SINGAPORE - The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) launched a new election campaign on Tuesday (April 28) – outlining the issues and proposals it intends to raise at the next general election.
The party said its new platform, called titled Four Yes, One No, or 4Y1N, is in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Last September, it launched a manifesto titled The Way Forward.
The first yes in its platform is a call for GST to be suspended the given the economic fallout of the pandemic. Its other proposals include retrenchment benefits to be paid to workers laid off as a result of the Covid-19 situation and a $500 monthly payment for some retirees.
The SDP said that under what it calls the SDP Restart (Re-Employment Scheme and Temporary Assistance for the ReTrenched) programme, if a worker is retrenched, the Government would pay 75 per cent of his last drawn salary for the first six months, 50 per cent for the subsequent six months, and 25 per cent for the final six months, capped at the median wage. The SDP first proposed this programme in 2015.
The third “yes” in the SDP’s campaign is for the bottom 80 per cent of retirees over 65 to be provided with a monthly income of $500. It added that by providing $500 for the average retiree, the financial pressure on younger working generations can also be lessened.
The campaign’s fourth “yes” is for the SDP to ensure the People’s Action Party (PAP) puts the people’s interest as a top priority. The SDP accused the Government of mishandling the outbreak, citing the advice for Singaporeans not to wear masks if they are well and the poor living conditions of foreign workers as examples.
The campaign’s one “no” is to an increase in Singapore’s population fuelled by immigration. The SDP said the economy has become overly dependent on foreign workers. Citing a 10 million figure raised by former chief planner Liu Thai Ker in 2014, the SDP said it will “stop the PAP from raising our population to 10 million and displacing our PMETs (professionals, managers, executives and technicians) with foreign ones”.
The SDP said: "The SDP will focus on these ideas and proposals in our GE campaign and will elaborate on them in the coming weeks and months."
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.