RP Election Manifesto

The Reform Party believes that Singapore belongs to its people and that government should serve the people and not the other way around. We want to build a first-class modern nation, in line with the rich and advanced democracies of the world. We believe that Freedom and Prosperity go hand in hand. Without freedom of expression and a climate of ideas fostering innovation and creativity we will not only fall further behind the already rich nations of the US, Europe and Japan but also the new, and considerably freer Asian states such as South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Even our customary advantages in education and infrastructure are being eroded by India and China as well as many of our ASEAN neighbours.

Despite the hugely unequal playing field the Reform Party is confident that with your help we can make your lives better. We may not be able to form the government at the next election but once we are in Parliament we can ensure that your voices are heard. We can question the rationale for existing policies and propose better ones. Already, without a single seat, the Reform Party has caused a massive change in government policy and changed their focus from economic growth (which has been achieved through importing enormous numbers of foreign workers putting tremendous strain on our social fabric and facilities) to productivity. The ruling Party is spending billions to try and do what should have been done years ago.

Imagine how much more effective the Reform Party will be once we get into Parliament. And we do not want to leave it there. At the next election after this we hope to be in a position to be taken seriously as the alternative government in a genuine two-party system.

This is a list of 19 policy pledges that are on the top of our agenda for action when we gain a majority in Parliament:

Providing Cheaper and Better Lower-Income Housing by releasing more land for house-building and allowing the private sector a greater role

Universal health insurance to be funded through current CPF contributions replacing current Medisave and Medishield schemes

Basic Old Age Pension payable to all provided they have worked and paid into CPF for a sufficient number of years

Reform of CPF to make contributions above those necessary to fund health and unemployment insurance and basic pension voluntary

Universal child benefit scheme (as part of Guaranteed Minimum Income) to replace current tax breaks that heavily favour women on higher incomes

Guaranteed Minimum Income for those in work to replace current Workfare system and to be integrated with child benefit and tax system

A Minimum Wage to encourage businesses to raise productivity

Reforms to Foreign Worker Policy to ensure that business gets the skilled labour it needs but that our own citizens come first

Reductions in or exemptions from GST for certain categories of goods like food that form a higher proportion of total expenditure for those on median incomes and below

Universal free and compulsory education from pre-school through to secondary level

Expanded university enrolment and increased investment in improving quality of education for everyone

Increased assistance for older workers and women re-entering the labour market to retrain and acquire new educational qualifications

Reduction in NS to 18 months initially with aim to reduce it to one year as soon as feasible

Requirement for new citizens and PRs to do NS or to pay lump sum tax instead

Privatization of Temasek and GIC and distribution of equity to Singaporean citizens of more than five years standing

Continuing Business and Foreign Investment Friendly Environment coupled with low tax rates

Greater help and support for local SMEs to grow world-class companies

Abolish restrictions on freedom of expression to encourage creativity and innovation necessary for a 21st century knowledge-based economy

Reduce waste and inefficiency in government starting with slashing ministerial salaries and replacing it with performance-linked earnings tied to indicators directly related to your welfare

 We will not pretend that we will be able to achieve this agenda overnight even once we are elected to Parliament. It will take at least another election before the Reform Party is in government. But as we said earlier we have already begun to have a major impact on government policy and without any seats in Parliament. We expect to be able to have much more effect once we are able to propose improvements to policies in Parliament and point out where they have gone wrong.

In addition once we are able to manage a GRC or SMC we pledge to do the following to improve the quality of your lives:

Listen to your feedback and work to solve your problems unencumbered by the necessity to follow the ruling party’s line

Improve the efficiency of council services and reduce waste while raising quality

Work to reduce conservancy charges through productivity and efficiency gains as well as improved forecasting of expenditure needs

Not invest the monies we collect from you in unsuitable and high-risk investments

Things are not going to get better overnight. But you can take the first steps to making things right for Singapore by supporting the Reform Party today

40 Responses to RP Election Manifesto

  1. Lee Chee Wai says:

    I would like to be able to evaluate (and hence determine how I feel about) the manifesto’s goals in more meaningful and tangible ways. Would it be possible for your team to:

    1. provide more intended implementation details (via links to the main manifesto points, I understand the need to keep it simple and uncluttered)?

