After fifteen years in the political wilderness, Dr Chee Soon Juan made his comeback and boy did he awe the audience with his silky smooth public speaking skills. It made the days of him blabbering unsubstantiated accusations and pencant for civil disobedience look like something from his distant past.
In recent years, Dr Chee has carefully cultivated his new image. He always watched what he said, he toed the line and refrained from getting into trouble with the law. Through the clever use of social media, from videos of him making music with his daughters to the film of him being a loving husband and family man, it warms the heart and gives us a softer image to this former Singapore bad boy.
All these are a good start to something beautiful but as a voter concerned with my future, I still hope Dr Chee can address these questions to seal the deal with me. I am sure these pertinent questions are also on the minds of many Singaporeans. Give us reassuring answers to these policy questions and Dr Chee your reincarnation will be complete, you will definitely get my vote!
1) Foreign Policy: Remaining neutral and not becoming the proxy for USA, China or any other Superpower
If you were to enter Parliament, will you promise to be even-handed and not lean towards any superpower and allow Singapore to maintain its balancing act in the world? It has worked well for us over the past 50 years and helped prevent us from becoming a failed proxy state. Will you do whatever it takes to defend Singapore’s interest even in the face of immense pressure from countries like the USA or China?
2) Drugs & Death Penalty
Drugs are a plague to any society and a huge population of Singaporeans appreciate the ban on recreational drugs. The past couple of years, more have been calling for the legalization of drugs like cannabis or marijuana. Will you promise to not cave in to such wants and safeguard Singapore from the social ills of such drugs.
Will you also promise to maintain the heavy deterrent Singapore has against drugs. Without the death penalty, drug couriers will definitely take the chance to swarm into Singapore and hurt our children in the long run. Can you give us a proposal that strikes a suitable balance between human rights and defending Singaporeans from such chemical abuse and ills?
3) Social Welfare Plans
SDP has come up with many policies that propose to give Singaporeans much social security and peace of mind. But we are worried this may end up being good for our current generation and being tough for our future generations to sustain and pay for. Surely we do not want to go down the route of relentless borrowing to fund our social safety nets. Can you assure us that SDP social policies will be humane yet financially viable? I note in your manifesto that you plan to increase personal income tax and corporate tax but does that mean you will not dip into Singapore’s reserves? We want comfortable protection but we being Singaporeans also want to know we are spending prudently and always saving for the future and not placing burdens on our children after we are gone.
4) Religious Harmony
Besides defending our Freedom of Speech, Dr Chee, will you also defend our Religious Harmony and not allow the unfettered Freedom of Speech which has caused tragedy time and again all over the world. The recent public backlash against Amos Yee after his insensitve comments about both LKY and Christians is a good reminder. The Charlie Hebdo slaying is another grim reminder of what unlimited freedom of speech can possibly do. Can you give us a balance between Freedom of Speech and the nimble management of such religious sensitivities?
5) Freedom of Assembly
Some Singaporeans are still wary of implementing wholesale the core tenets of Western democracy here. The Freedom of Assembly being one such tenet. Although it has its merits, we still value our stability and security over personal liberties. Can you promise to develop us a uniquely Singaporean form of democracy and not follow in the prescribed footsteps of the Western world?
I hope with all sincerity that you can answer these admittedly very tough questions. But for my future and the future of our fellow Singaporeans, we wish to know your stand on these. Show us superior competence and wisdom in the above five questions and you have our votes for sure. I hope this is the beginning of something beautiful. A masterful orator with the heart for the people and wisdom to understand the limitations and practicalities of governing this little red dot.
Sivalingam Steven, 54
Father of four beautiful children staying in 4 room HDB flat