Opposition party rallies: Reform Party

Team of activists seeks to crank up pressure on PM

Mr Ravi champions human rights and wants the death penalty abolished.
Mr Ravi champions human rights and wants the death penalty abolished.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

The Reform Party's (RP) six-man team at Ang Mo Kio GRC is no suicide squad for taking on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his People's Action Party teammates.

Party chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam said last night: "This time, the RP aim is not to sacrifice itself for the sake of democracy. We are here to win."

Speaking at the party's first rally, he said the team will give Mr Lee nightmares because it includes candidates who are activists for various causes.


They are blogger Roy Ngerng, an outspoken critic of the Central Provident Fund (CPF) who has been sued by Mr Lee for suggesting that the Prime Minister misappropriated CPF savings; career counsellor Gilbert Goh who organised protests against the government document that mentioned a 6.9 million future population for Singapore, and lawyer M. Ravi who champions human rights and wants the death penalty abolished.

The other candidates are former banker Jesse Loo, media trainer Siva Chandran and entrepreneur Osman Sulaiman.

Addressing the rally, Mr Goh said: "We've 1.8 million foreigners residing and working with us and 400,000 of them hold a professional job!"

A voice in the crowd yelled back: "We don't need them, let them go away!"

Mr Goh asked: "Do you want, by 2030, 6.9 million? Singaporeans, do you want that?"

The crowd called back: "No!"

Urging voters to choose the RP, Mr Ravi said: "Today, you're powerless to stop the influx of foreign labour. Today, you're powerless to get back your CPF at 55, to stop rising costs, transport costs and so on."

Mr Ngerng called for Singaporeans to have their CPF savings returned at age 55.

He also spoke about the elderly poor and criticised Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin for saying online in July that old people who collect cardboard might be doing it for exercise and to retain their dignity by supporting themselves.

"Would Mr Tan step down as a minister and collect cardboard for his dignity?" he asked.

The RP candidates repeated their proposal to give every child $300 a month, and everyone over 65 a pension of $500 a month, and to set a minimum wage.

More details would be forthcoming in future rallies, Mr Ravi told reporters after the rally.

In the crowd last night was teenage blogger Amos Yee, who landed in trouble with the law earlier this year.

"I'm here because Roy is my good buddy and I know M. Ravi," he said.

Additional reporting by Olivia Ho

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2015, with the headline 'Team of activists seeks to crank up pressure on PM'. Print Edition | Subscribe