Party political broadcasts: Singaporeans First

Pursue growth with a heart for all S'poreans

SingFirst chief Tan Jee Say greeting a resident during a walkabout in Commonwealth.
SingFirst chief Tan Jee Say greeting a resident during a walkabout in Commonwealth.ST PHOTOS: KEVIN LIM, NEO XIAOBIN

Dear fellow Singaporeans,

A year ago, a group of us Singaporeans got together to form a new political party called Singaporeans First. We were concerned that government policies have deprived Singaporeans of their rightful place in their own country.

Our people are unhappy. Social tension is high. The fundamental cause is the massive influx of foreign workers. This is the direct result of the PAP's economic strategy of "growth at all costs". The huge influx of foreign workers has broken families, taken away jobs and space from Singaporeans, and shattered their self-esteem.

We are not anti-foreigners. We recognise that foreigners play an important role in the economy. But we do not want any Tom, Dick or Harry to come in with ease and in such big numbers. Current policy opens the doors so wide that they come in huge numbers when our infrastructure is not ready to accommodate them, like housing, public transport, schools, public parks.

In the past 10 years, more than one million foreign workers have been allowed to come into Singapore, or an average of 100,000 a year. As a result, house prices have shot up, public transport breaks down frequently and space for Singaporeans has been intruded. Social relations have also been strained.

This is irresponsible. We are for responsible immigration. In our pursuit of economic growth, we must be fair to Singaporeans and not discriminate (against) them in terms of job placement, wage levels and space. We make no apology that we are advocating priority to Singaporeans; every country gives priority to its citizens except Singapore.

Our party has proposed a safety net and social investment programme that will restore lost jobs to Singaporeans, giving them priority and job security. We will also restore the rightful place of citizens with priority in schools and businesses. We will grow local enterprises by issuing three more licences each for banks and telcos, and give generous support, grants for start-ups by the young.

We will reduce poverty from the existing 30 per cent to below 10 per cent as in First World countries. We will be generous in helping the middle class by not requiring means tests. We will de-emphasise position, income and wealth as criteria of success. We will ensure better work-life balance and enhance the spirit of mutual help.

Our $6 billion social safety net will be financed by returns on our investments which exceed the required amount by $2 billion a year. Hence, our $6 billion safety net will not bankrupt Singapore.

With our strategy of "growth with a heart for all Singaporeans", we will achieve an egalitarian society with a broad middle class and will stand tall and proud among First World nations. That will be truly Majulah Singapura.

Tan Jee Say

Secretary-General

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2015, with the headline 'Pursue growth with a heart for all S'poreans'. Print Edition | Subscribe