Dr Chee Soon Juan calls for a better quality of life for Singaporeans in the SDP's 2013 New Year message.
Hi, everybody and Happy New Year!
2012 was one of those years that made a big difference for those of us here at the SDP. It was a meaningful 12 months filled with work that built on the momentum that we had achieved from the general elections in 2011.
At the beginning of the year, we published our Shadow Budget and outlined our nation's spending priorities to invest in education, small and medium size enterprises and lower-income groups. We also published two major policy papers, the first on lowering healthcare costs and the second on making our HDB homes affordable for everyone.
These plans were warmly welcomed by Singaporeans and they heralded the coming of age of the SDP as a competent and constructive party.
And while we worked to produce alternative policies, we also expanded our presence on the ground by going on walkabouts in the various constituencies from Woodlands in the north to Kreta Ayer in the south. In addition, we organised block parties to meet with our residents and, more importantly, listen to you and to learn what your concerns and worries are.
We are determined to bring your voices with us into Parliament.
We also continued to upgrade our communications capabilities, revamping our website and making it even a more powerful tool to reach out to Singaporeans.
Of course, all these activities needed financial support and thanks to many of you, we were able to meet our fund-raising target. Along the way we had much fun.
As result, our party has continued to grow.
But through all this, we were painfully aware that there are many Singaporeans who are still struggling with little comfort and security. We have provided whatever assistance we could to lift them up. We do this because we want to see Singapore become a compassionate community. We believe that the true measure of a great nation is how we care for the weakest among us.
But as much as we did last year, 2013 promises to be even more exciting, more meaningful. We will continue to develop our capabilities and potential as an alternative ruling party and we look forward to your support.
For one thing, we expect a by-election to be called in Punggol East and we are already starting work to bring our message across to residents at the constituency.
We look not for material riches, we look not for power for its own sake. Instead, we look to build our vision of a Singapore – a Singapore that is strong and free, where our people are innovative and competitive, tempered by an equally strong sense of justice and compassion.
We want Singaporeans not only to work hard but also to enjoy the fruits of our labour, to experience the love and joy of our families and loved ones. We want a better quality of life for our workers, a more balanced lifestyle where we don't live to work but work to lead happier lives and achieve a more secure future.
But we cannot achieve this if we are constantly driven to work harder and longer for less and less, we cannot cultivate a more gracious society if we have the dubious honour of being the most stressed workers and unhappiest people in the world.
This is the reason why we continue to speak up and to carry on our work for you. We will work harder and smarter than we did in 2012 so that we can make our vision for Singapore a reality. And with your support, my friends, this vision is eminently achievable.
Again, thank you for being with us all these years through the good times and the tough ones. We hope you will continue to be there for us, you know we'll always be there for you.
Have a wonderful and meaningful 2013 and on behalf of everyone here at the Singapore Democratic Party, I wish you and your loved ones all the very best.
(1 Jan 2013)