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Prof Paul Tambyah: Support SDP candidates to propel beneficial policies in Parliament

Singapore Democratic Party Chairman Professor Paul Tambyah calls for support for SDP candidates in the upcoming election, emphasizing the need for robust scrutiny of population policies and the implementation of comprehensive healthcare reforms in Parliament.



SINGAPORE: Prof Dr Paul Ananth Tambyah, Chairman of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) emphasised that SDP takes its role as an alternative voice for Singaporeans seriously.

On 11 May, the SDP launched its General Election Campaign at the party headquarters, outlining its focus on issues concerning foreign workers and immigration policies which impact on the cost of living for ordinary Singaporeans.

Addressing the timing of the SDP’s GE campaign launch, which must be held before November 2025, Prof Tambyah noted that the precedent set by the GE2020 campaign, which took place in February 2019, 17 months prior to the actual election and amidst the pandemic, underscores the seriousness of the SDP as a political entity.

“The SDP, a serious political party. And we take our responsibilities as an alternative voice for Singaporeans very seriously.”

He emphasized that the SDP recognizes the importance of adequate preparation for a credible campaign, including mobilizing volunteers, updating policies, strategizing on social media, conducting ground outreach, and building rapport with residents, especially crucial for winning constituencies and managing town councils.

Prof Tambyah clarified that the SDP’s decision to launch its campaign was independent of recent leadership changes within the ruling People’s Action Party, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s announcement of stepping down and handing over the baton to Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong.

He emphasized that the party’s preparations had been underway for a significant period before these developments.

Prof Tambyah acknowledged DPM Wong’s recent comments in an interview with The Economist, where he stated that Singapore would continue to welcome foreign professionals but maintain control to prevent citizens from becoming a minority.

The PM-to-be cited the example of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where citizens make up only less than 10 per cent of its population.

Prof Tambyah agreed with the idea of welcoming committed talent. However, he challenged DPM Wong’s assertion that immigration in Singapore is appropriately controlled at present.

Opposing the cynical exploitation of low-wage foreign workers

He criticized the current immigration policy, particularly regarding the treatment of low-wage foreign workers and their exploitation.

“We are not against foreigners coming into Singapore. In fact, we have a detailed SDP immigration policy which welcomes talented foreigners who have ties to Singapore and are willing to contribute. ”

“What we are against the cynical exploitation of foreign workers, low wage foreign workers brought in because the primary talent they have is the ability to do the same job as Singaporeans, but for lower wages.”

He compared Singapore’s construction industry with that of other countries, particularly the UK.

He noted the mechanization and higher productivity in the UK due to better working conditions and regulations, contrasting it with Singapore’s reliance on cheap foreign labour and consequent low productivity.

Prof Tambyah highlighted the issue of low wages and poor working conditions in Singapore, pointing out instances where companies exploit foreign workers and avoid mechanization due to the absence of a minimum wage.

He argued that decent salaries and working conditions would attract Singaporean workers to various sectors, as evidenced by the high number of applicants for well-paying jobs in bus company.

Concerns over Singapore’s population growth and strains on infrastructure, healthcare, housing, and quality of life

He also raised concerns about Singapore’s population growth being driven by the importation of new citizens and permanent residents, putting strain on infrastructure, healthcare, housing, and other aspects of quality of life.

He attributed the strain on resources to misguided population policies by the PAP.

“We have among the fastest growing populations in ASEAN, but it’s not from more births and fewer deaths, but rather from more import 20, 40 and 60-year-olds. ”

“We value individuals who can contribute to Singapore or have close family ties. an unchecked influx of people who are going to require medical care a few years after their arrival.”

Prof Tambyah highlighted the SDP’s call for universal healthcare in Singapore and criticized the limitations of the government’s healthcare plans, such as Medishield Life, which he argued still leaves many medical expenses uncovered, such as expensive drugs for rare diseases.

“As we are not in Parliament, we are not able to keep pressing the PAP to explain why they only took the form of a universal health care plan without the substance.”

He mentioned the SDP’s proposal for retrenchment insurance paid through the CPF and urged Manpower Minister Dr Tan See Leng to consider implementing it, emphasizing the importance of such policies for Singaporean families.

” I would appeal to Dr Tan to take a good look at our 2020 manifesto and see what he can learn.”

He appealed to voters to support SDP candidates in the upcoming election to ensure the implementation of policies that benefit Singaporeans can be proposed and scrutinized in Parliament.

Anticipating early election speculation

With DPM Wong set to assume leadership from PM Lee on Wednesday, speculation is mounting regarding an imminent early election.

Mr Wong is expected to lead the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) into the upcoming elections slated for November 2025.

Sources suggest a strategic possibility of holding the election in September, potentially coinciding with cash handouts from Budget 2024 and preceding major elections in the United States and the United Kingdom in November.

SDP has been visibly gearing up for the next GE since the conclusion of GE2020.

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Go Prof Tambyah go..we support you.
This government needs a wake up call.

Where ever there is Opposition, please vote for them. We need them.

I just wish SDP will send a team to my constituency, Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.

VOTE Paul Tambyah & SDP wherever they choose to stand,ARE Sinkies BALLsy enough????

Best of the best luck SDP. God’s hand on all your GE actions.

All the best. You opposition parites should combine into ONE party to take on the incumbent. If not fragmented into so many opposition fractions, slim chance each fraction will get elected into Parliment.

U got my vote SDP…👍👏