    2. provide the current facts, numbers or educated-guesses that drive some of those implementation details (and ultimately, the policy points)?

    As an example, I would like to understand the rationale behind the reduction of NS to 18 months and eventually 12 months. The idea is all well and good, but the questions that come to mind are:

    1. effects on military effectiveness/preparedness.
    2. what we expect NSmen to gain in terms of experience over this period of time.
    3. given #2, how the reduced time duration can accommodate those expectations.

    For me, this is a way to gauge my support for your policies and to engage with your team on issues that matter to me. I would reckon that others would do the same, but I cannot speak for others.

    As I (believe I) had told KJ before, I do not have to agree with everything you do in order to support you. I would just prefer to have a proper foundation on which to base my support.

  2. Lee Chee Wai says:

    Argh, I forgot one important main point:

    3. provide details about the end-result your team hopes to achieve with each policy point in the manifesto.

    For example, for minimum wage – what is the appropriate level? What is the target productivity improvements you hope to gain by mandating minimum wage on businesses in Singapore.

  3. gewatchdog says:

    Some of your policies requires additional new funding such as free education up to secondary and basic old age pension, how are your party’s suggestions on the methods to fund these policies. Is it through increase GST or higher personal income tax for high income earners.

  4. Criticise? says:

    Kudos to the Reform Party for coming up with this Manifesto. This is a good start for Singapore. However, the Manifesto is rather simplified, and lacking in details on implementation, like how the earlier commentators had highlighted.

    Elaborating, albeit in simpler layman terms (while minimising technical jargons), the Manifesto is important because that represents a more concrete, action plan rather than just promises. With an idea of how the Manifesto will be implemented, the electorates will have greater confidence and will perceive it as more than mere (worse, empty) promises.

    For sure, the Reform Party may not form the government in this coming election, but it takes time before your ideas are disseminated more widely. Please do take note that the Manifesto (best of all, enhanced, more elaborated version) should be disseminated in the major languages in our country to cater to all ethnic groups. Additionally, it should be disseminated also in print, if possible, since not all Singaporeans have access to internet or know how to use it.

    I wish Reform Party good luck, and godspeed in this coming election!

  5. bn bvn says:

    well done.

    i will vote for rp.

    because rp party if become the government, their minister will not get millions in pay.

    • Alias says:

      There’s also a point to take note. Singapore Reserve should be transparent to the people and also to do away with “shadow” ministerial title (e.g. MM, SM). If the PM have good strong team, he doesn’t need “extra” manpower to oversee/mentor it’s team.

      Wish RP the best in the coming election…. You definitely have my vote!!

  6. CitizenReddot says:

    Your election manifesto seems generous and may auger well with most Singaporeans and I wish you and RP well and God’s Blessings too.

  7. JustNice says:

    I think that the manifesto is brillant becos it is short, simple and to the point where the common folks can understand.

  8. Alan Wong says:

    As a start, I believe this is a right step forward for Singapore.

    Maybe it will be more practical if RP can win some seats in the next GE to provide for a meaningful opposition as an effective check and balance on the incumbent PAP party.

    It’s long overdue to bring the arrogant PAP leaders back to their senses.

  9. Dick says:

    Well done RP, I long waited for a Party that have the guts and foresight to take over the government, not just a few seat to make noise but no power to change anything.

    If you field any candidate in my constituency Marine Parade, you will surely get my family’s vote.

  10. Bearie says:

    Yes , RP is support you.

    And please remember the singles in singapore. This is the important point must raise to parliament. Singles in singaporeans often being neglected and forgotten by the majority in singapore. Not just only families need a rooftop, singles who has crossed their age over 35 years old also must let them have 1 right of chance to buy Housing directly from HDB , and not from the resale market. Yes please remember to raise this up if you ever get elected into the Parliament Seats.

    Remember to fight for us singles , male and female in singapore for a housing rooftop that they needed it .

    Best luck and best wishes to you! RP!

  11. Let us see how the public respond at the ballot box.
    Are they going to be sh*t-scared and vote for the PAP at the last moment out of fear.
    One hopes not.
    The bottom line is there needs to be a credible opposition. The only vote we can have is to vote the Opposition in.
    And give the PAP a jolt, that its no longer their god-given right to govern without proper oposition.
    Because all the yes sir/no sir PAP MP’s have no voice or opinion of their own.

