we can be trusted to manage our own money, including our own CPF at age 55, when we should be given the choice of whether we want to keep it in the CPF or use it for some lifelong dream or investment.

We do not want handouts or complicated means-tested subsidies but we want fair wages for our hard work and sensible health and employment insurance so that we can afford to pay for our own basic necessities, so we will not need handouts.

The Prime Minister made an unprecedented apology to the voters in the middle of GE 2011. It is time to look objectively at the promises made as part of that apology.

Ask yourself, are your children less stressed by the education system, are you spending less on tuition and childcare? Are the trains less crowded, are you more able to pay for healthcare for yourself and your parents, are you more secure that your job will not be taken away from you and given to someone who is willing to work for less?

If the answer to those questions is no, then we need more alternative voices in Parliament to provide independent checks on our Government.

Please vote for us so we can be your voice in Parliament.

This article was first published on Sept 11, 2015.
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