SDP to home in on three issues in run-up to next GE: Cost of living, job security and CPF

Singapore Democratic Party chief Chee Soon Juan speaks to reporters after a walkabout at the Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre on Jan 19, 2020. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) said it will continue to focus on three issues in the run-up to the general election - cost of living, job prospects and security for Singaporeans, and Central Provident Fund savings for retirees.

SDP chief Chee Soon Juan told reporters after a walkabout at the Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre on Sunday (Jan 19) that the party has been "hammering away" at these issues since last year.

"And lo and behold, whether it's a coincidence or not, I'll let people figure out, the PAP (People's Action Party) has become big on these three issues as well," he said.

On the cost of living, he said the impending hike in the goods and services tax (GST) from 7 per cent to 9 per cent will add to people's financial burden.

The GST hike, announced in 2018, will take effect sometime between 2021 and 2025.

Dr Chee said that if elected, the SDP will get the ruling PAP to address and account for the GST raise.

The SDP had visited Marsiling, Bukit Panjang and Bukit Batok on Sunday - areas it plans to contest at the coming election.

Dr Chee and SDP treasurer Bryan Lim have been lobbying for lift upgrading at blocks 115 and 119 in Marsiling Rise. Mr Ong Teng Koon, the PAP MP for the ward, said in a Facebook post last week that he remains optimistic that government agencies can find a way to overcome the present cost and technical constraints.

Said SDP chairman Paul Tambyah: "That's just one example of some of the issues that we're dealing with as we walk the ground."

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Asked about new issues on the ground, Dr Chee said climate change has emerged as a concern for younger voters, and that the party is coming up with policies to address this.

On the party's court challenge against correction directions issued under the fake news law that was heard in court last Thursday and Friday, Dr Tambyah said it is getting legal advice to deal with some of the technical terms brought up in the case.

The SDP has until Wednesday to file written responses to the submissions presented by the Attorney-General's Chambers, if it wishes to do so.

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