Commemorative Message for PSP’s First Anniversary by Assistant Secretary-General, Mr. Leong Mun Wai

 

Dear Singaporeans,

We have just celebrated the First Anniversary of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP).

When Dr. Tan Cheng Bock started an alternative party to the ruling PAP exactly one year ago on this day, many Singaporeans saw a new glimmer of hope.

Since the founding of the PSP on March 28, 2019, over 1,000 Singaporeans have signed up as members of this new party. Now under the current Covid-19 pandemic when we should stay home to be socially responsible and take care of our families, friends and countrymen, we may be asked to participate in the General Elections. While the expectations is for PAP to win another big landslide if elections are called in the near future, you have the final say. Remember your decision will affect you for the next five years, while Covid-19 could be over in not more than a year.

Singapore is a changed country today. Beneath the veneer of prosperity, many Singaporeans face a myriad of problems in their day-to-day lives. Without our fully realizing it, compassion has diminished in Singapore. Today, some are only concerned with their own material pursuits, but have little care for their countrymen who are left behind in increasing numbers. In the name of continued economic growth, various employment and immigration policies have enabled our population to be doubled. This has weakened the national identity that we had so painstakingly cultivated over the past few decades.

Our ancestors were immigrants many generations ago, but the rate of growth of immigration in Singapore in the last thirty years has been fast by any standards. Such rapid growth happened during British colonial rule, especially around the turn of the last century when Indian and Chinese immigrants known as “sinke” (新客) arrived by the thousands. Many lived in squalid conditions, working long hours for meagre pay. Today, Singapore is no longer a coolie economy. We seek reasonable immigration, where Singapore thrives on the labour of both newcomers and local Singaporeans, who both enjoy good jobs. We welcome foreigners from any country of any race or religion, in keeping with the Singapore pledge, “regardless of race, language or religion”. Honest, hardworking, talented immigrants benefit any country.

 

Social Inequality is growing.

The large intake of foreigners may have contributed to the growing social inequality in our country. Yet, our Government now pushes for a 10 million population target. In the early days of independence, the wages of most jobs increased with GDP growth. In recent years, wage growth has stagnated or slowed. Our blue-collar workers struggle to make ends meet on their low wages and at the same time bear with the frequent and continual increase in taxes and fees for public services. Low-wage workers find it difficult to jump to a higher wage bracket. Even some middle class folks find it hard to make ends meet. We must find ways to help them. The country has accumulated approximately $1 trillion in foreign reserves; at least the investment income from these reserves can be used to help Singaporeans without bankrupting the nation.

 

A need to change our governing model.

While progress should come with happiness, it should also include transparency, independence and accountability. Over the years, it is observed that these three fundamental values of good governance have been compromised.

For example, The constitutional changes made to the Presidential Election in 2016. The leakage of private health information in 2018, as disclosed by the Ministry of Health. And in 2019, the appointment of the Auditor-General who is the wife of a senior Minister-of-State raises the question of a conflict of interest.

One of the more impactful incidences, however, is probably the frequent breakdowns of our MRT system since 2011. The nation suffered from a partially crippled public transport system. The cost of salvaging the public transport system ran in billions of dollars of public money, which could have been deployed to alleviate the rising living costs that burden our citizens. Singaporeans are now made aware of the huge projected expenditure the Government has indicated, namely $100 billion for climate change and $57 billion for upgrading of the MRT system and others. For transparency, government can look to justify the spending by way of public disclosure of the details of such expensive projects.

 

More alternative voices needed in Parliament.

The Government can do more to be accountable to the public. Right now, the PAP has a majority in Parliament with 93% of the seats. This gives the Government the power to change the Constitution at will. For instance, after the revision of the Elected President system in 2016, Singaporeans were denied the chance to vote for their President in 2017.

As politics affects our lives, Singaporeans can give a mandate to allow alternative MPs to occupy one-third of the seats in Parliament. Where the PSP thinks the governance of the country can be improved upon, it will make its case for change to better the lives of Singaporeans.

At the end of the day, people want to build a good Singapore with a trusted political system. With good processes, and good people. This is positive, progressive politics. Which is what PSP stands for.

 

For Country For People!

