As excitement builds up over the upcoming General Elections (GE), we at Legit Singapore will bring you for a tour of the various parties that are expected to contest the GE.
1 Dr Chee Soon Juan
SDP is helmed by Dr Chee, a seasoned and battle-hardened politician who is articulate, charismatic, and posseses the relevant political nous. Just take a look at Dr Chee speaking at his past rallies. He stands out because he speaks with the conviction of someone who really believes in his political cause.
Dr Chee joined the SDP in the early 1990s, after being recruited by his mentor, the incomparable Mr Chiam See Tong. Dr Chee has not looked back since.
Despite several legal, as well as criminal charges and convictions against him over the past few decades, Dr Chee has remained steadfast and not lost any of his enthusiasm. He survived defamation lawsuits and bankruptcy proceedings brought about by key members of the PAP such as Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong. He also survived convictions for staging public demonstrations without permits.
23 November 2012 is a significant date for Dr Chee. On that day, he was formally discharged as a bankrupt, thereby allowing him to contest GE2015, after a several enforced-absences.
In GE2015, Dr Chee led the SDP team that contested the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC against the PAP team. Among others, at the rallies, Dr Chee spoke on cost of living issues affecting Singaporeans, the increasing income gap, the importance of having an alternative voice in parliament, as well as the merits of affordable healthcare plans for Singaporeans.
Alas, it was not to be. The team won 33.38% of the votes, which was poorer that their showing in GE 2011.
Dr Chee, was rightly disappointed by the result.
Yet, he will not be beaten. He has not stopped. He is a man on mission, leading the way for his fellow party members, and spending considerable time and resources to walk the ground.
2 The Party Is Ready
Like its leader, the party is ready for the elections. It wants to leave the bitter disappointment of GE2015 behind by contesting again in the very same constituencies they lost in - Holland-Bukit Timah and Marsiling-Yew Tee GRCs as well as Bukit Batok, Yuhua and Bukit Panjang SMCs.
SDP was formed in 1980. It makes it 39 year old this year. There is no better way to celebrate its almost four decades of existence than to win seats in Parliament at the next GE.
The party held a pre-election rally at Hong Lim Park on 19 October to demonstrate that it is organised, and more importantly, election-ready. It has, and continues to reach out to supporters through both social-media and face-to-face contact. The party means business.
Its manifesto is impressive.
The party's vision is clearly and simply stated - th SDP endeavours to "create a Singapore that takes care of all her sons and daughters, young and old" and where "the people are free and bold, with a strong sense of achievement tempered by an equally fierce regard for compassion and justice".
This is a vision of Singapore that resonates with Singaporeans who are sick of a society focused on results and economic yardsticks.
SDP endeavours to achieve their vision through the application of the 3Cs - Competency, Constructiveness, and Compassion. These are qualities that are lacking or absent in the incumbent government.
In addition, the party also has several policy proposals up its sleeve. According to its Chairman, Dr Paul Tambyah, SDP has policy proposal covering areas such as "housing, healthcare, population, and education". If elected, the party will also "strive for a more open and democratic Singapore", to ensure a "transparent and accountable political system".
Singaporeans can't wait.
Indeed, these are exciting times for the party. SDP is demonstrably ready for the elections.
Like Dr Tan Cheng Bock and PSP, the SDP has built up a lot of goodwill with local and foreign oraganisations and personalities.
In fact, leaders of the SDP such as Dr Chee and Dr Paul Tambyah have paid courtesy visits to Dr Tan Cheng Bock. Dr Chee himself deemed Dr Tan Cheng Bock as a leader of the opposition.
Similarly, Dr Chee, realising the importance of opposition solidarity, has articulated his wish to work closer with the Worker's Party (WP) in the upcoming elections.
Besides these local parties, the SDP is also represented in foreign forums and platforms such as the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD).
These ringing endorsements lend credence to SDP.
It is not a fly-by-night kind of party whose who appear before, and disappear after and election.
SDP is a force to be reckoned with.
So people of Holland-Bukit Timah and Marsiling-Yew Tee GRCs as well as Bukit Batok, Yuhua and Bukit Panjang SMCs, your future is in your hands.
Will you vote for the right party? Will you vote for SDP?