Labour Day Message 2019

Singapore’s hardworking labour force is the foundation of her economic success and prosperity.

As we celebrate Labour Day today, it is fitting to acknowledge and affirm the sacrifices and contribution made by our workers.

Yet, let us pause to reflect for a moment on the questions and concerns weighing heavy on the minds of our workers:

• Is my job secure?
• If I lose my job, will I be able to get another job?
• How long will I continue to earn enough to provide for myself and my loved ones?
• Will my wages keep up with the increasing cost of living?
• Will I be able to retire from work to enjoy my golden years?

Singapore People’s Party acknowledges our workers’ concerns on job security, the high cost of living, retirement adequacy and also the challenges of global uncertainties.

As Singapore’s landscape changes with the advance of technology, our workers need to realign themselves in order to stay relevant and to be more productive.

As Singapore forges ahead to meet the challenges of new competition from emerging markets and global uncertainties, our workers are relying on stakeholders to build win-win solutions with employers for the labour force.

We urge employers and the Government to continue helping our workers to upgrade their skills to enable our workers to remain relevant and competitive.

Our labour movement should also review the employment rights of our vulnerable workers to provide them with adequate protection during their course of employment. We also call on higher CPF contributions from employers to our silver generation workers i.e. those aged 60 years and above.

Our workers are the heartbeat and soul of our economic progress.

Singapore People’s Party salutes all our workers for their “never-say-die” spirit and efforts despite all the challenges that they face in their daily chores and responsibilities to provide shelter, food, healthcare and happiness for their family in the midst of a tough, ever-changing global economic landscape.

With our deepest gratitude, Thank you to all our workers and Happy Labour Day.

Singapore People’s Party
1st May 2019

Response To Ministerial Budget Statement On 17-2-19

The Singapore People’s Party is happy to note the Government’s subtle but fundamental shift in their social political compact with the announcement of Budget 2019.

It is finally moving towards a society from which citizens and families are expected to take care of themselves, to one where the Government uses surplus resources to aid families and take better care of its citizens.

This is a fundamental shift in PAP policies that came about in the last few years — as the fight for political love from its citizens has taken more centrestage, which has seen the Government move from its slightly right of centre position towards a position which is more left of centre.

This is certainly a step in the right direction especially given the challenges of inequality and growing income divide that Singapore is facing.

Nonetheless, we do note that some concerns of Singaporeans, such as those below, were not covered in the 2019 Budget Speech:

• addressing the declining value of older HDB flats
• reviewing restrictions on use of CPF for medical outpatient purposes
• giving more support for mental health patients
• upgrading infrastructure for disabled
• reducing the high cost of living in Singapore
• improving business succession and productivity in retail, service and F&B sectors
• halting Singapore’s declining total fertility rate by giving more help to couples raising families
• improving work-life balance lifestyle to give Singaporeans more time with their families

We hope that such concerns would be discussed during the Budget debates. We look forward to hearing from the respective Ministries on their plans.

We understand that the Government is expected to accumulate an estimated surplus of about S$15 billion at the end of FY2019.

While it is noted that the Prime Minister’s Office sees a 17.4% increase in its allocated Budget compared to the previous year, it is also noted that Minister Heng Swee Keat has nonetheless debunked the general consensus that Budget 2019 is an election Budget, when he stated that he doesn’t plan based on how close the country is to a general elections.

If that is so, then perhaps the Government should let the public know how it intends to spend the balance of the surpluses which have been built up since the start of the current Parliamentary term.

Singapore People’s Party

Call For Accountability and Complete Transparency from the SAF

The Singapore People’s Party (SPP) offers our deepest condolences to the family of Aloysius Pang in their time of grief.

We are deeply concerned over the number of National Service (NS) fatalities.

Over the last 16 months alone, there has been no less than 7 full-time NS and 1 NSman who have died during training or while on duty.

Despite the many statements and promise of action, we still have sons of Singapore who are being killed in the line of duty, and during peace time.

This is unfathomable, and unacceptable.

Singaporeans need answers, and a lot more than just assurances.

Given the toll of fatalities over recent months, we have to ask if enough is being done to prevent unnecessary deaths. We call on the SAF to spare no effort in making a full investigation and inquiry in the cause of the tragedy and how it could have been prevented, and to make public the findings of the investigation. It is not just for Aloysius, but for each and every instance of NS fatality.

There must be accountability and complete transparency. If there had been mistakes made or lapses in vigilance, they must be uncovered and acknowledged. For only then can effective prevention truly start.

While we understand the need for an effective fighting force to defend Singapore, we cannot continue accepting that this has to come at the expense of lives.

Let’s start truly behaving and believing that one more death, is one more death too many.

Singapore People’s Party

Speech at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) Forum, 4 Nov 2015

Dear Institute of Policy Studies members, distinguished guests and friends,

Good afternoon.

I thank Dr Gillian Koh, and Mr Tan Tarn How of the Institute of Policy Studies for inviting me to speak at this forum today. I also thank Mr Arun Mahizhnan for chairing this forum.

We acknowledge the percentage swing to the PAP in GE2015. It was a difficult battle fought in a difficult climate for theOpposition especially in a year when Singapore is celebrating its GoldenJubilee. This is the year where the PAP took special means to provide allSingaporeans, from cradle to grave with a slew of initiatives and incentives. The passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first Prime Minister, also helped to stir emotions that tied Singaporeans to the PAP.

The history of politics and its election results is replete with ups-and-downs, like the swing of a pendulum for both the PAP and the Opposition, and so in a sense, this result was not a shock. We at the Singapore People’s Party (SPP), respect the choice of votes, and we will continue to work towards earning their trust.

Because we believe there is a fundamental role for the Opposition to play in Singapore society and areas for the Opposition to improve too.

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Response to National Day Rally Speech 2015

There were many issues raised by the Prime Minister in his national day rally speech. He was also campaigning for his party in his  speech, dishing out more goodies to Singaporeans. In a way, it seems to be an election speech.

By far, the most important topic was the tradeoff between economic growth and our need for foreign workers. This seems to be a permanent feature in every rally. While we must ensure a sustainable immigration policy, we continue to ensure our low birth rate does not erode our base of work force. As an opposition NCMP, I am fully aware that Singaporeans want better jobs. I also want to put Singaporeans first in policies. We do want to sustain a   business environment. But we must also try to improve the skill sets of Singaporeans, and improve the productivity of our local workforce. Singaporean employees want less foreign competition, but Singaporean firms have been asking for relaxation of foreign worker quota. As a politician, my aim is to balance two sides of the equation, for the benefit of both sides.

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Public Transport Council (Amendment) Bill

Madam Speaker,

I welcome the new role of the PTC corporation. The new PTC aimed to undertake surveys obtaining public feedback will be an important platform for ensuring a more sustainable public transport system. On this note, I would like to propose that the PTC be allowed to explore deregulation of our public transport service.

I understand that the bus service license is a tool to help control and regulate bus service quality. But there are merits for deregulations – we allow Singaporeans to create the most fitting solutions for their transport problems.

Bearing in mind that our public transport infrastructure is waning, we must explore the opportunity to loosen our regulations and ensure private sector capacity can help service our citizens. I can imagine how unquenched public demand for transport can create private bus services. I can also imagine how our bottlenecks during peak hours can be solved.

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