At the next General Election, which is due by January 2017, the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) plans to contest the same four constituencies that it contested at the last GE in 2011.
But the opposition party, which does not have any seats in the current Parliament, has not ruled out contesting one more Group Representation Constituency (GRC) – possibly Tanjong Pagar. In 2011, the SDP contested two single seats – Yuhua and Bukit Panjang – as well as two GRCs – Sembawang and Holland-Bukit Timah GRC. It did not win any of the seats.
The party’s Secretary-General Chee Soon Juan revealed the SDP’s plans as the party launched its election campaign on Saturday (Jan 10). When asked if he would contest the next election, Dr Chee said it has been a long time since he stood for election and it would be an “interesting contest this time around”. However, he added that it was “premature” to say where he would contest.
Launching its party slogan, “Your Voice in Parliament”, the SDP said it will introduce its potential candidates at a pre-election rally in Hong Lim Park in October. The party also plans to release an economic policy paper in February and its manifesto in May. It also plans to unveil a town council management manifesto in June, which will spell out how the party plans to manage estates if it was to win in any of the constituencies it is contesting.
Besides saying it would focus on the same constituencies it had contested in the previous GE, the SDP also said it intended to campaign on several policy ideas it had raised earlier.
These included advocating the abolishment of Medisave, Medifund and MediShield schemes in favour of a National Health Investment Fund, and the introduction of a non-open market scheme for public housing which would see new flats being sold at a price which does not factor in the cost of land.
The party is also advocating the scrapping of the PSLE, a point system for foreigners to qualify to work in Singapore and abolishing the CPF’s Minimum Sum scheme.
Mr Chee expressed enthusiasm about the upcoming elections: “I’m excited about the prospect of leading the SDP into the next elections, excited about the opportunity of presenting our alternative vision to the people of Singapore, and excited that right now, we have the opportunity to effect change and take Singapore up a different path. One that is democratic, dynamic, just, equal and compassionate.”