Workers' Party thanks various Ministers for spending their time to look at issues raised in the Workers' Party Manifesto and wishes to clarify the misconception of the PAP on the issue of Multicultural society.
We wish to state unequivocally that Workers' Party is for a multiracial and multireligious society. As stated in the Introduction, Multiculturalism is one of the fundamental beliefs upon which we reviewed and formulated our proposals on government policies.
We are of the view that the ethnic quota for housing is no longer necessary as we have already achieved a certain level of integration. It also imposes hardship on people wanting to buy and sell homes. However, we also believe that we should not take racial and religious harmony for granted and hence we proposed declaring a Social Cohesion holiday to remind Singaporeans of the importance of harmonious living.
As for the Elected Presidency, Workers' Party's position has been consistent since 1988. We do not believe that the Elected Presidency is the right way to achieve the declared purpose.
The issue of Group Representation Constituencies is an old issue and we believe there are better alternatives to ensure multi-racial representation.
As for the Residents' Committees and Citizens' Consultative Committees, to say that they are the only ones who can play a role in the community and serve a useful role during crises like SARS etc, is to underestimate the community's ability to respond to crises. It seems that the government perceives Singaporeans to be a docile lot with no initiative who need to depend on RC/CCCs, which is an insult to Singaporeans.
Finally, with respect to the subsidies, we are of the view that the government must not ignore the financial difficulties of the lower income group and only address these when there are Budget surpluses.
January 22, 2006
5 Feb 2006
See the Manifesto in full...