Our country has lost its soul. Our people have lost their dignity. Our children no longer know how to be happy. Is this the country that we want? Is this the life that we want? Is this what we want for our children?
There was a time when Singapore was a place that we can be truly proud of. There was a time when Singapore was a place where people from all over the world would come and learn from us. There was a time when Singaporeans were happy and we knew that we were taken care of.
But times have changed, not because our people have changed, but because our government has lost its morals. They have lost their integrity.
Singapore Is Now One Of The Most Unequal Countries In the World
Singapore is now one of the most unequal countries in the world. We have one of the highest prices in the world. But Singaporeans are paid the lowest wages among the developed countries. So, we have the lowest purchasing power among all the rich countries. But we are the richest country, if not one of the richest countries in the world.
Yet, our government cannot give our people the standard of living that the other truly developed countries can.
Our old people have to work as cleaners in the hawker centres, in the toilets. And our old people cannot rest at home and retire happily, because they have been robbed of their savings. They have been betrayed by their government. Our older Singaporeans take up most of the blue collar jobs in Singapore. And they have been paid low wages for more than the past ten years.
In fact, the poor in Singapore have not seen their real wages grow since 2000.
Everything changed since 2000. The PAP lost its bearings.
The PAP created policies that are unequal. The rich continue to get richer while the poor continue to get poorer. All this time, the PAP refuses to give money back to the poor. Our poor and our old have helped the PAP grow, but the PAP has turned their backs on the poor, and on our elderly in Singapore.
The PAP spends the lowest government spending for Singaporeans among all the developed countries. The PAP spends one of the lowest on healthcare in the world. In fact, Singaporeans actually have to pay the highest out-of-pocket money for healthcare.
Now, prices have shot up, but our wages continue to be depressed. And we continue to feel squeezed. Now what we want is not a government that tells us to keep working, because one day, they will increase our wages.
We Want Minimum Wage And We Want To Be Treated Fairly
What we want is minimum wage. What we want is to earn higher wages! What we want is to earn enough so that even as prices keep increasing, even as housing prices have shot all the way up, and even as things become so much more expensive in Singapore, what we want is that we can continue to earn enough to live properly, to save, to retire, and to be treated fairly and equally.
To be treated like proper human beings, with our pride and our dignity.
What we want is a society that respects us for what we do, and not a society that looks down on us because of what we do. What we want is a society that says that even as cleaners, as construction workers and as service staff, we are people to be valued, people to be respected, looked up to, admired and protected. What we want are to be paid higher wages even as cleaners, construction workers and service staff.
No matter who we are in Singapore or what we do, we have a right to a live a life of dignity, to live a life that is safe and protected. We have a right to earn at least $2,000 every month, regardless of who we are.
Why must people have to sell their homes to see the doctor, because they do not have enough to pay for their hospital bills? Why must children have to have their self esteem lowered, because of a school system that tells them they are not good enough? Why must we constantly live in fear, because we do not know if we have enough to live another day?
This is not the society we want. This is not the society that we believe in. We do not want to live in fear. We do not want to live in suspicion. We do not want to live in anger.
But Why Are We Angry? Are We Really Angry At Foreigners?
But why are we angry? Do we know why we are angry or what we are angry about? We think we are angry with foreigners. We are angry with them for coming into Singapore to take our jobs, we blame them for us taking home low wages. We scold them for not behaving like us. But what do we want them to behave like? Do we want them to be like us? Angry, bitter? And unhappy about our lives?
So, the question I ask again, is, why are we angry?
We are not angry with the foreigners. We are angry with the government. We are angry with the PAP’s policies. We are angry that we are keeping quiet. We are angry that we are not speaking up about them, about what’s not right! We are angry that we have given our lives away, that we have not stood up, and spoken up against them; for them robbing what is ours away from us, and from stealing from us.
And so, we get angry, and because we feel that we are powerless to speak up against the government, we turn our attention on the foreigners instead. If the government creates policies that allow more foreigners to come in and if we do cannot anything to the government, we will get angry at the products of their policies – the foreigners.
But think about it – if you were to migrate to Australia, Canada, New Zealand or to any other country, do you want people to get angry at you for coming in, when you get to go in because of their government’s policies? You won’t want them to get angry at you!
The foreigners who are here are in this together. The poor who come here are also bullied by our government.
Divide And Conquer – A Timeless Strategy To Rule
And all this while, the government rubs its hands in glee. Now, let the people fight the people. Let them fight over themselves. Let them scold each other. Let them laugh at one another. And as long as they do that, they will forget about us – the government.