    One other thing.
    It is hoped..but dont hold your breath…that the ST will report all the rallies and publish all the pictures of the crowds in the rallies.

  12. On-looker says:

    @@ gewatchdog

    Free education and pension for old age residents – funding will be possible if the extremely-super high, exhorbitant, ludicrous, daylight-robbery, unrealistic, greedy, and ultra-unreasonable Ministers’ salaries are slashed.

  13. Timothy Goh says:

    Would it be possible if RP came up with a plan to back up the pledge and reveal how it will implement the changes as I believe there are many people out there who would love to see these reforms but are worried that it may have a negative effect on Singapore instead. Listed below are some questions I have about the pledge.

    1) You aim to release more land for more house building, but where would the land come from? Would the natural reserves park be demolished for it, or would the sites for businesses go? Land reclaimation would take many years, so Im really intrigued.

    2) Universal health insurance is good and fine , but who is going to be the insurer? The government? And up to what level would the insurance cover and what are the cons of it? I do hope it is not like the previous health scheme of the US or UK as it gave the country a big deficit.

    3) RP wishes to change the CPF contribution rate or format, but would the change in rate or format potentially drive away MNCs and foreign investment due to increased overhead cost? As it is now, many companies are already moving to Malaysia, Thailand, India and China.

    4) Guranteed Minimum Income and Minimum Wages are good and all, but as with the previous post, would it drive away business and investment ?

    5) Reduction in NS is good, but like what Chee Wai proposed, is the army still able to maintain its current level of proficiency?

    6)Privatization of Temasek and GIC and distributing its equity is a generous plan, however, to whom does the privatised companies answer to and how would the distribution of the equity work? Would it cause a deficit in the 2 companies’ balance?

    7) RP aims to reduce tax rates and GST while implementing many changes. Where then, does the money come from?

    8) Abolishing restrictions on freedom of speech is good as we are a democratic country. But to what extent will the freedom extend to ? Will we have people organising parades, protests, sitouts and whatnot once it is abolished? Will the safety of our country be compromised in any way?

    9) I agree with general theme of slashing ministral wages and reducing inefficiency, however, if it is slashed too low, where would the extra incentive come from? Not saying that ministers should have sky high salaries, but that a certain standard has to be there to encourage talented people to join politics. The passion to serve must be there, and the monetary incentive is there as another motivator.

    Just to clear the air, I am not really a pro-PAP or pro-RP or support any party. I’m just an ordinary citizen who do not wish to see Singapore descend into an era of darkness.

  14. theAnonymous says:

    reducing NSF days to a year only isnt good. 18 months is OK, i guess.

    this is because the conscripts would still be very new at their vocation when they ORD, and do not have enough experience at their vocations yet. esp for officers, since they spend a whole lot of time in OCS.

    i believe that RP should also fight to pay conscripts like regular soldiers. with the same benefits and risk allowances, etc.

    MAKING new citizens/PRs serve NS or pay money is good. however, age will be a factor. so i guess in the end, SG citizenship can be bought with money. so, the minimum number of consecutive years stayed in SG have to be raised as well.

    RP should also raise the foreign worker levy for jobs that Singaporeans want to do, and have the skills to do.

    maid, construction worker and menial jobs should see NO CHANGE.
    salesmen and low skill jobs like that should have an increase of 1x.
    Engineers, Accountants and high skill jobs should see at least a 2x increase.

    RP should also raise an anti corruption unit at the level of the PM. the unit would specialise in the monitoring of public servants so that if anyone were corrupted (including the PM), they would be charged in court immediately. this unit should also spy/monitor its own members to ensure its own incorruptibility.

  15. Stefan Seow says:

    It does not mean I will vote RP. Most likely I wouldn’t get a chance to vote, but I think this is what I have been dreaming of for years. Somehow I could not understand why this had not been implemented in this country. A ray of light across the gloomy skies. Well done! I love Singapore but the feeling isn’t quite the …same for the past few years.

  16. LH says:

    will the party propose to slash the high minister salaries?

  17. NewBalance says:

    Tsk tsk. Lee Chee Wai, shouldn’t you be seeking for more accountability and clarification from the ruling party? Should not you be asking for end results from the ruling party? Why do I not see you asking the same questions to your political masters?

