Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, many political parties in Singapore were walking the ground in their chosen constituencies, as part of the lead up to the upcoming General Elections. The pandemic has stifled the momentum somewhat. Many parties took the opportunity to regroup, take stock, and re-strategise for GE.
On 28 April, the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), launched their '4 Yes, 1 No' (4Y1N) campaign to address some of the issues that will emerge in a post-COVID19 Singapore. SDP is confident that its vision will allow the average Singaporeans to play a more central role in the country, enabling it to capitalise on a changed world.
The SDP provided some details to the 4Y1N campaign.
The single 'No' is a resounding one to purported plans for Singapore's population to hit 10 million by attracting a larger pool of foreigners. Hitting the 10 million mark will mean a higher population density, making Singapore more vulnerable to a pandemic. In addition, SDP wants to ensure that local PMETs are supported, so that they will not be displaced by foreign PMETs.
The 4Y refers to the suspension of the GST, pay retrenchment benefits, providing income for retirees, and placing people first.
SDP is of the view that the GST is a regressive tax that penalises the poor more than the rich. Thus, contrary to the PAP's plans to eventually increase the GST to 9%, the SDP is instead proposing that the GST be cut to 0% until the end of 2021. According to the SDP, such a cut will have a stimulatory effect on the economy, which would have taken a battering as a result of COVID-19.
The second Yes' refers to the SDP's proposal for the implementation of the SDP RESTART Programme (Re-Employment Scheme and Temporary Asssistance for the ReTrenched). Under this scheme, the government will pay 75% of a retrenched-person's last drawn salary for the first 6 months, 50% for the 2nd six-months after, and 25% for the final 6 months. The monthly payout is capped at the median salary in Singapore.
The third 'Yes' refers to the SDP's proposed Retirement Income Scheme for the Elderly (RISE). Under RISE, the bottom 80% of retirees over 65 years old will be a given a monthy payout of $500. This is to firstly, support qualified retirees with no working children. Secondly, it helps to alleviate the financial burden on the working children, who may have their own families to feed, and may be financially struggling as a consequence of the economic devastation of COVID-19.
Lastly, in contrast to the PAP, the SDP will also put the interest of the people as a priority. The SDP believes that the PAP, by insisting on calling for a GE in the midst of the COVID-19, has placed its own political interest at the expense of public health. The missteps by the PAP contributed to a rise in the cases.
It is clear that the PAP is gunning for your hearts and your votes.
The people-centric focus and the socialists programmes it intends to implement will convince many voters to vote for the red of the party.
Singaporeans will undoubtedly face many existential and real bread-and-butter issues in a post-COVID-19 world. They will need a leg up to ensure that they are not left behind. The SDP's programmes directly addresses those concerns.
Will you vote for the SDP?