Opposition Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) was the first party to launch its General Election campaign, revealing its campaign schedule and tentative plans for the next elections yesterday.
The opposition party, which contested for seats in Sembawang GRC, Bukit Panjang SMC, Yuhua SMC and Holland-Bukit Timah GRC in the last election, announced that it will continue to contest these seats in the next election, which must be held by January 2017.
“This election, we will see a slate of candidates just as good, if not better than what we presented in 2011,” said party leader Chee Soon Juan.
When asked about specifics, such as the target number of seats the SDP would want to achieve in Parliament, Chee said that the party would have a “much better idea when boundaries are redrawn”. The party aims to have a pre-election rally, where it will introduce potential candidates, in October.
Chee: "The government has become lazy"
The launch, attended by a full room of approximately 180 people, the SDP reiterated its key policies and unveiled a series of events to celebrate the party’s 35th anniversary, as well as its campaign slogan - “Your Voice in Parliament”.
Chee said that the party will “press” for the ruling PAP’s answers towards key issues, such as CPF, population and education, calling on the PAP to provide data to substantiate its statements on these issues.
“The government has become lazy,” Chee said. “It has always reached for the easy way out.”
Chee also added in a later press conference that he hoped that the PAP would not “shy away” from engaging the SDP on policy, lambasting the PAP for name-calling during the elections.
The SDP also announced that it will publish two more policy papers - one on economic policy addressing the CPF and income inequality issues and another on its proposed management of town councils in the constituencies they are running for.
The launch was also dotted with calls to volunteer with the SDP, and doubled as the party’s donation drive.
Volunteers were invited to a training session held after the event, and merchandise, the party newspaper and even a photobooth was made available to people who attended.
Bloggers Roy Ngerng and Han Hui Hui were present at the event, with Han Hui Hui leaving earlier. Supporters of Ngerng were also present, holding placards in support of Ngerng in his court case with PM Lee Hsien Loong.
All photos by Ng Yi Shu.