GE 2011 Rally Speech in Hougang

Speech by Gerald Giam at Workers’ Party GE 2011 Rally

My speech starts at 22:00.

ENOUGH! IT’S TIME FOR CHANGE

Speech by Gerald Giam at Workers’ Party GE 2011 Rally in Hougang Central on 28 April 2011.

Friends and fellow Singaporeans, good evening!

My name is Gerald Giam and I am a candidate for the Workers’ Party in East Coast GRC.

Just a few years ago, I would have never imagined standing here under the banner of the Workers’ Party.  My parents were both government servants.  I too used to be a foreign service officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Like many other Singaporeans of my generation, I was brought up to look to the PAP as the only hope for leading Singapore.

How mistaken I was to believe their propaganda!

I have now seen for myself the failed policies of the PAP.  I’ve seen their declining quality of leadership.  Their 52 years in power has made them complacent and arrogant.  The PAP today acts as if they are entitled to your support, just because of the past generation’s successes.

But, my fellow Singaporeans, we all know that just because the PAP has had its past glories, does not mean that the PAP of today will is just as good.

In just the last 5 years, we’ve seen our country become so overcrowded because of the PAP’s mismanaged immigration policies.  Every day, we ordinary Singaporeans face the indignity of squeezing into packed trains and buses, even late into the night!  Traffic gridlock is getting worse and worse, even with ERP in operation at 10 o’clock at night. We face a housing crunch because the PAP failed to plan for enough housing to cope with all the new arrivals.

Our cost of living is shooting up.  Electricity bills are up.  Bus fares are up.  Food prices are up.  Even the flood waters are going up. The only thing that is not going up much are your salaries!

Five years ago, Singaporeans elected the PAP with 66% of the vote. The PAP took this as an endorsement of their policies and style of governance. Within months, they raised the GST from 5 to 7% and allowed in the biggest flood of foreign workers our country has ever seen. This is the price you pay for voting for them!

My fellow Singaporeans, you deserve much better than this.

The Workers’ Party offers you a brighter vision for Singapore.  We believe Singaporeans are looking for more than just material benefits.  We know you want your voices to be heard.

We will put Singaporeans first in all our policies.  We want a more caring and compassionate society. We want a society that gives every Singaporean a greater sense of belonging to our country.

If you elect us to be your MPs, we will focus our efforts on uplifting low-income workers and easing the burdens of working professionals.

We will do this by putting pressure on the government to control the inflow of foreign workers, so that Singaporeans will have more bargaining power to demand for higher wages.

We will press the government to increase Workfare payouts—and its cash component—so that every Singaporean takes home a decent income.

We will stand up for your rights.  We will speak up for you and point out the areas where the Government is not serving you well.

If the PAP does not respond to your feedback, we will voice out your concerns in Parliament and embarrass them into action.  This is something that PAP MPs cannot do.  I don’t blame them, because who dares to go against their own bosses!

This election, the Workers’ Party presents to you a team of sincere, committed and capable candidates.  By electing Workers’ Party candidates into Parliament, you will be voting in a real check on the power of the PAP.  You will be helping to build a First World Parliament that all Singaporeans can be proud of.

With enough elected MPs in Parliament, we will be able to speak with a louder voice and vote against those PAP policies which are hurting you and your family.

The PAP has already ruled you with little opposition for the past 52 years. Do you want to give them another strong mandate to dominate your lives for another 5 years?

This election is our chance to take back the country that we love. On Polling Day, we must stand up together and say enough!  Enough of their arrogance; enough of their lack of accountability; enough of their complacency!

My fellow Singaporeans, please join us in this very important journey to secure Singapore’s future.  This election is a defining moment in our nation’s history.

You hold the key to our nation’s future.  You can change the course of our nation’s history for the better.

Together we can make this change to bring about a better Singapore for you and your children.

Every vote counts.  Vote with your conscience and not with fear.

Vote for the Workers’ Party.  Let’s move together towards a First World Parliament!

Author: Gerald Giam

Gerald Giam is the Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC. He is a member of the Workers' Party of Singapore. The opinions expressed on this page are his alone.

13 thoughts on “GE 2011 Rally Speech in Hougang”

  1. Excellent start! Keep harping on their arrogance, that should do it! Congratulations on your folksy debut. Good politicians know what buttons to press in the final countdown and how to connect with voters. You guys still have a lot of work to do. Every minute and vote counts. Don’t give up! All best!

    BREAK THE PAP’S 50 YEARS IN POWER

  2. Gerald Giam dear, I have been looking at your photos for the pass 2 days. I have a personal message for you Gerald but I do not see any personal Email addresses. Can you please sms to me, Doda Rakhel,91098691, URGENTLY your h/p no.& personal Email Address? Caan you please also ask Yaw Shin Leong to do like wise?
    Thank you Gerald dear.

