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Hard truths and figures from Steve Chia

Posted on 03 May 2011

The NSP candidate for Pioneer SMC questions the PAP’s attitude towards minimum wage and welfare for the poor.

By Grace Chew

A 2,000-strong crowd heard from National Solidarity Party’s (NSP) Steve Chia some “hard truths” at Sunday night’s rally at Jurong West Stadium for Pioneer Single Member Constituency (SMC).

Citing a slew of figures from the Department of Statistics, the Central Providence Fund Annual Report (CPF) and the Credit-Suisse annual report, Steve Chia showed the crowd that the focus of the ministers was no longer on them, but “on themselves”.

“The median income is $1,506. This amount is earned by ministers in an hour or two, with car park fines, taxes and levies imposed on you. There is something very wrong here!” Mr Chia said, drawing echoes from the crowd: “Something very wrong!”

As a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament, Mr Chia had asked Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong why some ministers were drawing pension schemes and “multi-billion dollar salaries” at the same time, to which PM Lee replied that it was “in the contract”.

Emphasising the apparent double standards of the government, he proceeded to talk about the CPF scheme, where the minimum age for withdrawal has been raised from 55 to 65.

“They suka-suka changed the rule. It is a contract but yet they changed it unilaterally. They decided that (Singaporeans) cannot take care of their own money!” He declared, to which the crowd angrily responded: “Bullshit! We’re not stupid!”

In addition, he said that certain statistics were flawed as it did not truly reflect the situation in Singapore.

“While the mean wealth looks good, the median paints a very sad picture of $43,000 (net worth per person): 50% of people in this rich and first-world society has only $43,000. How could that be? Can the ministers rebut this report?” he asked.

He suggested that statistics cannot be purely based on the income of top owners, but should add in other Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as per capita income, quality of life and stability of housing and food prices, in order to allow Singaporeans to know the truth.

He also pointed out that the feasibility of the Minimum Wage Scheme needs to be studied, with the support of data from the CPF Annual report that one in four members above 45 are having employment problems.

“Your vote is powerful. Don’t give them full monopoly of power. Don’t let them cover the sky with their hands. Pressure them with your vote!” – Steve Chia

“Below all the beautiful infrastructure and magnificent building, many families are falling through the cracks. That is why you see many people living in void decks and on the beach. Deficits can only get worse, not better. Without decent paying job for Singaporeans, the lowest 20 percent (of the population) cannot live with self-respect.” He observed.

Addressing incumbent Cedric Foo’s remarks, he said that installing Closed-Circuit Television (CCTVs) would not solve the problem of monitoring the behaviour of foreign workers.

He said that when he was distributing his flyers the previous night, he still saw foreign workers urinating at the coffeeshops even though they’ve installed CCTVs.

He suggested having active citizen patrol with the MP leading the way, and questioned whether Foo would have time to do that.

An alternative solution he proposed would be to shift dormitories to Upper Joo Koon, as “it would not cost anything.”

“With CCTVs, your SMC fees will go up.”

He also questioned Foo on the demolishing of the old Majarpahit mosque and the new primary school Mr Foo has promised.
“It is all wayang!” he declared.

He also promised a 5-day meet-the-people session, and if problems continued to persist, he would call the civil servants in front of residents to ask them about it.

Finally, he dispelled rumours that the People’s Action Party (PAP) knew the decision of voters, much to the cheers of the crowd.

“It is bullshit. They are just testing you – Your vote is secret, nobody knows who you voted unless you open your mouth to tell people. If you don’t want people to know who you voted, keep quiet.”

Indirectly calling on residents to vote for him at his conclusion, he said in English and Chinese, “Your vote is powerful. Don’t give them full monopoly of power. Don’t let them cover the sky with their hands. Pressure them with your vote!”

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  • K. Senthil Kumar

    There are few scenarios that Singaporeans must understand in this GE2011:

    1. More voices but no change – To have less than 1/3 opposition seats in parliament will not change anything already done, e.g. cost of living, FTs, property prices, etc except that opposition MPs can make more noises and suggestions that PAP in majority may not listen. There is also a risk that PAP back in power will find ways to suppress all oppositions so that there will not be any chance of voting like in this GE2011.

    2. Partial change – To have more than 1/3 and less than 2/3 opposition seats will be likely to change some already done as above but will not change the Constitution that allows GRC, NMP, NCMP, and election boundary redrawing. PAP will still be in power or sharing power with oppositions. This may be harder for PAP in power to diminish the oppositions.

    3. Complete change – To have more than 2/3 opposition seats means the alternative party will be the government and PAP the opposition. This can change everything including the Constitution. However, Singaporeans must make sure the elected government rewrites the Constitution to abolish those ill clauses and introduce check and balance clause. Also, to ensure Constitution is not allowed to change without referendum. Otherwise, the next non-PAP government may have the chance to abuse the Constitution as well.

    Basically, this GE2011 is not about local town upgrading, FTs, or cost of living, etc. It is about whether Singaporeans would like to take back the political power and have a say on the future of Singapore. Once the people take back the power, they can then have a say on how to run this country and all those policies and problems will be resolved to their preference.

    Singaporeans must vote wisely on 7 May to decide what they want in the future.

  • aurvandil

    Heard that the PAP is supremely confident of victory. With the exception of Aljunied, they have put down the deposits for the victory celebrations of yet another 5 good years !

    In the off chance than George and Co somehow survive, they have even made contingency plans for extra tables at the Marine Parade celebration.

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