WP unveils 39-page manifesto with slogan 'Make Your Vote Count'
Its campaign slogan aims to focus on need for checks and balances in Parliament
There is a real risk that the opposition could be wiped out at the election, said Worker's Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh, as he urged voters to make their votes count and prevent the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) from sweeping all 93 seats at the coming polls.
It is for this reason that the WP chose Make Your Vote Count as its campaign slogan, he said, announcing it along with the unveiling of its manifesto yesterday.
Emphasising the need for check and balances in Parliament, he said: "We need elected Workers' Party MPs to be voted into Parliament so that they can serve the public in Parliament and at the constituency through the town council. Elected opposition MPs strengthen our democracy and our political processes... Don't rely on someone else to vote for the Workers' Party."
The WP manifesto laid out the party's vision for Singapore along four themes: social and education policies that help Singaporeans achieve their dreams; dignified jobs for workers; building "a home we want" by tackling cost-of-living issues; and creating robust political, governance and defence institutions.
The party also devoted eight pages of the 39-page manifesto to responses to the Covid-19 crisis.
While it acknowledged the PAP Government's efforts in dealing with the crisis and supported the safe distancing measures, it said it was its "duty as a responsible opposition party to make a constructive contribution to the policy discussion on how best to deal with this outbreak and emerge stronger as a nation".
Among the proposals was for the Government to improve how rules are communicated, plug gaps in support packages and provide free vaccinations when a vaccine is available.
During his national broadcast this month, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong had said that the Government will make sure Singaporeans who need a vaccine will get one at "an affordable price".
Mr Singh told reporters the WP's manifesto process kicked off in late 2018, with the party's central executive committee setting up a team comprising Ms He Ting Ru and former Non-Constituency MPs Gerald Giam, Leon Perera and Daniel Goh.
Associate Professor Goh has stepped down from his party positions due to health reasons.
Ms He, 37, Mr Giam, 42, and Mr Perera, 49, presented the manifesto during a virtual press conference yesterday.
The trio were also unveiled as part of the final batch of four candidates in the WP's line-up alongside political newcomer Abdul Shariff Aboo Kassim, 54, a former researcher.
While presenting the party's policies on women, and professionals, managers, executives and technicians, Ms He said recent events brought to light frailties in the global supply chain and in societies.
She highlighted policy proposals such as setting up an export-import bank to finance small and medium-sized enterprise growth, and developing green technology as a new growth area.
Mr Giam, who covered policies on families and youth, said the WP opposes plans to raise the goods and services tax from 7 per cent to 9 per cent and urged the Government to thoroughly explore other alternative sources of revenue - such as tapping the $15 billion in land sales the Government collects each year and increasing the maximum net investment returns contribution from 50 per cent to 60 per cent.
Other proposals include lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 and media reform.
Mr Perera spoke about seniors, who he said faced challenges living in a high-cost environment. He proposed lowering the Central Provident Fund (CPF) payout eligibility age and CPF Life eligibility age to 60, more transparency on the investment returns of GIC and a special dividend paid to CPF members' Special accounts if the 10-year moving average difference between the investment returns of GIC and the net interest payable on CPF member balances is positive.
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