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Chee Soon Juan highlights intriguing resemblance between PAP policy and SDP’s RESTART scheme

Dr Chee Soon Juan, the Singapore Democratic Party’s Secretary General, drew attention to striking parallels between recent announcements of retrenched worker assistance scheme and SDP’s proposals from eight years ago.

Dr Chee went on to questioned why Singapore ministers receive such exorbitant salaries while seemingly “following the SDP’s lead.”



SINGAPORE: Dr Chee Soon Juan, the Secretary General of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), recently pointed out an intriguing resemblance between the latest policy announcements from the People’s Action Party (PAP) government and proposals on assistance to retrenched workers presented by the SDP nearly eight years ago.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday (12 Sept), Dr Chee emphasized the striking similarities between the initiatives of both parties and raised questions about why PAP ministers receive such exorbitant salaries while seemingly “following the SDP’s lead.”

Tan See Leng says providing additional support for retrenched workers is “timely”

On 24 August, Singapore’s Manpower Minister, Dr Tan See Leng addressed the government policy aimed at providing financial assistance to retrenched workers. He revealed that much of the upcoming temporary financial support for retrenched workers will be tied to training and career counselling and guidance.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong first announced the new scheme on 20 August at the National Day Rally.

Dr Tan acknowledged that providing additional support for workers who are involuntarily unemployed is timely, given the pandemic, supply chain disruptions, geopolitical tensions and the fact that Singapore is also ageing very rapidly.

However, he noted that targeted support for retrenched workers should not be seen as “unemployment insurance”.

Instead, it aims to empower displaced workers with the time and resources needed to identify industry trends and select a new job that aligns with their skills and interests.

He added that workers will also get help maintaining their “career health”, for instance through personalised jobs and skills recommendations on the national jobs portal MyCareersFuture.

Dr Tan said more details of this new scheme will be revealed after the Forward Singapore public consultation wraps up in 2023.

Dr Chee spotlights similarities between the recent PAP policy and SDP’s eight-year-old RESTART scheme

Dr Chee on Tuesday, took to Facebook to compare the resemblance between a recent policy proposed by the People’s Action Party (PAP) and the SDP’s RESTART (Re-Employment Scheme and Temporary Assistance for the ReTrenched) scheme, which was put forth in 2015.

In essence, RESTART is a retrenchment insurance to be paid to workers who have been retrenched where the government pays 75 per cent of their last drawn salary for the first six months, 50 per cent for the second six months, and 25 per cent for the final six months, capped at the median wage.

Chee Soon Juan noted the uncanny resemblance between the two parties’ approaches:

  • SDP aimed to “provide temporary assistance to retrenched workers,” while PAP intends to offer “temporary financial support for retrenched workers.”
  • SDP’s RESTART sought to “assist the retrenched individual in seeking re-employment and matching their skill and salary level to a new job,” whereas PAP’s plan emphasizes “support for retrenched workers tied to training and career counseling and guidance.”
  • The SDP highlighted that retrenched workers’ families still need to meet essential expenses like food, education, and electricity bills, while the PAP described its policy as a “temporary safety net to help individuals meet immediate needs.”

Dr Chee pointed out that this policy resemblance is the latest in a series of instances of how the PAP has been “copying the SDP when it comes to policy ideas”.

“Why are PAP ministers paid such exorbitant salaries when they keep following SDP’s lead? Why do Singaporeans pay for copies when they can have the real thing for a tiny fraction of the price?”

He also noted that this trend of PAP following the SDP’s lead extends to policies related to healthcare, education, foreign workers, and minimum wage.


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When you are not in Parliament, they steal your ideas.
In Parliament, they tweak and amend opposition’s proposed bill.

During GE campaigning, they accuse opposition of not providing solutions to problems.

Really low behaviour!