SDP Goes On First Walkabout In Sembawang GRC and Bukit Panjang SMC

The opposition Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) today (Jan 25) conducted its first walkabout since it launched its preparations for the next General Election, due to be held by January 2017.

The walkabout kicked off at the Marsiling Food Centre, with about 50 members and volunteers taking part. They covered several markets and food centres around Marsiling, Fajar and Bangkit, which lie within the boundaries of Sembawang GRC and Bukit Panjang SMC.

Leading the walkabout was SDP Secretary-General Chee Soon Juan and his sister Chee Siok Chin. Dr Chee has said he plans to run in the upcoming election, after sitting out the previous two because of bankruptcy. Also present was SDP Vice-Chairman John Tan, who ran in the 2011 General Election.

“We want to continue to be able to tell people that they need a voice in the Parliament – a voice that will help them articulate their concerns and their worries,” said Dr Chee.

SDP also handed out copies of its newsletter, The New Democrat, which highlights its alternative vision for the Central Provident Fund system.

Dr Chee said he does not think starting SDP’s preparations early will result in them losing momentum. “We are not doing this for ourselves,” he said. “It is a cause and causes are timeless. There is no time frame to it.”

Despite the loss of star candidates after the last General Election in 2011, the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) remains confident it will be able to put forward a strong team for the next election, said party chief Chee Soon Juan.

Speaking to reporters after a walkabout at Marsiling Food Centre yesterday, Dr Chee was coy about new faces in his party. “For sure, this is going to be something to watch. We’re going to be able to put up a very good slate of candidates. We’ve got new people coming in,” he said. “People are getting excited about our message and … they want to be a part of this. We feel very good and very confident at this stage.”

In attendance at the walkabout were about 50 members and volunteers, who distributed the party’s newsletter The New Democrat and spoke with residents at several food centres and markets in Marsiling, Fajar and Bangkit. These places fall within Sembawang GRC and the single-seat Bukit Panjang — two constituencies in which the SDP contested during the 2011 GE and plans to stand in again.

Since 2011, the SDP has lost several high-profile members, among them Mr Tan Jee Say and Dr Ang Yong Guan, who set up their own political party, Singaporeans First. Ms Michelle Lee, who contested in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC under the SDP banner, has been seen at Workers’ Party events, while Dr Vincent Wijeysingha resigned in 2013 to focus on civil activism.

The party has also announced that it would release an economic policy paper next month and a party manifesto in May. It also plans to introduce potential candidates in October.



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