Monday, 2 May 2011

2nd speech at Yishun Stadium

'The Forgotten Group in Singapore'

Friends, fellow Singaporeans and dear residents of Nee Soon GRC, “ni men hao”!!! Thank you for coming down once again to support the WORKERS’ PARTY! Thank you very much!

My name is Lee Lilian and I am the Workers’ Party candidate for Punggol East SMC. Today, I am here to talk to you two groups of people who have been forgotten in Singapore, I call them the silent community.

The first group – the elderly. Our senior citizens worked hard, contributed to nation building and the growth of our country but when they are in their twilight years, they are forgotten. They are even engineered to travel at specific time of the day.

Before 9am, their concessions don’t apply.

Aunties and uncles, let me tell you this, before 9am, you cannot leave house. You can only leave house after 9am then you can enjoy the concessions. [Hokkien]

Our senior citizens who wish to continue working finds it difficult to find a job.

Our senior citizens who wish to retire are told that they have to work longer. Where do we leave them? In no man’s land?

Our senior citizens who have been saving up since they were young now find that they do not have enough money in their CPF to retire.

CPF enough anot? [Hokkien]

Singapore can do better than this!

The Workers’ Party proposes that:

• Concessions passes on public transport for the elderly should be extended to all operating hours
• Older workers must be protected from exploitation and financial hardships upon turning 62. The Workers’ Party also recognized that the current re-employment provisions are in place but these provisions should be re-worked to provide stronger protections for older workers.
• The prices of new HDB flats should be pegged to the median incomes of Singaporeans households.

Dear Mr. Mah Bow Tan, I am sure many Singaporeans here today would agree with me that the length of mortgage loan is indeed an issue. Mr. Mah, I am just curious here. Do you want your own child to take 30, 40 or 50 years to pay? Oh, I forgot. You won’t need such housing loan, unlike us.

As for me, I believe that HDB flats should be affordable and my child should be able to pay off his loans in 20 years’ time.

We belong to a society, a caring society. We call Singapore home, our home. But there is another group of silent community, the ones whose voices have been blocked out for so long, they are the disabled and they are forgotten.

• The disabled who often travel on public transport finds it hard to do so. This is especially so when they travel by taxis to areas not covered by wheelchair accessible buses.
• While it is good to see that we have wheelchair accessible buses but the current target to make it available on all bus services which is 2023 is way too long! You mean a first world economic nation like ours need another 12 years to make all our trunk and feeder bus routes wheelchair accessible

Let me say this once again. Singapore can do better than this!

People with disabilities have the right to live a dignified and fulfilling life and be integrated with the rest of the community.

• It is important that we keep the fares affordable. ERP should be abolished for taxis to keep fares affordable for one and all
• The government should be more involved and bear the cost of purchasing Wheelchair Accessible Buses and bear the responsibility for modifying all bus stops to make them wheelchair accessible.
• The government should also fund disabled transport concessions, in line with best practices in other developed countries.

Whether one is male or female, young or old, abled or disabled, we carry a card, a card that identifies us together under one common citizenship, living up to the first five words of our pledge, “We, the citizens of Singapore!”

Since young, I have known Singapore to be my country and my home but today we hear that Singapore is run more like a company than a country. Nowadays it seems like Singapore is all about record GDPs and making more and more money.

We, the people of Singapore and our welfare seems to have taken a back seat since we handed the ruling PAP a mandate of 66.6% at the last elections in 2006. In case the PAP do not know what this means, let me remind them again. For every 10 eligible voters, at least 6 voted for them. Yet, they have failed to take care of us, the people of Singapore. It is only when the elections are around the corner do we feel like we matter.

Listen to these!

• 13 March 2011, SMRT will increase MRT train services by adding another 420 train trips per week on the North-South-East-West Line (NSEWL)
• 20 March 2011, SBS Transit will start adding another 170 train trips per week during the morning and evening peaks, as well as off-peak hours, on the North-East Line (NEL).
• On the same day, the retail price watch group roll out initiatives to ease the pressures of rising prices on the average Singaporean.

Probably, we really should have General Elections every year. Only when the elections are here do we feel better taken care of. Apart from all these, Singaporeans get to see their PAP MPs almost every day. Elections are indeed amazing.

Singapore is no doubt a country, My Country, Your Country, OUR COUNTRY. This election, we the people of Singapore are taking back our country! On 7th May 2011, we the people of Singapore are taking back our country.

The Workers Party believe that it is a time for you to act, to cast your vote, to choose; there is no better time than now for a call to action. This is my call to you, to everyone of you here today. Help us turn the attendance today into votes for the Workers’ Party.

On 7th May 2011, Vote Workers’ Party. Towards a First World Parliament!

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