  3. No one is indispensable. Are they telling us that George Yeo cannot retire or being transfered to other ministry or even other constituencies. They have tranfered Lim Swee Say from holland-bukit timah to East Coast, what is the problem? Someone can take over if he lost. We are always told not to vote for the opposition, then we should do away with elections. The PAP will always be the goverment and the opposition will just take turn to be NCMPs and save the time and trouble conducting elections. Election is not about upgrading, it is about how well we can be taken care of. I really do not like to hear them saying the hike cannot be avoided when there is fare hike. Change is coming. All the best Gerald and WP. God bless.

  4. Hi WP team, I’m posting this in a number of your members’ blogs hoping that one of them would get through.

    I’ve been to your rallies and generally agree with WP’s approach to educating voters and emphasizing to them the secrecy of election votes.

    However, there is something which I think your speakers in subsequent rallies need to inform the voters. As there are no doubt many first time voters this round, please emphasize strongly that it is NORMAL to have your name & NRIC shouted out at the polling centre. You must inform voters that this is part of the procedure and not some grand conspiracy to mark them.

    I’m concerned that some new voters might get scared out of their wits and vote out of fear in that short 30 seconds if that’s their maiden vote.

    Hope you can address this at subsequent rallies.

    Thank you.

  5. Hello WP team
    Just attended your rally. You are all worthy of support. And the strategy to educate people on voting secrecy is wonderful! Sylvia’s speech with details about incineration is great.

    But here is something else you all must do to really get people to vote for you! What are the immediate things in their neighbourhood that you will do for them. At the end of the day, the Singaporean voter is selfish and needs more than a motherhood statement like First World Parliament. go to constituencies and see what needs to be done. there is lots!!! Have you seen the horrendous queues at Bedok Polyclinic? That the polyclinic doesnt have automatic doors so that patients who com in wheelchairs need to wait for a kindhearted soul to open I for them? Or the long wait for some buses at Bedok interchange? or the fact that Simei has grown and grown but has no proper hawker centre or library? These and lots more are the sorts of issues where the incumbents have not done a good job and where you can offer to do more!!! All the WP candidates, especially the Aljunied team, must start to offer specifics to the voters!! That is the only way to get people to vote for you. Don’t just harp on transport, crowded trains, foreign talent etc. There are enough of you speaking at the rally. One can do voting secrecy, one an talk about first world parliament and all your other macro issues but at least one person must offer specifics on local issues. Otherwise you are sure to lose and lose big! Please!!! My friends and I want you to win!!

  6. To contribute:

    1) Gov says rising HDB price is the sharing of success of Singapore. But think about, who are the one that benefit in rising HDB price? It is not the HDB owner. Although the price is higher, if you sell it, you got to buy another HDB which is equally high, so you gain nothing, basically, you still own a HDB no matter what price it is. Whereas, only those who are rich, own more than 1 house, can really gain from the rising of HDB price. And many of us, who do not own a HDB, are the one that really suffer.

    Think about it, ask your parents, grand parents, is life getting better? In the past, you earn 3000, more than enough to buy a house and comfortable life. Now, you may earn 5000, but not enough to buy a house or a comfortable life.

    2) Don’t forget the rising of transportation price with all the SBS Transit, Comfortdelgo, SMRT profit soar.

    3) Someone who do a good job, is to prevent things happen, not to settle it well after the things happen. E.g. flooding, Mas Selamat, traffic jam, rising housing cost. A good government should predict and prevent it. Rather than solving it after things happen.

  7. I vote in Moulmein-Kallang but I was with my family at WP’s Bedok rally last night. Many of the people seated/standing near me were saying exactly what Bedok above is saying: WP need to offer specifics. All of you are great orators and can fire up the crowd, but when they cool down, they want to know what specifics WP can offer. You can harp on the living costs, lack of Opposition foreign labor, ministers’ salaries, etc up to a point. Yes, people are fed up with PAP on all these issues. But people doesn’t just want to hear WP describe something they already know to them. If in the next 5 days, all people hear from Opp. is a recitation of problems,ad nausem, without concrete solutions, they will be reluctant to abandon PAP.

    Moreover, PAP’s major line of attack on the Opposition is precisely their woolly specifics (at rallies so far). One Papa & Holy Goh are now out, guns blazing, accusing Opposition of giving an impression the whole Singapore house is rickety and collapsing. Clearly, even the most ardent Opposition supporter will find it hard to argue such an extreme position that S’pore is collapsing. Radicalism w’ont work with S’poreans, believe me. Specific carrots and threats will. PAP knows that.
    I hope you win too, but I am worried, because the well-oiled might of the PAP machinery is out in force. Don’t, ever, ever underestimate this formidable beast.

