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SDP chief tells voters: Don’t be afraid to ‘rock the boat’

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Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan urged Singaporeans not to be afraid to "rock the boat" during uncertain times so that they can send a loud and clear message to the People's Action Party (PAP) at the coming election.

Said Dr Chee: "Singaporeans must understand that the boat is sinking. If you don't start paddling, if you just remain still so that you don't rock the boat, it is going to sink. It is already happening, even before Covid-19 hit, and it is going to continue and just worsen the situation."

Dr Chee, the SDP's secretary-general, made the remarks during an online session yesterday on Zoom, during which he fielded questions from about a dozen journalists.

Dr Chee said Singapore has just come out of a very restrictive circuit breaker. The Government has spent some $93 billion to help boost the economy, and help businesses and struggling Singaporeans, and "we have to paddle very hard right now to make sure we get to shore".

The hour-long session, chaired by SDP chairman Paul Tambyah, expanded on the party's "4 Yeses, 1 No" campaign message.

The SDP is calling for a suspension of the goods and services tax until the end of next year, for retrenched workers to be paid 50 per cent of their last drawn salary for 18 months, and a $500 monthly retirement income for lower-income seniors aged over 65.

It is also against growing the population to 10 million, and wants the Government to "put people first".

Dr Chee yesterday also criticised the raft of Budget measures, which he said goes largely towards supporting corporations and businesses.

He also claimed that a large number of them are government-linked companies.

Dr Tambyah said the last four Budgets mainly support employers, in hopes that the benefits will trickle down to employees, and asked how much of the financial support goes towards helping ordinary Singaporeans.

Responding to questions on opposition party unity, both SDP leaders said it does not look like there will be a three-cornered fight in the constituencies SDP will be contesting.

These are: Yuhua, Bukit Panjang and Bukit Batok SMCs, and Holland-Bukit Timah and Marsiling-Yew Tee GRCs.

The SDP also confirmed that it will be fielding 11 candidates across these five constituencies. These are the same constituencies it contested in the 2015 elections.