    For every same issue raised, a similar question could be directed at the ruling party. Why have you not done so?

    Why does NS have to be 2 years and what is the rationale behind it?

    How are ministers’ salaries pegged? At what level of pay would make a minister incorruptible, or make the job as a minister attractive? Or is there even relationship among these factors at all?

    Given that there are many examples of successful countries with a minimum wage system in place, how is it that imposing a minimum wage will by itself drive away investment, and by how much?

    What is the basis of curtailing freedom of expression such that even a one-man protest is criminal?

  18. The New Government says:

    I believe KJ wants to reduce duration of NS by implementing high-tech weapons for defence, but to ensure at the same time, not to antagonise our close neighbours. Tech-savvy weapons like the ones you see in Iron Man would be the best case scenario. It must be technologically advanced like Japan. The spirit of technology in Japan must come to Singapore to make up for the loss of manpower!

  19. SilenceIsGolden says:

    Well we can fight war with unmanned army. We use robots. Our soldiers control them. Hence one year training for conscript to learn the basic is enough, those interested to carry on can sign up as professional soldier. Furthermore the conscript will be called up for reservist.

  20. anony says:

    Create a regular professional military manpower in army, navy & airforce gradually like what Taiwan is doing now while at the same time reduce the NS conscription period from 2 years to 1 year. See how Taiwan does it & model on it.

    Also see the justifications which France put up as it abolished NS more than 10 years ago. Similarly, Germany which requires 6 months of NS plans to abolish it like France & is still debating it. Study these countries justification.

    Anyway, Mindef always boast that our military is one of the most tech advanced in the world in both hardware & software capabilities, if that is the case, then it is itself a very strong push for NS to be reduced to just 1 year. Let Mindef eat their own words.

  21. anony says:

    One more thing, foreigners can also be recruited into the Spore professional military to see active duty by Mindef. One country where active recruitment can be sought is China. After all, Spore has sport mercenaries from China given instant Spore citizenship who many Sporean have no emotional significance & no respect attached to them even if they do win at sports events. Might as well put the China nationals to better use as professional foot soldiers where they can get better respect. They do well in hierarchial authoritarian jobs.

    The Peoples Liberation Army of China recruitment drives around China is a mob scene. So many applicants. PLA is seen by many Chinese as one of the most sought after employers. Life in the army is good as you are fed, clothed & comes with military concessions in transport, housing etc for China. You can do a google search to see how PLA is regarded very highly by many Chinese.

    This is one area where I am sure many Sporeans will be glad to see foreigners employed in, once they sign on the dotted line with Mindef, they are deemed Spore citizens & will be subject to treason laws should any breach of secrecy occur.

  22. CPPoodle says:

    ::Work to reduce conservancy charges through productivity and efficiency gains as well ::as improved forecasting of expenditure needs

    Look into the ideal size of the funds held by town councils. As it is now, they seem to do collect and keep as much as they can with no limit to what is deemed acceptable, prudent or justifiable. This is silly and is a classic manifestation of a government only keen to squeeze from its people.

  23. CPPoodle says:

    ::Privatization of Temasek and GIC and distribution of equity to Singaporean citizens of ::more than five years standing

    Use professional companies to invest our Reserves rather than setting up entities such as GIC and Temasek which have very high overheads.

    Investing the Reserves to tide us over during bad times is a dumb idea because during bad times, those investments will have lost their values considerably.

    A balance between savings and spending the Reserves has to be put into place with these in mind..

  24. Sam Chan says:

    I think it is very commendable about what you guys are doing. It takes a lot of humility and integrity to serve. Just a comment to improve on some of the points. I believe it will be more transparent to reveal the tradeoffs with each benefits that you propose. Being an economics student, I am always reminded of the fact that there are no free lunches in the world. Keep up the good work!

  25. Mike Bhasi says:

    Maybe should consider buying an island off indonesia or phillipines for a retirement village where Singaporean reaching 50 can opt to invest in small plots with homes costing not more than $30,000 in order to retire when they reach 55 with the release of their OA. I would definitely like these idea, furthermore retirees can work or set up businesses on the island whilst enjoying the resort style living.

