Happy National Day, and may Singapore live long and prosper.
This National Day is a time for introspection.
To ask, firstly – what is the value of a Singaporean?
A born and bred citizen.
Our young Singaporean men perform their duties of National Service, up until the age of 50 to 55 years old.
Meanwhile, our ministers preach to us that such National Service should not apply to New Citizens above the age of 30, and so they don’t need to serve.
Our ministers even criticise us for asking, “why?”
Is the value of a truly born and bred Singaporean not worth that of a New Citizen?
One who is happy to pluck the fruits of our labour without planting the seeds?
One has to ask, again, regarding the lavish Ridout Road bungalows occupied by two of our ministers – “why?”
How do they sleep well at night?
They see it fit to each live extravagantly on land that is more than the size of a shopping centre.
Meanwhile most Singaporeans have to squeeze our families into ever-shrinking yet ever-pricier pigeonholes.
The government then preaches to us that exorbitant cost of public housing is justified because land is “part of Singapore’s reserves”.
Does the quality of life of Common Singaporeans not matter?
When you look at the feeble excuses for not mandating safer conditions for migrant workers, who are forced to be transported dangerously on lorries, you have to ask again – “why?”
Why is it when Common Singaporeans demand change for the better, our pleas go unheard?
Is it because the Opposition has joined in these pleas, as Singaporeans who similarly have a heart for our foreign friends?
The issue of unsafe conditions has been raised for over 10 years, and nothing has changed up until today.
The PAP-led government is known to force through changes that it deems necessary – just take the discretionary right-turn traffic light signals as a recent example.
Where the is a will, there is a way – unless there is no will to begin with.
So, why does the PAP-led government not see fit to suitably protect the lives of our migrant workers?
While Singaporeans’ lives should be valued, no migrant worker’s life should be valued any less.
We are all people.
As for corruption probes into PAP ministers, justice will find its way.
The one thing that Singapore should be proud of is our civil servants.
Beyond reproach, their exemplary fairness, kindness and impartial conduct is what gives us the belief that they will do what is right for Singapore.
The principles of fairness, justice and equality should be at the heart of this year’s National Day.
Even if there is no concrete proof of corruption or perceived wrongdoing, Common Singaporeans have eyes to see what is right, what is ethical, and what is unjust.
Fix problems, not people.
The SDA will always stand on the side of all Common Singaporeans.
We will continue to demand that our government have a heart for the people, and value our people.
Things might be grim today because of shoddy management by the PAP-led government.
But chin up – their old road is rapidly aging.
And, our young Singaporeans will have the sensibility to differentiate what is right, from what is wrong.
With that, happy National Day, dear friends, and may you live long and prosper.
Desmond Lim Bak Chuan
Singapore Democratic Alliance