Monday, 2 May 2011

6th day into our campaigning!

My maiden speech, 'Political Insurance'.

Good Evening everyone. I am Lee Li Lian, the WP candidate for Punggol East.

In an article on Channel News Asia, in November 2008, PM Lee had said that a 2 party political model cannot work in Singapore. In the same article, PM also said: "If the party (PAP) doesn't work, if something goes wrong with the party, you can be sure new parties will come, new contests will come. People will spring up to take on the government in no time at all."

If any party were to spring up from nowhere and starts governing; Singapore will be in great danger. We will be governed by people with no experience at all! No party, not even the PAP, is infallible and there is no guarantee that such a scenario will not happen. It is, therefore, important that we have some political insurance.

What this means is that we need to ensure there are alternative parties in Parliament to participate and gain experience in the governing of our nation. We can then have another experienced party with ability to form an alternative government on standby in times of crisis or needs.

We can’t plan our future in the future; we got to plan it now! Just like personal or health insurance, we may not think we need it or want to buy it now. But most of us buy it anyway for a peace of mind as we never know when we will need it. And when that happens we are protected and can be taken care of. Similarly, we need to insure Singapore and our future.

I’m sure most of us here buy Insurance one way or another. We either buy it ourselves through an agent or we are all part of the government’s opt out insurance schemes such as DPS, Medishield and Eldershield. Some of us who own HDB flats are probably under compulsory insurance schemes such as HPS (HOUSING PROTECTION SCHEME) which protects our loved ones from losing their homes should something happen to us.

The reason why we buy insurance is for investments as well as protection purposes. When we do investments we don’t put all our eggs into one basket no matter how strong and robust that basket is right now. Likewise when it comes to governing a country, we should not rely on only one political party. Voting the Workers’ Party is an insurance against failure.

Should today’s government fail, there should be another party who is ready to take on the role immediately. And that party will need to have the mandate of the people to do so.

Having another political party in Parliament would also provide the much needed
check and balance on the government.

This will keep the government on its toes to ensure accountability. All policies and issues will be debated thoroughly and alternative ideas considered seriously before implementation.

If you can remember, in 2007 just months after GE2006, the PAP government announced that the GST would be increased from 5% to 7% from July . Inflation rose at the fastest pace in 12 years due to the hike in GST as food costs rose and rents soared. To make things worse, the bus fares increased about 1.8 per cent.

Someone even wrote a letter to the Straits Times Forum that some weeks back when he ate kway chap at the coffeeshop near his flat, he was
shocked that his meal came to $4.50. He thought the hawker had made a mistake, as he used to pay about $3.50 for similar items but the hawker said “no.”

My fellow Singaporeans, 66.6% of you voted for the PAP in 2006, and you got GST increase, record high inflation rates, higher food, transport, and healthcare costs.

Do we want history to repeat itself?

Do we want all these to happen again after the 2011 elections?

We need to ensure that the government is transparent and accountable to the people but without an effective opposition in Parliament, the government can choose to ignore our concerns and brush aside our worries.

The government encourages all Singaporeans to plan for the future, to ensure that we have enough funds to tide us through our retirement . The PAP government wants us to plan ahead hence they had implemented various insurance schemes.

But when it comes to the need for political insurance, the government does NOT plan ahead.

Regardless of how formidable the PAP might be, no one can guarantee that it will never fail in future. Because we understand that past performances is not indicative of future performances. We also know the story of the Titanic which was supposed to be unsinkable. It sank anyway on its maiden voyage killing more than 1,500 people. We need to have a backup.

Fellow Singaporeans, what Singapore needs is a First World Parliament, a Parliament that leaves nothing to chance and is actively prepared for any unforeseen circumstances. It should be able to check and balance a strong government. In every GE, the WP strives to bring you a slate of good, credible candidates.

Vote WP, towards a First World Parliament!

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