 

Building the Dream – A Year in Review

Commemorative Message for PSP’s First Anniversary by Assistant Secretary-General, Mr. Leong Mun WaiDear Singaporeans,We have just celebrated the First Anniversary of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP). When Dr. Tan Cheng Bock started an alternative party to the ruling PAP exactly one year ago on this day, many Singaporeans saw a new glimmer of hope. Since the founding of the PSP on March 28, 2019, over 1,000 Singaporeans have signed up as members of this new party. Now under the current Covid-19 pandemic when we should stay home to be socially responsible and take care of our families, friends and countrymen, we may be asked to participate in the General Elections. While the expectations is for PAP to win another big landslide if elections are called in the near future, you have the final say. Remember your decision will affect you for the next five years, while Covid-19 could be over in not more than a year. Singapore is a changed country today. Beneath the veneer of prosperity, many Singaporeans face a myriad of problems in their day-to-day lives. Without our fully realizing it, compassion has diminished in Singapore. Today, some are only concerned with their own material pursuits, but have little care for their countrymen who are left behind in increasing numbers. In the name of continued economic growth, various employment and immigration policies have enabled our population to be doubled. This has weakened the national identity that we had so painstakingly cultivated over the past few decades.Our ancestors were immigrants many generations ago, but the rate of growth of immigration in Singapore in the last thirty years has been fast by any standards. Such rapid growth happened during British colonial rule, especially around the turn of the last century when Indian and Chinese immigrants known as “sinke” (新客) arrived by the thousands. Many lived in squalid conditions, working long hours for meagre pay. Today, Singapore is no longer a coolie economy. We seek reasonable immigration, where Singapore thrives on the labour of both newcomers and local Singaporeans, who both enjoy good jobs. We welcome foreigners from any country of any race or religion, in keeping with the Singapore pledge, “regardless of race, language or religion”. Honest, hardworking, talented immigrants benefit any country. Social Inequality is growing.The large intake of foreigners may have contributed to the growing social inequality in our country. Yet, our Government now pushes for a 10 million population target. In the early days of independence, the wages of most jobs increased with GDP growth. In recent years, wage growth has stagnated or slowed. Our blue-collar workers struggle to make ends meet on their low wages and at the same time bear with the frequent and continual increase in taxes and fees for public services. Low-wage workers find it difficult to jump to a higher wage bracket. Even some middle class folks find it hard to make ends meet. We must find ways to help them. The country has accumulated approximately $1 trillion in foreign reserves; at least the investment income from these reserves can be used to help Singaporeans without bankrupting the nation. A need to change our governing model.While progress should come with happiness, it should also include transparency, independence and accountability. Over the years, it is observed that these three fundamental values of good governance have been compromised.For example, The constitutional changes made to the Presidential Election in 2016. The leakage of private health information in 2018, as disclosed by the Ministry of Health. And in 2019, the appointment of the Auditor-General who is the wife of a senior of Minister-of-State raises the question of a conflict of interest. One of the more impactful incidences, however, is probably the frequent breakdowns of our MRT system since 2011. The nation suffered from a partially crippled public transport system. The cost of salvaging the public transport system ran in billions of dollars of public money, which could have been deployed to alleviate the rising living costs that burden our citizens. Singaporeans are now made aware of the huge projected expenditure the Government has indicated, namely $100 billion for climate change and $57 billion for upgrading of the MRT system and others. For transparency, government can look to justify the spending by way of public disclosure of the details of such expensive projects. More alternative voices needed in Parliament.The Government can do more to be accountable to the public. Right now, the PAP has a majority in Parliament with 93% of the seats. This gives the Government the power to change the Constitution at will. For instance, after the revision of the Elected President system in 2016, Singaporeans were denied the chance to vote for their President in 2017. As politics affects our lives, Singaporeans can give a mandate to allow alternative MPs to occupy one-third of the seats in Parliament. Where the PSP thinks the governance of the country can be improved upon, it will make its case for change to better the lives of Singaporeans. At the end of the day, people want to build a good Singapore with a trusted political system. With good processes, and good people. This is positive, progressive politics. Which is what PSP stands for.For Country For People!#progresssingaporeparty #psp #SGUnited #thetimeisnowSG #defendSG #peopleabovepoliticsSG #togetherwecan #singapore

Posted by Progress Singapore Party on Sunday, March 29, 2020