(Estimated Turnout: 50,000 to 80,000)
Workers' Party candidates reciting the Pledge
Dear Fellow Singaporeans
This is the last leg of the election campaign. First of all, I want to thank all of you for your support. I would also like to thank the media and the police department for their hard work over the last 8 days.
WP has worked hard over the last few years to build a credible team of people. We started our campaign early this year with the publication of our manifesto to state our position on various policies and offer alternatives.
Right from the onset, we look forward to an election where we would be able to challenge and debate with the PAP on issues and policies that people are concerned with. We are not interested in pock barrel politics.
However, even before our manifesto hit the public, the PAP asked us to change our manifesto. Then before Parliament was dissolved, PAP wanted WP to introduce our candidates. Midway through our election campaign, PAP wanted us to withdraw James Gomez from the Aljunied team.
This is typical of the PAP. They are arrogant with a “We know what’s best” attitude. Let me tell them this – WP is not subject to the PAP; Nor are we afraid. We have our own mind!
In this election, we give you a choice to make the PAP accountable to you, to look after your needs and your future. With the interests of the nation as our topmost priority, we went into our campaign with a focus on what people are most concerned with:
Hope for the Future
First World Government
In the last few days, we have raised issues ranging from healthcare costs, lift upgrading and cost of living. We have also taken the PAP to task for not accounting to you and reject their behaviour of political engagement in this election.
We want a better future for you and a level up of Singapore to the international community as a First World Nation.
In the past, people believed and voted for the PAP but they are not infallible. And it has become more obvious and urgent that we need independent checks and balances if you want them to account to you.
Currently, with only a few lone voices in Parliament, the opposition is weak. The only way to make the PAP account to you and change their policies is through the elections. What the PAP is most scared of is your vote! And you must protect this right to vote before it’s too late.
We fully agree that honesty and integrity are important traits for MPs. So right from the onset of the campaign, I have instructed all our candidates NOT to make any personal attacks or baseless allegations against the PAP.
I believe we must have a more civilized political culture and political engagement must be based on facts and debate and NOT name-calling. An open debate on policies and issues will give us a better understanding of the policies and intent of the government. And with this, people can participate more actively in decision-making of policies that affect them.
Disappointingly however, the PAP candidates behaved otherwise. Even new candidates got inducted into the PAP’s culture of making offensive remarks about opposition very quickly. Some of them even equate us as horse and donkey. One new PAP candidate for Ang Mo Kio GRC, Lee Bee Hwa, who spoke in Mandarin over Channel 8, 6.30pm news on 30 April, said that “Workers’ Party candidates may have integrity problems. ”
This is uncalled for. I did not demand an apology as she’s new and people make mistakes. A minister also called WP the Wayang Party. They are not only defaming our candidates but our party as well. Do you know what would happen if an opposition MP said this?
I have told the press during the introduction of our candidates that they were selected based on 3Cs and 2Ps – credibility, capablility, character, passion and public spiritedness.
We are coming to the end of the election campaign period and I have observed how our candidates have carried themselves this election. It has reinforced my confidence in them. The PAP is also unable to dig out any skeletons about our WP candidates. Why? Because there are none!
The PAP has questioned the intention of James Gomez with regards to the minority certificate. I have asked all potential minority candidates to apply for one in case of a strategic switch in constituency. The Malay candidate for Ang Mo Kio, Abdul Salim, has also applied for one although we already have Gopal Khrisnan there as our minority candidate. This is the reason why James went to apply for the certificate.
As this episode has caused much distress to the Election Department unwittingly, we have asked James to apologise and this he did. I have spoken at length to James on this and have not found any evidence to prove that James is dishonest in this context.
It is unfair for George Yeo to use the analogy of a thief on James. What has James stolen from the Election Department?
None of our Workers’ Party candidates have made any personal attacks on the PAP candidates. None of them have raised any issues on race or religion to incite the people. On the contrary, our candidates have spoken responsibly on issues and concerns raised by the people.
Workers” Party is a responsible party that you can trust. We are worthy of your vote.
I told the press this morning that this election is a wake-up call for the PAP. I believe this is also a wake up call for the people. PAP may have a track record of 40 years in government but does this mean that they are infallible and that your future is ensured? Definitely not!
