SINGAPORE - National Solidarity Party (NSP) candidate Kevryn Lim gave an impassioned speech at the party's Circuit Road rally on Monday night, calling for parenthood benefits for single parents and maternity leave for single mothers.
Ms Lim became tearful as she said: "In the pledge, it says based on justice and equality. These people are also Singaporeans."
The 26-year-old, herself a single mother, recounted stories of parents she had met on walkabouts in rental blocks who were in such a plight.
Speaking in Cantonese and then in English, she spoke about how she met one unwed mother who was not eligible for the baby bonus and was scraping by on $1,000 a month, while another resident, a single father, was still sleeping on his parents' sofa.
Said Ms Lim: "In the National Day Rally, when (Prime Minister) Lee talked about baby bonus, maternity leave, paternity leave, he never mentioned single-parent families. Why are they left out? They also hold a Singaporean passport!"
She went on: "I would like to ask the Government to also give 16 weeks of maternity leave to single mothers. Single parents should also enjoy baby bonuses. There should be parenthood benefits, tax benefits for these single parents as well."
She concluded: "Let us fight for equal rights and leave no Singaporean behind."
Unmarried mothers are not eligible for extended Government-paid maternity leave.
Ms Lim, who is part of the NSP team fielded in Sembawang GRC, was speaking at the rally for MacPherson SMC, which is seeing a three-cornered fight between the NSP's Cheo Chai Chen, Ms Tin Pei Ling from the People's Action Party and Mr Bernard Chen of the Workers' Party.
Mr Cheo had come under fire last week for saying Ms Tin's weakness was that she was a new mother. He later said he meant it as a joke.