  26. Mike Bhasi says:

    The island can also attract Singaporean and tourist to visit and stay in the resorts run by retirees as a tourist attraction.

  27. Jafri Basron says:

    A visionary and “realistic” manifestos
    which will auger well with most Singaporeans.

  28. The New Government says:

    U noe y no levy on executive jobs? Cos I heard of rumours abt FTA which promises no protectionism which Singapore govt is against it.

  29. VerySian says:

    Yes, please ensure that singles in singapore , regardless of male or female, will be able to buy HDB flats directly, must be affordable and in low cost too, pegged according to individual’s income. That everyone will definitely be able to get a rooftop of their own. Example, 3 rm flat cost around $70-80k, 4 rm flat around $100-120k. And also the hdb loans will be a guarantee to be able to get it smoothly without any red-tapes involved. That singles in singapore is able to have a rooftop of their own. Singles in singapore , many have been discriminated not only by the infllexible govt policies but also by their own families and relatives…Please think for the singles and fight for their rights also , to be able to own an affordable HDB flat , just like the rest of the couples, and so forth…Reform Party, please remember to do that when you ever get into the parliament seats. Speaks for the singles ‘ behalf. They need help. Cos’ so many already are renting a room outside, and it cost them a bomb !

    And also, i agree one of the post also. Must come up with a unit to monitor the ministers’ and PM salaries, in order to curb any corruption if ever arises in the midst of it. And also ministers’ salaries have to be slashed into k per month and not millions per month….Its too expensive to pay ministers’ salaries so high where the local folks are suffering without jobs , and enough monies for retirement…

    Lastly, CPF needs a total reform… CPF should allow to be able to withdraw without restriction based on certain minimum age. It should be able to withdraw when the members need the monies to tide over their difficults times as CPF monies belongs to the taxpayers’ hard-earned monies also, and they are the rightful owners to decide and be the stewardships of their own monies……At least, there is a certain amount of withdrawal, eg. $5000k and above for a period of 6 months…..

  30. ZBG says:

    To Reform Party,
    I wish you the best in the upcoming election. Fight for bread & butter issue &
    be ready to form a new government. May GOD be with us.

    1) Bring down all ERP gantry at KPE.
    2) Slash GST to 5% point.
    3) Immediately introduce 18 & 24 mths of National Service.

    My ONLY worry is that “1day cooling off” become 10days off to the poll.
    & I know, what is possible to it.

  31. Soh says:

    I am 37 years old and am one of your average Singaporeans. Here are some of my personal views which may or may not be directly relevant to your manifesto.

    1. Many of the current ruling party policies can be seen from text books and internationally recognized best practices. What I do not see clearly articulated is how are we going to survive in the next 50 years when so many of our economic policies can be easily duplicated?

    2. Singapore practices a system based on meritocracy. However, I have this fear that meritocracy based purely on academic results and fast track programs may result in a civil service that neither have the experiences nor the true feel of what the ground is like.

    3. Singapore is very much led by a group of very talented scholars and ex-military leaders groomed from a very young age. From my daily interactions with my business associates and social network, this group of leaders is very often expected to come out with policies based on consultation with industry and social leaders. However, very often to come out with sound policies relating to particular industries or social circle, one need to have years of experience within that sector. With the fast track program, will we have that group of leaders who are able to formulate policies based on experience or based on what will allow them to gain sufficient prominence to move up the next rung in the fast track program?

    4. At the end of the day, my concerns are very basic. I have not moved towards becoming a self-actualizer and hence my needs are still very much physiological and safety driven. Bills need to be paid and mouths need to be fed. What I will really like to see is whether Singapore has that potential to continuously allow my needs to be met?

    5. Singapore’s only resource is its strategic location, stable political environment and educated people. To me, majority of the policies are made to ensure that citizens’ basic physiological and safety needs are met. That very often results in the feeling of being a mere employee rather than being a citizen where we are expected to generate more revenue with minimum expenses.

    6. This leads to one of my main grouse. What then can we consider to be the Singaporean Dream? It is very depressing if the average Singaporean Dream is to ensure that we constantly be more productive and generate more revenue while accepting lower expenses for the good of the country’s survival. If that is the case, then I cannot help but wonder what is the value then of a Singaporean citizenship? Is it to work until we are past productive age and throughout this period not to demand for better quality of life? Whenever the average Singaporean starts to demand for a better quality of life, we are constantly reminded by our pioneer leaders of how it was 50 years back when they started off and how we should consider ourselves lucky to have what we have now.

