A Happy National Day to you!
This National Day sees global political and economic shifts impacting the lives of all Common Singaporeans. These are issues which the SDA would like to address.
As Singapore emerges from the shadows of the Covid-19 pandemic, Singaporeans have been plunged into another climate of crisis. Global inflation and a looming recession pose threats to our livelihoods and well-being. The effects are already being felt acutely even at this early stage. Economists will agree that there is no silver bullet solution. But it is during a time like this that the mettle of the government is tested. Specifically, whether the government truly has a heart for the people. The SDA urges the government to be humane, and not blight Singaporeans with further financial hardship in the form of a GST hike and other indirect taxes. Instead, more care can be devoted to helping Singaporeans tide over the crisis, and position ourselves financially to achieve greater success after the storm has passed.
In recent times, Singaporeans have seen first-hand, once again, the impact of supply shocks. This was manifested in the steep rise in the price of chicken once our supply from Malaysia was abruptly cut. It would be absolutely flippant for the government, as it has done in the past, to say that Singaporeans should simply eat fish if chicken is too expensive, or sarcastically question if we want to have three meals at a hawker centre, food court, or restaurant. Food security should take paramount importance in policy-making for a nation that has little natural resources. Even though Singapore relies heavily on trade, we have seen that we cannot rely solely on trade. The SDA calls on the government to work with local businesses and foreign partners to expand our food supply sources, both domestically and across borders. In this way, Singaporeans will not be held ransom whether our food sources come under threat from supply shocks or rogue trading partners.
Most eyes are on the Ukraine conflict at the moment. Yet, closer to home, there is further tension brewing between China and Taiwan. Singapore has close ties with both entities. We have strong economic and defence ties with Taiwan. At the same time, we play a core role in helping China navigate a constructive and peaceful entry into Southeast Asia’s community of nations. Existentialist threats to Singapore are heightened, especially with the United States ramping up its interest in the region. The SDA calls on the government to exercise prudence as the economic war between the global superpowers threatens to spill over into armed conflict. The lives of Singaporeans must take ultimate precedence over political considerations.
Much as geopolitical issues affect all nations apart from Singapore, our government’s stance will determine whether Singaporeans survive and thrive as the winds shift. For the sake of Singaporeans, we would like to see, most importantly, that our political leaders have a heart for the people.
With this, the SDA once again wishes you a Happy National Day.
Singapore Democratic Alliance