  8. I have a problem with the argument that just because PAP had a proven track record, we should blindly cast our vote for all the subsequent leaders that they pick out for the sake of stability. First of all, we all know that past successes don’t necessarily guarantee future success. Second, for all their success in ruling the nation with a tight fist, the leaders in PAP don’t seem to be particularly adept at picking the next generation of leaders. If you’re saying that after scouring the entire list of under-30 Singaporeans and the best you can come up with is a Tin Pei Ling, that tells me all I need to know about your selection skills. I have nothing against Pei Ling as a person and I’m sure she’s every bit as saccharine sweet as her photos suggest but I have a lot against her ability to serve the needs of the people. Underneath the hollow-sounding rhetoric she dishes out, I see no substance or even real desire to better the needs of Singaporeans. It seems to me that the only criteria to be selected as a future leader in the PAP is to be able to memorize and regurgitate the party’s rhetoric (that is starting to sound as empty as a big fat black hole of emptiness)

    I’m growing tired of hearing the PAP say that change can only come from within. After 57 years as the ruling party, the most notable change I see is in relation to how their paychecks are getting larger. The only way to show that Ministers don’t have to draw an obscene salary from taxpayer’s money is to have brilliant Ministers who are not in it for the money

    This is definitely going to be a watershed election and I’m proud to have candidates like Sylvia Lim, Low Thia Khiang and Chen Show Mao offering their services to the nation. For the first time, I feel like there’s a chance we as the people have the power to effect change. Instead of sitting around and complaining that things aren’t right and we can’t do anything about it, we see candidates who are willing to step up to the plate to make a difference. And more importantly, we see voters (especially younger ones) who aren’t ignorant or apathetic.

    It would be a great disservice to Singaporeans if Tin Pei Ling gets a parliamentary seat and Sylvia Lim doesn’t.

  9. What I want

    For starters, here’s what I’d really like to see in government.

    1. I want a government that is man enough to say “I’m sorry” when they’ve made a mistake. For example, a mistake on exceeding the YOG budget by 3 times needs to be addressed with a decent amount of compunction rather than dismissiveness. With this current crop of PAP leaders, sorry really does seem to be the hardest word.

    2. I want a government that really listens. The only defense that the PAP constantly falls back on these days is “I know better so just sit down and shut up.” And by listening, I don’t mean walking around a week before election wearing flowers and doing your presidential wave.

    3. I want a government that’s accountable. Now, we have a complete lack of checks and balances. It may have worked 57 years ago when you were ruling a country who didn’t know any better but we do know better now and one of the pitfalls of such a system is beginning to manifest itself in the form of disconnected, arrogant leaders who assume they have a right to lead just because they have kissed enough bottoms and made the right political connections. Connections like say, marrying the private secretary of the Prime Minister.

    4. I want a government that rises above the need to resort to threats in order to get votes. It’s insulting that you think our votes can be bought by shiny new lifts and a fresh coat of paint. If the price to pay for upgrading is my integrity and sense of justice, I’d much rather walk up that extra flight of steps and carry both my kids to run in the rain. Also, what about your supporters living in these opposition constituencies? It’s despicable that you would sacrifice them as collateral damage just to prove a point.

    5. I want a government that understands the value of humility and servitude. Often, it’s not just what you do but the manner in which you do it that counts. It bugs me that our Ministers talk down to the very people they are supposed to serve just because they don’t share the same opinions. You don’t get to be all high and mighty and demand that Singaporeans kiss the very ground you tread on. After all, we were the ones who put you in office and we will take you out if you alienate enough voters.

    To all the people who think that voting the PAP means voting for stability, my only question is this, stability for who? If I were an incompetent Minster drawing $1.4 million of taxpayer’s money annually, I’d be yelling about stability too. I mean, it’d be mighty unstable for me if I had to one day *gasp*, take a ride on a crowded train like all my minions. And then I’d actually have to walk from point to point because where will I ever find the money to have people carry me around on their shoulders while I wear this ridiculous garland around my neck. I can’t be certain but even if Desmond Choo did momentarily lose the use of both his legs, there’s a whole range of fancy motorized wheelchairs that can serve as perfectly good modes of transportation. There’s really no need to rely on a human sedan these days. Last time I checked, you guys were supposed to BE public servants, not HAVE a lot of public servants.

  10. Single party in Parliament is like a one wheel bicycle, found in circus,2 wheel bicycle, most common, found everywhere with the rear drives the front wheel, 3 wheel bicycle, slow and can be found in children playground and 4 wheel bicycle not common slow and can seen in east coast park, BEST IS TO HAVE 2 PARTIES LIKE WP AND PAP like the 2 wheel bicycle, most common and effective. GRC IS LIKE 3 AND 4 WHEEL BICYCLE. Not all wheel drives and slow

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