    7. Without a doubt, our life style has become more cosmopolitan with a lot of conveniences not available to our neighboring countries. However, we have similarly paid the price for these conveniences through higher cost of living and a lifestyle revolving around work. Maybe I am a spoilt brat but then very often there is more to life than work and paying for all the conveniences. Having said these, Singapore being a small country and having no natural resources except for its human resource, which is also dwindling, has no choice but to ensure that we exploit whatever natural resources that we have to ensure continued survival. However, that then begs the question of then what is the value of being a Singaporean if we know that our only role is to be squeezed as hard as we can be to generate whatever resource that we can contribute to the Singapore society.

    8. Regrettably, what I have mentioned above has no apparent or immediate solution. I guess I am neither smart enough nor wise enough to come out with the solution. As mentioned earlier, many of the policies implemented are based on textbook and best practices solutions. Who are we to fault that unless we can come out with better solutions beyond the textbooks that will not have any negative repercussions?

    9. There are so many of my peers who realize the above. What we fail to understand is why are there insufficient efforts by our leaders to communicate that to us in an easily understandable manner. Instead, we are being constantly talked down by our pioneer leaders on why we should just leave it to them to lead us and to comply and not to complain. Engage us, don’t lecture us. Compliant people are hardly innovative nor entrepreneur people.

    10. Authority comes with accountability. Both have to go hand in hand. To quote one of my army commanders in the past, leadership is about having your men willingly charge in front of a GPMG trench with full knowledge that they may die doing so but yet willing to do so because they trust you and know that what you do is for the better. To earn that respect and trust, one must firstly be willing to subject oneself to scrutiny and be accountable for all actions and take the effort to communicate the rationale of one’s decisions to one’s subordinates.

    11. My parents were youths during the independence period. They were willing to follow the pioneering leaders because of the results produced. Now that it is my turn, I start to question, what are the results that our leaders have produced over the last 16 years since I became eligible to vote? Perhaps I may be way too materialistic and realistic but then again, when my elder sister first graduated from NUS, she was drawing S$1,500 per month. An average poly graduate is getting around S$900 to S$1,200 per month. Fast forward 21 years later and looking at the pay scale sent by recruitment agencies on available candidates, the pay really has not moved much as compared to cost of living.

    12. Our leaders constantly drummed into us the need to remain cost competitive and that broad economic forces dictate how our economy will perform and hence it is beyond the effective control of our leaders. Then that raise some doubts in me. If our leaders demand total authority without any accountability except for coming out with explanation that there are broader economic forces at play, then perhaps I should not be as loyal to the current generation of leaders as my parents were to the first generation of leaders. Perhaps again I am being way too mercenary here, but can anyone blame me when I am constantly being subjected to similar mercenary demands not just from my job but also from the government?

    13. To reiterate, authority and accountability goes hand in hand. If I am a shareholder of a company, I will demand for accountability from those whose hands I place authority into to ensure that the company moves in the correct direction and generate the correct amount of wealth for me. Regrettably, I do not consider myself as very charitable and hence I do expect performance for pay. Now, if the CEO of a company in which I am a major shareholder of tells me that the company’s performance has been lackluster due to broader economic forces, I will at most give him another year in service before removing him if he does not deliver.

    14. Having said that, prudent management concepts will dictate that we give the company’s leadership sufficient time and leeway to turn the company around. However, the grace period very seldom falls within the time frame of decades. Paying for talents is a must. That is basic 101 of good human resource management. Talents are paid what they demand for in exchange for what they are able to deliver. If talents are not able to deliver, then they should not be paid what they want.

    15. To benchmark our civil servants’ pay scale to the private sector is sound policy. That will ensure sufficient talents join the public sector. However, there must be similar accountability that goes hand in hand with adequate compensation and authority. So far, I have not personally seen the accountability as compared to the authority and compensation provided for the civil servants versus the private sector.

