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RDU Chief Ravi Philemon stresses commitment to ethical leadership in 2023 National Day address

Ravi Philemon, Red Dot United’s Secretary-General, emphasizes ethical values as Singapore’s cornerstone in his National Day address.

Advocating for transparency and inclusivity, he champions a brighter future defined by ethical leadership principles.



SINGAPORE: In a heartfelt National Day message delivered today, Ravi Philemon, the Secretary-General of Red Dot United (RDU), an alternative political party in Singapore, underscored the party’s unwavering commitment to steering the nation’s course based on robust ethical values deeply resonant with Singapore’s spirit.

Amidst the significant backdrop of National Day celebrations, the spotlight turned to the pivotal role of leadership in shaping the nation’s trajectory.

Mr Philemon reminded the public that leadership extends beyond economic accomplishments; it encompasses the upholding of core values that define the collective identity.

“Recent discussions on the moral landscape of our political sphere prompt reflection on the importance of ethical leadership. ”

“A nation’s progress isn’t solely dictated by economic indicators; it’s profoundly influenced by the ethical standards upheld by those in authoritative roles.”

Philemon asserted that RDU firmly believes in setting a precedent through action, consistently demonstrating their commitment to transparency, accountability, and respect in all undertakings. Moral and ethical leadership is the foundation of Singapore’s economic well-being.

“Upholding transparency, accountability, and integrity nurtures trust and credibility, fostering inclusive growth, inspiring innovation, cultivating a responsible business ecosystem and respect for all human lives.”

“Ethical leadership, as championed by doughnut economics, encourages sustainable practices, curbs inequality, and fosters long-term prosperity for our economy and people alike.”

During his address on Wednesday (9 Aug), Mr Philemon questioned, “How can citizens place their trust in a political leadership teetering on the edge of moral decline, seemingly driven to preserve its power hegemony?”

He called for collective introspection, emphasizing that the power to instigate change lies within the hands of Singaporeans. Together, they possess the ability to reshape norms and elevate the standards of leadership.

Mr Philemon further highlighted a recent parliamentary debate that centered around the necessity of an impartial and independent Speaker of Parliament.

Advocating for an independent Speaker, particularly in a parliament dominated by members of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), has been a consistent cause championed by RDU. The party expressed gratitude to Non-Constituency Members of Parliament (NCMPs) Leong Mun Wai and Hazel Poa for echoing this motion.

While a Minister vehemently opposed the original motion, citing potential legal and constitutional limitations, Mr Philemon contended that having an independent Speaker detached from the PAP is neither unlawful nor restrictive.

He drew a parallel to big businesses resisting a ban on transporting humans in lorries.

Mr Philemon also addressed the issue of transporting foreign workers in undignified conditions within goods lorries, emphasizing that RDU has advocated for enhanced transport safety measures for migrant workers for over two years.

“We maintained that treating guest workers fairly and empathetically would symbolize to the world our esteem for human dignity.”

“While Parliament conceded the unsuitability of lorries for worker transport, the Government failed to implement any new measures for their safety. ”

“The Government justified this stance, claiming “knock-on effects” on society including project delays and higher costs. In doing so, it sided with big businesses arguing that imposing a ban would hinder many companies from operating.”

As Singaporeans united to celebrate National Day, Philemon urged everyone to embrace a resolute moral compass that guides them through challenges.

“As we celebrate Singapore’s progress, let’s envision leaders embodying the very values that have moulded our identity.”

“Happy National Day, Singapore! Let’s continue our journey with unwavering commitment to ethical leadership, ensuring a future we can all proudly embrace.”

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