We must INSURE our future! It is better to have the opposition as a safeguard to watch over them. It is like buying an insurance policy for a rainy day even if you do not need it now.
I have raised 2 specific issues – one on means testing for c-class wards and the other on lift upgrading. I know what the PAP is doing because I am in Parliament. I have tracked these 2 policies closely. Let me ask you “Has the PAP given you any satisfactory answers?” NO!
I am 50 this year and have gone through a long journey in politics. How many more years do I have to contest? The other elected opposition member, Mr Chiam, is even older.
Whilst the PAP is in the process of renewal, Workers’ Party is also doing the same. If there is no support for Workers’ Party at this election, it could derail our renewal process and we may not be able to provide you with such a strong choice in the next election. You the voters would be the main loser as you may not have a choice to exercise your right to vote.
If there is no effective instrument for you to check the PAP and get them to account for their policies and issues on cost of living, you will only have a mortgaged future!
The Workers’ Party team in Aljunied is a mature and strong team. They are highly educated, sharp and articulate. More importantly, they are passionate and public-spirited people.
I know my shortcoming – I am not articulate in English as I come from a Teochew speaking family and am Chinese educated. I don’t mind telling you this - I got F9 for my English in the ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels.
I strongly believe that if you vote this team into Parliament, they will perform better than I. They will help bring Singapore closer to a First World Parliament. You can expect better debates and checks and they will work to ensure that the government account to you for their policies.
I urge all of you to give them a chance to serve you. If you have any doubts, you can vote them in for one term and judge their performance for yourselves. You can always vote them out in the next elections if they do not perform.
It is not easy in Singapore to get people of good calibre to stand on the opposition platform but they are here today to give you a choice. They are capable and have track records in their careers. They are recognized internationally for their capability.
There are not many 5 years in a person’s career. They are prepared, at the height of their career age, to come forward to serve you. I urge you to be fair to them and give them the opportunity to serve you.
I have been involved in the election process since 1984 with JBJ. I have no doubt about the integrity of the election process. I can attest that your vote is secret. If not, I won’t be able to last in this process for so long.
Before you go to the polling station tomorrow, reflect on what Workers’ Party stands for and what have done these last few days. Reflect on what kind of Singapore and future you want.
Workers’ Party is pro Singapore and we work for the interest of Singapore above the interests of our party. We will serve you to the best of our ability.
So Fellow Singaporeans, I urge you to make the right choice. Vote for The Workers’ Party!
To testify to you what I mean The Workers’ Party is Pro-Singapore, we will now recite the Pledge.
Comments from some voters who attended the Rally
(Taken from Sammyboy's Al Fresco Coffee Shop)
"The Workers' Party team is better than first class, you people are WORLD CLASS!"
"Yes. The recitation of the pledge was indeed emotional. I will remember this rally for the rest of my life."
"Low Thia Kiang has really earned me and my friends' respect, and the thousands at the Serangoon Stadium. He actually told the voters to vote in the younger WP members as they are better than him. What a humble man, such a contrast to the arrogance of the PAP. A truly wise leader.
And the recital of the pledge was truly a moving moment that will live long in my memories."
"Whether we win Aljunied or not, Sylvia will be crying. That's how passionate she is.
If we should lose Aljunied, I would suggest that you guys send her emails of thanks and encouragement. Trying to contest an election in Singapore is no easy task - as you can see. You are always being targetted for lawsuits, called names, ridiculed, above all other obstacles.
So, I am staying up late tonight partly because I have a lot of feelings now.
To be honest, I pray that the WP candidates will take whatever the result is, in their stride.
I say this again, I am damn bloody proud of all of them."
"Dear P, I cried, I could not stand I was that moved........and as I recited the words of the pledge I remembered how in these nine days the PAP has broken every sinlge damn fu%^&*** line. I was there with you guys for two years and I know after today I will be there with you for the next ten."
"You have echoed the sentiments of many Singaporeans.
What MM did has burned up a fair bit of respect that people have for him. And for the PAP leaders as well. They have been nothing short of disgusting. I wanna thank you for all your efforts in WP.
And I am very proud of WP too. Political beliefs notwithwithstanding, I think WP by their demeanour and the way they handle themselves during this campaign period, have made the PAP look despicable as human beings. They have truly shown themselves to be Third World. Now, lets just pray for WP tomorrow. And hope, "ti uu bak"."