Top photo by Sean Yeo
Editor’s note: Mothership.sg called for young Singaporeans to step up and give their perspective of GE2015. The aim of such an endeavour is to provide our readers a means to view GE2015 through the lens of young Singaporeans, warts, sparkles and all.
The final Workers’ Party (WP) rally was held at Bedok Stadium today (Sep. 9) in the battleground constituency of East Coast GRC. The stands was filled to the brim as WP pushed forward their final message before Cooling-Off Day.
Here’s a summary of the overarching narrative the WP pushed:
1. Overcoming fear
WP NCMP Yee Jenn Jong, who is leading WP’s team in Marine Parade GRC, told the crowd of the various fears that the incumbent PAP has put forward during the hustings – and told of ways the WP will dispel them.
On the fear that if opposition parties are elected, towns will be in a mess, Yee said that Aljunied, Hougang and Punggol East have shown the way.
“We will ensure that your estates continue to run well,” Yee said, citing lift upgrades in WP-held constituencies.
On the fear of stepping into opposition politics, Yee said that people must overcome their fear of holding a different view from the PAP – as there is the bigger risk in putting all our eggs into one basket and one party.
On the fear of a freak election result, Yee said that it was unfounded as it is difficult for the opposition parties to do so. Fear had kept Yee from the Workers’ Party until 2011, he added.
2. A bright, hopeful future
He Ting Ru – part of WP’s Marine Parade team – spoke of the last 25 years and how the future of Singapore was intertwined with what Singaporeans want for SG100.
“We too are pioneers, we are pioneers because we wake up each morning determined to fight for a better life for us and our loved ones,” she said. “All of us here, in this field, despite the haze, despite the possibility of rain, despite the possibility of mud, are pioneers, because we love our country and want to do what we can to ensure a bright future for it.”
He brought forward a laundry list of aspirations that we ‘pioneers’ want for the next 50 years. Singaporeans want progress, equality, justice, democracy, a robust government and peace, she said.
“We want to harness our energy as a young nation moving ever onwards, by ensuring that we focus on the Singaporean core with a dynamic population,” He said.
But the future should not just be in the PAP’s hands, WP NCMP and candidate for East Coast GRC Gerald Giam said: “We need to slowly build up a credible alternative party so that if the ruling party fails, the alternative can step in to take its place, and Singapore will continue to progress and thrive,” Giam added, saying that the WP has already started this process.
“We need many more MPs in Parliament to change the political balance in Singapore,” he reiterated.
3. Let’s not rock the boat
WP candidate for East Coast GRC Leon Perera started by thanking the incumbent PAP for its contributions to Singapore, to emphasise that WP did not want to undermine what is good about Singapore.
“In Parliament we supported what they did that was good, like the Pioneer Generation Package, and we criticized what was bad, like the Population White Paper,” Perera said, adding that the PAP just had different ideas about where Singapore should go. “(PAP’s) policies no longer reflected the political character of SIngapore.”
Perera added that the PAP started its policy U-turns after 2011, which PM Lee called “a strategic shift”. “The past four years stand as proof that Singapore works better with a strong, responsible opposition,” he said.
“We all think of the WP hammer as something to whack, to hantam. But the hammer is also a tool to build. The hammer knocks in the nails, joins the wood and helps build a new home,” Perera said, asking voters to not just vote against the PAP, but to endorse the WP in their ballot.
4. The new compass for Singapore
WP incumbent for Aljunied GRC Sylvia Lim cited Organisation for Economic and Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Bhutanese efforts in measuring the well-being of citizens, and said that Singapore should take up the challenge of constructing a new compass to chart the country’s direction.
She questioned the country’s emphasis on economic growth, and added that it is equally important to measure collective happiness and long term sustainability.
“Singapore must start having its own compass, to remind the government of the non-economic factors it must bear in mind if Singaporeans are to live happy lives,” Lim said. “We want a Singapore not for the short term, but a Singapore that is authentic, resilient, and endures for generations to come.”