The Singapore Democratic Party has responded to the government’s COVID16 stimulus package, also known as the Resilient Budget, a term coined by DPM Heng Swee Keat. In the video of SDP’s Paul Tambyah speaking about the budget, he acknowledged that some parts of the Budget was good, as it helped with the salaries of those badly affected by COVID19.
However, the SDP also drew attention that the Reserves was helped built up by Singaporeans’ generation of their parents and grandparents, so the PAP cannot take full credit of this. SDP also once again reiterated that calling for an election at this critical time is irresponsible and will undo all the hard work done to try to combat COVID19.
The full transcript:
“We just heard from DPM Heng about the supplementary budget proposal which will tap on our reserves to help those individuals and industries affected by the COVID 19 outbreak. Some parts of the proposal are good such as the salary support where the government will pay the wages of workers in the travel and aviation industry.
We recognize the need for this but need to recognize the source of the funds. Singapore has no oil or gas, no gold or diamonds. Our reserves were built up from the sweat and sacrifice of our parents and grandparents. In most industrial countries, the bulk of government expenditure is spent on pensions, healthcare and other social services. Not so in Singapore. Our parents and grandparents gave those basic economic rights up so that our reserves could be built up. Civil servants (except ministers) lost their pensions in 1984. Universal single-payer government-funded healthcare began disappearing in 1985. When I went to university in the 1980s, the fees for medical school were around $1000. Now the fees are close to $25000. Sure salaries have increased but as a first-year MO, I was paid $2600 in 1992. First-year MOs are now paid twice as much, not 25x as much. Never forget where the reserves come from – the sweat and sacrifices of our parents and grandparents. We are grateful for the measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic – grateful to our parents and grandparents.
The PAP cannot claim full credit for their sacrifice. We pay tribute to the hard-working healthcare workers, contact tracers, cleaners, security people, delivery drivers and all the others who have helped in the efforts against the coronavirus. Attempting to call a snap election during this time would be reckless putting lives at risk and undo all the good work that so many people have put in. Let us honour them and the sacrifices of our parents and grandparents by working to control this virus and after the pandemic is over, working together for a better Singapore.”