The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) held its second rally for GE2015 on Sept. 4 in Bukit Panjang.
Like SDP’s first rally the night before in Choa Chu Kang, the turnout for its second rally at a field at Petir road proved to be a sizeable amount too.
The SDP rally proved to be popular on social media too, and was the top trending topic on Twitter by the end of the night.
During the rally, various SDP members were unafraid to give bold statements on policies and issues they envisioned for Singapore.
Yuhua SMC candidate Jaslyn Go called for minimum wage to counter the high cost of living in Singapore.
She asked: “If ministers have minimum wage, why not workers like you and me?”
Holland-Bukit Timah GRC candidate Dr Paul Tambyah, a strong proponent for healthcare policies, insisted that with SDP in parliament, they could ask questions about healthcare policies. For him, healthcare is not an investment, or a way to “break even.”
“We value people, not profits…unlike some other people,” said Dr Tambyah, to cheers and applause from the crowd.
34-year-old SDP Bukit Panjang candidate Khung Wai Yeen spoke of the role of the party whip and said that the PAP party whip was only lifted less than 20 times in some 50 years.
He then asked: “Are the PAP voting for their pay cheque or for you?”
But of course, the real star of the night was SDP Secretary-general Chee Soon Juan. Chants of “SDP! Dr Chee!” promptly ensued when he came onto the stage.
Chee’s 25-minute speech could read like a list of quotable quotes. He first mentioned how excited he was after SDP’s first rally the night before, where he even conducted a book signing session after the rally, and he had trouble falling asleep afterwards.
“I started counting sheep…but that didn’t work because they were all white,” joked Chee.
He seemed to be in good spirits and added, “The more we meet like this [at political rallies], the more it will put the PAP propaganda machine out of business.”
Chee then continued touching upon important issues, like stating that CPF had lost its credibility. He called for transparency for the CPF reserve and asserted: “We propose returning all CPF for retirees…withholding their savings is not only unfair, but also immoral.”
He listed various SDP policies that were more welfare-focused, such as having free taxi rides for those who have medical needs and are above 80.
Chee brought up the group of Singaporeans that SDP cared for the most – the elderly and the poor. He gave the example of elderly Singaporeans selling cardboard. He said that with the cost of 1kg of cardboard is 10 cents, a person would need to collect 80kg of cardboard to get $8, or the rough equivalent of 3 meals.
“The government is doing little to help the elderly and the poor…What has happened to us? Where is our compassion?” he asked.
“We are good people, but we have been led astray,” said Chee. “Our policies are not about making Singapore richer…but it is the poor whom we [want to] empower,” he stated.
Chee mentioned that some people have asked him why not leave Singapore, since he has been through hardship here.
“That thought has never crossed my mind,” he said. “This is my home. I know of no other.
“If I leave, there will be one less voice against the government…If PAP wins, the people will lose.”
“I was born Singaporean. I was raised Singaporean. And I will die Singaporean.”
The crowd, as expected, went nuts.
Top photo from SDP Facebook page.