Singapore People's Party, National Solidarity Party

CPF savings a common theme in manifestos

The CPF Building at 79 Robinson Road.
The CPF Building at 79 Robinson Road. PHOTO: ST FILE

The Singapore People's Party (SPP), founded by veteran politician Chiam See Tong, has called for a collaborative and collective government that taps talent from across political parties.

Its manifesto for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, which it put online yesterday, indicated the issues the SPP is likely to speak on at its rally tonight at Toa Payoh Stadium.

The 270-word manifesto has a long list of what the party believes are people's wants. They range from fair employment, living wages and reduced cost of living to affordable healthcare, reliable public transport and control over their CPF monies. "We believe people want an economy with affordable costs, built on strong, healthy, growing local businesses, owned and run by Singaporeans, and not be squeezed out of the market by GLCs and MNCs," it says.

In a nod to one of the hottest issues in this election, three of the eight points in the manifesto touch on town councils. The SPP wants a responsive town council that will give residents a clean environment conducive to raising families, non-partisan grassroots representatives that will provide "real feedback" to the councils, and equal access to government grants. In addition, they should be treated equally for infrastructural upgrading, regardless of which party runs them.

Yesterday, the National Solidarity Party also elaborated on the manifesto it uploaded two days ago on its website. Asked about the length, which at five pages is less than half the size of its last election manifesto, NSP youth head Eugene Yeo said it was "simple, to the point and impactful". "We should spend more time looking at how to help Singaporeans and residents of Sembawang, campaigning on issues than on tabulating a 100-page manifesto," he said during a walkabout in Sembawang GRC, a five-member constituency he is contesting.

Asked how people are to finance two HDB flats - part of the NSP's proposal to close the inequality gap - newly elected secretary-general Lim Tean said it could be done by expanding the HDB loan scheme.

"The Government has the resources," he said, adding the second flat could be bought at cost plus a mark-up of 10 to 15 per cent. He was speaking to reporters at a walkabout in Tampines GRC, where he and four others are contesting.

The NSP has also called for the full amount of Central Provident Fund savings to be returned to Singaporeans when they turn 55. But asked how the party found that "less than 5 per cent" of CPF account holders would squander their savings in the CPF, Mr Lim would only say: "Five per cent is a good gauge of the number of Singaporeans who are in that bracket."

• Additional reporting by Walter Sim and Zhaki Abdullah

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2015, with the headline 'CPF savings a common theme in manifestos'. Print Edition | Subscribe