With election lurking round the corner and with how everyone is getting excited (how not to be when this is THE BIGGEST PARTY every 5 years), Singaporeans also need to think through about what they want for their future and the best way for that is to start reading the manifestos.
The manifestos of the individual party will provide you with a better understanding of the parties that will be contesting in your ward, this is aside from the media hype over the type of candidates that have been unveiled over the past weeks.
This time, let’s take a look at National Solidarity Party’s manifesto.
The NSP proposes that the foreign labour workforce be more tightly regulated to issue employment pass only to jobs with a salary above $4000. Jobs with wages below that amount will have a quota of 25% imposed on all sectors with a higher quota being allocated to unpopular industries/sectors.
It is also proposed that GLCs here limit their contributions locally to allow SMEs the chance to develop and grow instead, and be given preferential treatment for some government projects. They’re also proposing a tri-partite arrangement comprising of independent parties from the Government, especially so union members.
It’s a very interesting proposal that they have. Whilst I agree that foreign labour needs to be tightly regulated, I question how they derive at 25% quota. That formula needs to be explained and what is the current quota set by the government? A comparison between data would be superb. Further to that, with regards to GLCs limiting their contributions to local market, how will the SMEs then develop and grow? SMEs aren’t as well-equipped as GLCs. A more favourable system would be one whereby GLCs mentor SMEs. Lastly, how and where do we find unions which are independent of the Government?
A hot topic in the upcoming GE, NSP proposes that for discounts to be given to first time home buyers. PRs need to hold the HDB flats for a minimum 8 years and if they sell it before the minimum 8 year holding period, they’ll need to sell it back at cost price plus interest or lower than that of market price.
For an issue hotly contested, amazing how NSP explains what they want to do in just a few short paragraphs that I’ve summarized. YES, whilst first time home buyers should be allowed to make home purchases at low prices, the shortfall for this manisfesto is that it fails to explains what happens to the state of the current home owners and these first time buyers when they try to resell the homes, especially if they are Singaporeans. For the PRs, it sure does sound feasible because if a PR wants to get a home here and not become a citizen, they shouldn’t be allowed to make money on the home. Hence, the amount to be paid for the home should be returned to them inclusive of interest to be charged because PRs don’t normally stay here for long anyways.
NSP proposes to build additional 4 new hospitals to increase hospital beds by 20% as well as a significant amount to be used as subsidies for Singaporeans. They also propose to increase more buses and trains to address public transport/ road congestion. The government will buy these buses and rent it to the public transport companies. The rent will then be used to subsidise fellow Singaporeans.
As much as I believe that we need to have more hospitals, do we really need 4 new hospitals? Where do we find the land to build more of such hospitals as well. I’m also not so keen on the idea that the solution to address road congestion is by increasing buses and trains alone. Whilst increasing the number of buses and trains plying between routes might help to address issue with numbers, it doesn’t address the increasing number of private transport already on the roads.
NSP proposes GST be lowered back down to 5% with basic necessities priced below a certain level to be exempted from it.
That’s it? That’s it?! I’d love for GST to be brought back down to 5% FOR SURE! BUT… How do we plan to get there? What is considered basic necessities? They have however rationalised on how the higher income earners actually are paying lesser taxes now in their Annex A.
They propose for Ministerial salaries to be pegged to national wage levels with the Prime Minister’s wage to be 40 times that of the median wage in Singapore, approximately 1.5m a year. In their political leadership renewal, they have yardsticks to search for ‘talent’ as well as to downsize certain portfolios; removing MM, SM and Ministers without Portfolio.
Indeed, the Prime Minister’s salary should be lowered. $1.5m is a good one to begin with but how to justify the yardstick to be 40 times that of the median wage? I agree though that certain portfolios need to be removed and the MM and SM should go for a start!
Those are the highlights of National Solidarity Party’s manifesto.
I find that their manifesto is rather simplistic and failed to explain in detail on how they want to achieve what has been mentioned. With the slate of candidates they’ve managed to ‘attract’ from other political parties, I was expecting a manifesto which was very detailed and gave details on the plans to achieving them.
I’d say that I’m quite disappointed with their manifesto as much as I’d like to admit that I’m very very impressed with Nicole Seah. Further to that, I do have a feeling that something is not right with NSP. Their manifesto looks like a proposal done by polytechnic and university students who haven’t done in-depth research.
There’s a tingling feeling in me that NSP might be the second ‘A’ team that PAP had talked about. Judging at how PAP had constantly taken pokes at WP and WP’s manifesto, PAP has so far, refrained from making comments or putting NSP’s manifesto to public scrutiny.
How is it also possible that some of the best candidates out there could switch parties so easily to make NSP from a party that never looked like they could do anything, to one which has been able to attract so much positive attention in the process. Neverthless, those are only my speculation at possibilities of a conspiracy theory. However, it is not without facts because of the recent events which include this manifesto of theirs.
More than just the manifesto, I hope that all Singaporeans will be able to join this new group on FaceBook which is proposing itself to be Singapore’s answer to a police-state, ‘Citizen Watch’ (Join In!!). It is a page for Singaporeans to have the chance to be police themselves – to police the any candidates found to be flouting legislation and currently, PAP’s Tin Pei Ling and members of the PAP contesting in Nee Soon GRC might have flout the rules.
Tin Pei Ling had solicited for votes by virtue of her ‘Introduction Video’ when she said, “Vote for me” and PAP members contesting in Nee Soon GRC had called themselves ‘potential MPs’. Is that appropriate to be done before Nomination Day? If they really are flouting the rules, then Singaporeans need to do something about this to ensure that they are not spared from the law.
Anyways, if you’re interested to read more on their manifesto, it is available here.