Speech by Gerald Giam at Workers’ Party GE 2011 Rally on 4 May 2011 in Aljunied GRC.
My fellow Singaporeans, good evening. My name is Gerald Giam, and I’m a Workers’ Party candidate for East Coast GRC. Please allow me to first speak in Mandarin, followed by English.
My fellow Singaporeans, I truly grateful for your presence here tonight. You have showed up in large numbers despite the rain and soggy ground. I am touched by the warmth and support my team and I have received at every rally and everywhere we go in East Coast GRC.
I’ve received many warm welcomes from residents, with a great number expressing outright support for my team and assuring us that we have the vote of their entire family. Some residents we met are now our volunteers working in the background—putting up posters, accompanying us on our outreaches. All for nothing in return, except the satisfaction of contributing to the cause of building up a First World Parliament.
I believe this is a recognition that Workers’ Party is seen as a force for good in Singapore and in their ward.
This is my last rally speech before Polling Day. So instead of talking about what the PAP has done wrong and why you should vote them out, I would like to take this chance to talk about why you should vote Workers’ Party candidates into Parliament.
I stated during my introduction as a candidate that I did not join the Workers’ Party because I hate the PAP or because I love criticising the government. I joined because I want to help to contribute to building up a capable and responsible alternative party, that would be able to secure Singapore’s future, if the day comes where PAP fails to deliver.
I believe that the Workers’ Party can be that strong and capable alternative, but we need your mandate to give us the numbers in Parliament to check the PAP.
So why should you vote for us? I would like to share with you just 5 reasons:
One: Vote for us because we can represent your interests better than our opponents. As opposition MPs, we can freely voice out the concerns of residents in and out of Parliament without worrying about offending the Ministers. PAP MPs on the other hand cannot push things too far, or they might get rapped from their Ministers and may not get fielded in the next election.
In the case of East Coast GRC and Aljunied GRC, most of our PAP opponents are office holders. This makes it even harder for them to question government policy, because their job is to defend government policy, and not to criticise it. Workers’ Party MPs face no such constraints.
So would you prefer to have MPs who represent you the citizens, or MPs who represent the Government?
Two: Vote for us, because we have the necessary ability and experience to represent you well. Our qualified candidates are able to listen to the needs and concerns of residents, point out the shortcomings of government policies and, where appropriate, come up with alternative solutions. This is best demonstrated by our detailed 63-page manifesto.
It contains more than 200 constructive policy proposals. Many of our candidates were personally involved in crafting our manifesto. We didn’t outsource it.
You’ve also seen the performance of our two MPs in Parliament—the pertinent questions they asked and the incisive speeches they made. Their track record is public for all to see and judge.
Three: Vote for us, because we are committed. Even without astronomical Minister pay, our candidates have diligently walked the ground since the last election and talked to residents to find out their needs and concerns.
If we are elected, you can expect nothing less from us. As opposition MPs, we know that the PAP will go all out to try to take back the GRC or SMC from us. So we cannot afford to be complacent. We will work extra hard and be fully committed to our jobs as MPs and town councillors, in order to take care of our residents and continue to win your support at the next election.
Four: Vote for us, so we can keep the Government on its toes and hold it accountable for their mistakes. By providing credible competition for the PAP, they will need to shape up, or be shipped out at the next election.
But without a sizeable opposition presence in Parliament, the PAP will simply coast along and collect votes at every election.
Five: Vote for us, because a convincing vote for the Workers’ Party will send a very clear signal to the PAP that you want their failed policies to be reversed. Conversely, a vote for the PAP will signal to them that you are happy with their current policies on immigration, transport and public housing, and how they are helping you cope with the rising cost of living.
For years, Singaporeans have been placed in a box by the PAP. You have been pushed around, and told what to do, what to think, and what to say.
My fellow Singaporeans, you now have the power to break out of this box!
Do you want a government that is responsive to your needs, and isn’t deaf to criticisms?
Do you want political leaders who will serve you because they care about you, without a need to be enticed by million dollar salaries?
Do you want leaders who lead by inspiring their followers, and not using threats and inducements to secure compliance?
Do you want leaders who have the humility to apologise and take personaly responsibility immediately when they make mistakes, and not wait until just 4 days before Polling Day?
If your answer is ‘yes’ to these questions, then on May the 7th please break out of the PAP box and cross the box next to the Hammer symbol. Do this so that we can bring our PAP ministers down from their high pedestal, to become true servants of the people.
This election will be a landmark election in Singapore. In just a few days, you will be making the most important decision for our nation for the next 5 years. Your decision could either set in motion a sea of change for the better; or it could further entrench the status quo of PAP rule.
When you cast your vote, I urge you to consider the long term implications of your choice, not just the immediate gains that are dangled before you. Many of you are voting for the first time, including many who reached voting age a long time ago. I cannot guarantee when you will have another chance to vote. So value your vote and make the right choice.
Don’t cast your vote out of fear of so-called repercussions that don’t even exist. Don’t cast your vote out of the habit of supporting the incumbent all these years.
My fellow candidates and I have placed ourselves before you for your scrutiny. You have met us during our walkabouts; You have heard us speak at rallies and on TV.
We come before you in humility and ask for your support and your mandate to serve you. Please, make a thorough assessment of our candidates, and vote for the party that can speak up for your rights in Parliament.
We all want a better future for our children. We in the Workers’ Party believe that having a First World Parliament is key to securing that better future.
Vote for the Workers’ Party. Let’s move together towards a First World Parliament.