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GE2020: SPP releases manifesto addressing youth-centric issues, mental health, environment

SINGAPORE — The Singapore People’s Party (SPP) on Sunday (June 28) released its manifesto for the coming General Election (GE), aiming to tackle not just the “traditional bread-and-butter issues” but also less discussed topics during elections.

GE2020: SPP releases manifesto addressing youth-centric issues, mental health, environment

A screengrab showing the cover page of the Singapore People’s Party's manifesto.

SINGAPORE — The Singapore People’s Party (SPP) on Sunday (June 28) released its manifesto for the coming General Election (GE), aiming to tackle not just the “traditional bread-and-butter issues” but also less discussed topics during elections. 

The latter include improving mental health in Singapore and fighting climate change, as well as youth-targeted policies such as reducing the voting age from 21 to 18.

The party’s 24-page manifesto, titled after its national campaign slogan “A Better Tomorrow”, listed its three main values: Accountability, commitment and empathy.

It also broke its key ideas into 10 sections, such as lowering the cost of living, strengthening the workforce and promoting greater democracy.

In terms of mental health, the party proposed four policies — improving accessibility to mental health professionals, employees having the option to take unpaid mental health leave, providing greater subsidies for mental health services, and reviewing the sentencing criteria for offenders suffering from mental health disorders.

As for climate change, the SPP called it an “existential issue” and proposed policies such as making it mandatory for companies listed on the Singapore Exchange to publicly disclose their carbon emissions portfolio.

The party also called for environmental impact assessments — particularly for construction works near parks or nature reserves in Singapore — to be made mandatory and publicly available.

On Sunday, the SPP’s five GE candidates addressed questions at a press conference held over video-conferencing platform Zoom.

Party chairman Jose Raymond said the SPP recognises that “people have got very different needs compared to even five years ago”.

Referring to the party manifesto, Mr Raymond, who was previously the chief executive of the Singapore Environment Council, said: “They may not be the traditional bread and butter issues which always surface during elections, but nonetheless, they are important issues we need to talk about. That’s why we have made it central to our manifesto — the issues of climate change and mental health.” 

The average age of the SPP Central Executive Committee is one of the lowest among all the opposition parties. Its assistant secretary-general, law undergraduate Mr Ariffin Sha, is 22 years old.

The party confirmed last week that it plans to contest two constituencies: Bishan-Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency and Potong Pasir Single-Member Constituency.

Mr Raymond said the SPP's individual manifesto for the single-seat ward will be released in the next few days.

The SPP began releasing separate manifestos for the constituencies they are contesting in the last GE held in 2015. .

SOME OF SPP’S PROPOSALS

  • Allowing students from all tertiary institutions, not just approved ones, to use their parents’ Central Provident Fund (CPF) monies for school fees

  • Introducing environmental education and financial literacy into syllabuses

  • No further increase in the Goods and Services Tax. The People’s Action Party Government has announced that GST would rise from 7 to 9 per cent between 2022 and 2025

  • Commissioning a national study to find out how much money Singaporeans need for a basic standard of living, then introducing a national minimum wage

  • Enacting a Freedom of Information Act, which would “serve as a potent antidote against the spread of fake news” and help academics, politicians and civil society representatives in discussing public policy

  • Enacting a Fixed Terms of Parliament Act so that the Prime Minister does not have discretion in deciding when elections are called

  • Allowing employees to take “parent care leave” 

  • Abolishing the ethnic quota in Housing and Development Board flats, which can be prohibitive to prospective sellers of a minority race 

Related topics

Singapore General Election SGVotes2020 Singapore People's Party

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