And Singaporeans, we have fallen for it. And so Singaporeans get angry with Singaporeans, Singaporeans get angry at the foreigners, activists get angry at one another, but none of us can see that we have all fallen into their trap.
They put the bait, and we fell for it.
And all this while, they watch, they keep quiet, and they earn more money, while they don’t give us any back, because we have forgotten to ask for it.
Because as we fight among ourselves, we forget what we are fighting for.
We Have To Vote For The Government That We Want
But remember, Singaporeans, what we want are higher wages, and what we should really do is to turn our attention back to the government and ask for higher wages, to ask for minimum wage.
So, I ask you today, what should we stand for? Who should we turn our attention to? We need to know this very clearly inside ourselves and we cannot be distracted by them. We must always stay focused, and we must tell the PAP – Singapore is ours and we are going to take it back. We will create the Singapore that we want!
And we can.
The PAP has seen its number of votes drop since 2000. Since 2000, the PAP has turned its back against Singaporeans, and we have turned our backs against them. From 2001 to 2011, their votes dropped from 75% to 66% to 60%. 2011 was the lowest vote share that the PAP has ever gotten since 1965, and we will make it go even lower to less than 55% in 2015 or 2016.
Singaporeans, you know, you know what is right for you, and you know that you will do what is right to protect yourself. Since 2000, the income inequality have kept going up, the proportion of Singaporeans who are able to meet the CPF Minimum Sum has dropped, healthcare prices have increased, housing prices have increased and COE has increased. And all this while, our wages remained stagnant. Now, we can feel all of these, we know that our lives are not getting better, we feel our lives squeezed. And we live in fear, day by day.
And that’s why we vote against the PAP, and that’s why the PAP is losing, and will continue to lose.
The question is, how can we vote? How do you vote to make sure that you can get the government that you want?
But, the question is what is the kind of government that we want? Is it one where the opposition forms only one-third of the government, all just to block the PAP for 5 years? Or do we want a government where the opposition parties take up more than half the seats, and form a coalition government that will represent the interests of ALL Singaporeans?
The choice is up to you. But we have a choice as to whether Singapore will continue down this road of inequality that we are on now, and break down in 15 or 20 years. Or we can put a different government in place, and allow us to have a chance to chart a new way forward for Singapore. It might be uncomfortable for the first 5, 10 years, but once we have fairness, and once we have equality, our country, our society, will last several more generations, with a democratic society, based on justice and equality, so that we will achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation.
If we want fairness and equality, then we have to vote for the fair government that we want.
So now, at the next election, this is what we do. If we want a government that will take care of our interests – one, vote for all the Worker’s Party’s seats in. Two, vote for the top two teams of each of the other parties – NSP, SPP, SDP and DPP. Now if we can get all of them in, we will be able to take up at least half the seats, which will allow us to be the majority in government.
We Must Believe And We Must Have Courage
Singapore today is at a turning point. Never before has our society been so unequal. Never before has our people felt so unhappy. Never before has the people felt so vulnerable. Never before have we felt so bullied, and pushed to the corner.
It is time to push back, Singaporeans. It is time to let our voices be heard. It is time to rise up and stand united. We cannot let them divide us. We cannot allow ourselves to be distracted. It is time to reach out to the person next to you, to support one another. We need to stay united. We need to stay strong together.
We have to be brave. We have to have courage. We must have the conviction and strength to stand up, and say that we believe in a fair society – a society that every single one of us will be taken care of by the government, and by each and every one of us.
It is time to be brave. It is time to come out. It is time to do what is right for ourselves, choose what is right for us, and show them that we mean business.
It is time, Singaporeans
We must believe that we can create the life that we want. We must believe that we can create the Singapore we want. We must come together, and speak up, to be as one. And we must believe that we can put in the government that we want, and the government that will treat us right.
We must believe that that our society can be equal. We must believe that we can live in a country where our people will look out one another. We must believe that we can have a life that will be respected, no matter who we are or what we do. We must believe that Singapore is a truly equal country, when we will always make sure that everyone is protected, where everyone is taken care of. We must believe that we can create a Singapore that is truly ours, and a Singapore that we will be proud of.
We cannot let the PAP steal Singapore from us. For far too long, they have destroyed our country, our people, our pride and our dignity. Now, it’s time to take it back.
We must believe that we have the power to make things right. The power is within you. The power lies in your hands – all of you, in all of us!
Because we are the people. We are the power. And we must always remember that, and stand up, and take back what is ours!