A new path for our nation

These are the remarks I made as part of the first Hammer Show of General Election 2020: Why should you vote for WP?

The Covid-19 crisis has been a wake up call for many Singaporeans who saw with their own eyes that the PAP is not infallible. We went from “gold standard” to “cautionary tale” in just a matter of weeks.

While not everything about the virus could have been anticipated, there were clearly some blind spots that the PAP missed. To be clear, it is only fair that I acknowledge that they have done a competent job over the years in making Singapore a safe and efficient country with a good international reputation. We have no intention of undoing these gains.

However, many older Singaporeans have observed that the PAP of today is a shadow of the PAP of previous generations. They have done well to maintain the status quo, but the status quo falls short of what we aspire to as a nation. Singapore deserves much better.

We, the citizens of Singapore—and not just the Workers’ Party alone—must begin to chart a new path for our nation, for the sake our children’s future.

We need a new economic model, which places a premium on the talents and passion of Singaporean workers.

We aspire to a new social compact, where every Singaporean is assured of a strong safety net to catch them if they fall on hard times, so they can bounce back stronger.

We want to live in a secure home where families are strengthened and parents can raise happy, well-rounded children.

And we desire a newfound freedom for our people to embrace a diversity of ideas and engage in constructive debates to forge the best way forward.

Over the next few days, my colleagues and I will be sharing more details about our vision for Singapore. I invite you to tune in to assess us for yourselves before making your choice. We in the Workers’ Party are ordinary citizens just like you. We face the same challenges you do—earning a living and raising children.

My wife and I both work full time, and we have two young kids. My older one is sitting for the PSLE next month, while her “tutor” has taken time off to campaign in this Election! I joined the Workers’ Party almost 12 years ago, a few months after she was born. I had a comfortable job and a happy family. “Why put that all at risk?”, people asked me.

My answer then, and now is: Singapore needs a strong and credible opposition to progress to our next level of development, and I want to do my part to build it. I’m pleased to report that never lost my job. My 10-year old son helps me at grassroots events and my wife is the wind beneath my wings.

I was an NCMP in the 12th Parliament of Singapore. During that time I asked over 150 Parliamentary Questions. I debated policies with cabinet ministers and presented counter proposals on many issues, including our response to the population white paper, reducing the cost of healthcare, MRT breakdowns and salaries for low wage workers.

If you give us a chance to serve you again, we will continue to work hard to take good care of you and your estate. We will tap on the knowledge of experts and the wisdom of Singaporeans to come up with practical proposals in Parliament.

We will work for Singapore, and walk with you. :)

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.