    16. For example, an over budget of nearly 3 times is hardly acceptable to private sectors’ shareholders. An escape of a dangerous extremist from a supposedly high security detention centre is also unacceptable. Losses incurred from bad overseas investments are major taboos in the private sector. Hence, there should be someone held accountable for these. Yet, very often we hear explanations such as “learning process”, “I still have full faith” etc., being used to dismiss any form of shareholders’ complaints.

    17. To revisit the analogy of the commander who asks his men to charge in front of a GPMG. Imagine the scenario where a commander is being fed steaks and wine for every meal telling his men via webcam to charge in front of the GPMG whilst he is miles away from the frontline in a comfortable office with aircon and hot showers. I do not think his men will be willing to charge knowing that their commander is making the decisions for them not from the same position that they are but from a position where they know he will not face any consequences or be held accountable for his orders. Hence, most probably they will turn around and surrender and can we blame them?

    18. Accountability in democratic politics comes in the form of being voted out of power. In order for shareholders to vote correctly, they must first know in what company they hold shares and who are the members of the board of directors supposedly tasked to protect their interests. In the private sector, it is obvious for any shareholder who the decision makers are and how they can vote the decision makers out of power if they believe that these decision makers are not acting in their best interests.

    19. Regrettably, even though our politicians’ compensation is pegged to the private sector, the same sort of accountability does not come into place. Very often, we do not even know why our electoral boundaries are re-drawn and how come suddenly we have so many MPs whom we have never seen before. Using the same analogy of a shareholder who doesn’t even know which company he owns shares in, how can the same shareholder vote correctly? Imagine a battalion of soldiers. Alpha to Charlie companies and the support company may have fantastic commanders whilst the CO is someone who constantly makes the wrong decisions or extremely harsh decisions without taking into consideration the welfare of his men. If out of the blue, all the soldiers are given the right to vote for their commanders with the caveat that they will have to vote for or against all their officers as a whole, naturally the soldiers will not jeopardize their survival by voting out their company commanders. Hence, they have no choice but to stick with their CO.

    20. Now, having said all these, do I personally see a light at the end of the tunnel? Sadly I don’t. I have great admiration for many of our opposition leaders. Their willingness to come out and voice out what many of us don’t voice out due to fear is most admirable. Mr JB Jeyaretnam’s persistence in fighting for what he believes in is extremely rare and shows a person’s fortitude and strength of character. However, do I see the light at the end of the tunnel from your manifesto? Sadly, I don’t. Similarly, I do not see the light also from many of our opposition parties or from our current ruling party. That is the scary thing for me personally.

    21. Since I became eligible to vote at the age of 21, I’ll end my comments at point 21. If I do get the chance to vote, I will gladly vote for the opposition. However, that is only if I am assured that the current ruling party will enjoy sufficient walkovers to form the majority again. This is because I remain unconvinced of the soundness of the alternate policies proposed by the opposition. Having said this, I can only hope that the same sort of fortitude and dedications shown by the founder of your party as well as the skills, thorough understanding of the issues involved and determination shown by the pioneer group of leaders of Barisan Socialis and the PAP or the Fajar generation can be demonstrated by the opposition leaders in questioning the logic of the policies by the current ruling party. On the other hand, looking at what happened to past opposition leaders when they became too determined to challenge the status quo, I cannot help but not blame any of our current opposition leaders for not being willing to go that far in challenging the status quo.

    With the above comments, I wish you all the best in the coming election.
    Warm regards

  32. Working Mother says:

    My wishlist:

    a. Reform the education system. My 2 kids in Pri School spends too much time studying and catching up esply chinese. Take the cue from international schools;

    b. If PR’s are allowed to skip NS by paying a lump sum, can citizens do the same?

    c. lower ERP charges

    d. minimum wage to be implemented

    e. lower GST;

    f. Singaporeans to be ‘privileged’ lot

    g. stop telling Singaporeans who need help that Govt can’t help as it will encourage crutch mentality

    h. make healthcare more affordable. Rather than ‘can die, cannot fall sick’ sydrome

    i. Retirement age to be implemented, not all of us are like MM. We want to withdraw our CPF. We want to enjoy our retirement once our kids are on their feet.

    j. restrict sale of landed properties to Singaporeans only (I heard foreigners can buy if they appeal, is this true?)

    k. GIC should close down, Govt should not invest People’s money

    l. abolish GRC

    m. peg minister’s pay to a more realistic scale. I am keen to know what that will be if the salary of TOP 20 is used (instead of Top 8 currently). do we really think all the ministers will make it to the Top 8 or Top 20 if they are in private sector? Get real.

    n. send the team from MOE that sets Math questions for PSLE paper for psychology test. Many of the questions set are so unreal that we will never ever use them in real life. Why stress the kids out and let the tuition centre make all the money?

    o. reduce class size to 15 – my child’s teacher don’t even know when he is absent. There are 42 in his class.

