Chee: If elected, I will continue to press the Government
If People's Action Party candidate Murali Pillai is elected into Parliament, he would not be able to make a difference on issues like poverty and income inequality, Dr Chee Soon Juan claimed yesterday.
Addressing the media in person for the first time since the May 7 Bukit Batok by-election was announced on Wednesday, the secretary-general of Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) said he will push for bread-and-butter issues if he is elected.
The economic situation here is dire and will get worse, Dr Chee said at Bukit Batok MRT.
"With 81 seats that the PAP has in Parliament, what is the difference that Mr Murali is going to make in Parliament? But if you get me into Parliament, these are the issues that I will raise, and I will continue to press the Government to make sure that they will be more sensitised to the plight of Singaporeans."
Citing the example of a coffee shop chain raising the price of coffee, eggs and toast by 10 cents, he said that the cost of living is a concern, especially for the retirees and retrenched.
Dr Chee said: "The ministers may not feel it, they live in a completely different world. (But) for the retirees and the retrenched, every cent counts."
The welfare of the Bukit Batok elderly is another of his concerns. He cited statistics that showed the suicide rate among the elderly in Singapore has risen by 60 per cent since 2000.
He said in Mandarin: "The Government has not taken care of the elderly well. At Bukit Batok, we will take care of them well."
Dr Chee said that the team has covered the entire Bukit Batok estate and will now take a "targeted approach" in convincing residents to vote for him.
He emphasised that running the town council will not take a back seat, and that residents will enjoy a "tangible difference" in their quality of life.
"We want to assure residents that not only will we take care of the hardware of the estate, but make sure that their quality of life, the heart ware, is constantly upgraded.
"We want the people here to enjoy the kind of lifestyle that we seldom see in other constituencies in Singapore. The other constituencies are very cookie-cutter."
The SDP will be holding a press conference today to provide more details about its programme.