THE People Action Party's (PAP) policies are based on core values such as meritocracy, multi-racialism, self-reliance and honesty, said Grace Fu, the party's candidate for Yuhua Single Member Constituency (SMC) on Monday, as she criticised the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) for using emotions and populist policies to sway voters.
Detailing the improvements that have been made for the constituency over the past four years, Ms Fu, who is Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, said: "I'd like to show you voters that over time our policies work. They may not be the most popular to most people, but they are the best policies for us."
Because of these policies, Singaporeans can be independent economically and "hold our heads high", rather than having to look for dole-outs.
In contrast, the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), which is also contesting the SMC, has proposed policies that she described as "spend, spend and spend".
"They like to compare us to Western countries, Western values," she said, referring to SDP's proposals for subsidised healthcare, an education system with lower levels of stress, and its championing of human rights and freedom of speech. But, she added, they have omitted the fact that these countries also have high taxes, natural resources, low or no growth, and "strikes and protests that last for weeks and weeks".
"Could it be that they're not aware? I would give SDP more credit," she said in a rally at Jurong Stadium. "The real reason is that they are not interested in you. They are interested in politics only. They would sacrifice the long-term future of Singapore to get into Parliament."
"SDP is using emotions and populist policies and leading Singapore down the slippery road. Don't follow that path. It's a dangerous path - it's a path of no return," she added. "Don't be persuaded by sweet promises. Go and find out more about what SDP stands for."
It was also a theme that Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan touched on in his rally speech in Woodlands.
Mr Khaw, who is leading the team for the five-member Sembawang Group Representation Constituency (GRC), pointed to the careful approach that the Housing Development Board (HDB) and home buyers take towards new flats.
The HDB would put out detailed information on the layout and specifications of flats, including the distance to the nearest train stations and schools nearby, and potential home buyers would comb through these details. This is the right approach, he said, and choosing who to vote for is an even more important decision than buying an apartment.
"A wrong housing decision can be reversed, though it may mean some financial loss. A wrong electoral decision may have severe, if not tragic, consequence," he noted, adding that to restore the status quo may not be possible. "This is serious business."
Quoting former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, Mr Khaw added: "This is not a game of cards. This is your life and mine."
Mr Lee had also said in 1955 that "Singaporeans must be made aware of the dangers lurking ahead in an age of great changes and uncertainties. We take the future for granted only at our own peril. We have survived because we are a practical and realistic people."
This comment remains "as relevant today as it was then, because our country is at the crossroads," said Mr Khaw. "This election decides how we begin our journey into the next 50 years. It decides who to form the government and what type of mandate it is given to steer our country to face the many complex challenges of the future."