    I didn’t know I hv such a long wish list 🙂

  33. CALEB DAVID says:

    The Reform party should understand the current employability system seems to be deemed with very limited resources instead of having a Guaranteed Minimum Income and a Minimum Wage system which i dont see the Practicality without a repackaged workforce system.Firstly a repackaged workforce system has to be introduced threw the CDC/workforce to encourage employability for all ages.The system currently seems to be very limited with no meal allowances and transport is a minor concern,infact i was told that most companies that the CDC deals with are practicing a 6 day work week with more than 12 working hours daily excluding over-time.
    The Reform party should be reinforcing a repackaged system instead of over-emphazising on a Guaranteed Minimum Income and a Minimum Wage system and the 18 mths National service scheme which doesn’t meet the practicality without a repacked system.Its like having a Network system without the cables,the next time you may even notice a computer without its software.”Having said that The Reform party has introduced quite a number of effective policies that the PAP could be unable to debate with,however it has yet to finalise to improve its mandate to be more efficient rather than introducing more options for singaporeans.What singaporeans have already seen is that from elections after elections there seems to be a inbalancing among its own candidates.The Reform party has stepped ahead of this.

  34. I support these initiatives.

    In addition, I would like to see the following and hope they will be included in the RP manifesto in future:

    1 Reform the primary education system to encourage more independent thinking and remove the fear of speaking up which has become so ingrained in our society (this is linked to item 18 on your list). There must be less “top-down” teaching; this must start with reform of the teaching profession itself.

    2 Promote liberal arts at the university level, encourage creativity and creative people to reduce the materialistic tone of our society.

    3 In government, divest all but the most essential services. Government has no business being in any but the most essential activities such as security and foreign affairs.

    Lee Chee Wai – is there any reason why Singapore should have a defence force at all? Its a myth that Singapore can be defended in any meaningful way. Singapore is built on confidence and at the slightest whiff of trouble there will be massive flight of capital which will bring the economy to its knees, effectively crippling the country.

    I would think it would be much better for Singapore to cultivate neutrality along the Swiss model (in fact there is a move in Switzerland for the army to be abolished altogether). Costa Rica has functioned quite successfully since 1949 without a standing army, retaining only a small force for internal and border security.

    I would argue that the siege mentality, modeled on Israel is actually counter-productive for Singapore.

    The money so freed up (6% of GDP or $11.5b) can be put to better uses, such as the ones outlined in this manifesto.

  35. Joel says:

    The Free Market, Limited Government policies of RP are refreshing compared to some of the more “social-democratic” model proposed by other parties. I really enjoy the articles posted on this website. It would be fantastic if RP is really contesting Hong Kah GRC

    One question, it is mentioned on the webpage that this is one of your party’s stand: “women’s right to choice”. Does that refer to pro-abortion policies?

    Also, I would love to hear RP’s position on the Casino issue: a topic none of the opposition parties are addressing — especially in light of PAP’s decision to go ahead with the Casino in-spite of the research done by IPS Casino Forum Report. http://spp.nus.edu.sg/ips/docs/IPS%20Casino%20Forum%20Report.pdf

  36. ET says:

    Well done. Come to Tampines. I will vote for you.

  37. Overworked says:

    Good job RP! But please don’t publish the details or else the lazy currently in power party will copy it. I suggest you reveal it only during the GE.

  38. Joe says:

    To the Reform Party members,
    I am a student from Chua Chu Kang. I hope that you can do well in the next elections. I should think that keeping a UNITED opposition to face PAP will help… thanks and good luck, once more

    Joe

  39. Pingback: A Case of the Tail Wagging the Dog or How the RP Has Already Changed Government Policy « Reinventing the Rice Bowl

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