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GE2020

SDP, other opposition parties stress need for alternative policies and accountability

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SDP chairman Paul Tambyah said the party's policy papers on housing, healthcare, population, education and climate change share the common goal of putting people first.

Singapore

THIS General Election is critical for Singapore's future, which is why voters should elect opposition Members of Parliament, said the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and other opposition parties on Thursday, in the final party political broadcasts on the eve of Polling Day.

They stressed the value of alternative policies and the need for opposition voices in Parliament to ensure accountability and transparency.

SDP chairman Paul Tambyah accused the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) campaign of being "focused on the old tactics of scaremongering and character assassination, without any new ideas to deal with a world which has changed dramatically".

"This election is a critical election about the future of our children and grandchildren," he said. He reiterated the SDP's campaign message of four Yeses - suspending the goods and services tax (GST), retrenchment insurance, retirement income, and putting Singaporeans first - and one No, to a 10 million population.

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The SDP's "comprehensive policy papers covering housing, healthcare, population, education and climate change share the common goal of putting people first", he said.

The party is fielding candidates in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC and Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, as well as the three single seats of Bukit Batok, Bukit Panjang and Yuhua. Dr Tambyah reassured residents that the SDP has a comprehensive town council plan and intends to run town councils itself, without a managing agent.

Peoples Voice chief Lim Tean urged voters to consider the future, saying: "To choose PAP, is to endure another five years equal to the last with no accountability, no transparency, just more inequality, unemployment and immigration."

Noting grievances such as Central Provident Fund policy and the GST hike, he said that if elected, Peoples Voice MPs will be "unafraid to raise the tough questions". The party is contesting Jalan Besar GRC, Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, and Mountbatten SMC.

Voters should not fear that Singapore will not be well-run if opposition MPs are elected, as public servants will still be willing to serve, he added.

The Reform Party (RP) and National Solidarity Party (NSP) also highlighted the opposition's role in demanding transparency and accountability, and reassured residents that their town councils will be well run.

Addressing voters of Sembawang GRC and Tampines GRC, NSP secretary-general Spencer Ng said that PAP candidates would be part-time MPs and "yes-men", while NSP candidates would be full-time MPs and "address policies that are fundamentally unsound or unfair to you".

As for town councils, the PAP relies on external managing agents: "So let us burst this myth that only PAP knows how to run town councils."

RP secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaretnam addressed voters of Ang Mo Kio GRC and Radin Mas SMC, noting that they have shared their woes with the party, over issues such as depreciating flat values and job losses.

"It is understandable that you are angry and worried, but now you can hold the incumbents to account through your vote in a positive and constructive manner," he said.

"Fighting Covid-19 and the worst economic crisis since independence, is the biggest issue on all of our minds right now," he said, adding that the RP's proposals will benefit all "from the lowest income to entrepreneurs and small-business owners hit by the recession to the middle classes squeezed from both ends".

As for constituency matters, Mr Jeyaretnam noted that a former general manager of Ang Mo Kio Town Council was jailed for corruption, and added: "We are a safer set of hands."

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