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徐顺全博士于2016年5月1日群众大会讲话全文

五一群众大会                  index

哪怕前进的道路是多么的艰苦,我还会继续昂首挺胸往前走

哈罗,武吉巴督!哈罗,新加坡!欢迎各位来到武吉巴督工业园这儿出席我们的群众大会,以及数以千计的网络线上观看我们的群众大会。

我们的补选活动已经进入了第7天了!同时,我们也在这儿超过了一个月的时间传递要建设一个崭新的武吉巴督市镇信息。

今晚,我们要进一步说明有关我们有关武吉巴督的计划。这是我在一个群众大会所提到的。我个人相信,它对武吉巴督镇的居民是非常有利的。我们已经把这些计划已经推出了。当我们补选活动进入尾声阶段,我们感觉到非常兴奋和乐观

武吉巴督社区是一个成熟的社区。它的人口是由相当数量的老年人组成。无论如何,新加坡的老年人将经历一个极其艰难的时间。

老年人自杀的数据正在增加中。在2000年,79名老年人自杀。在2010年,自杀的老年人增加到95名。在2014年,自杀老年人的数据是126名。这就是说,从2000年到现在,自杀的增加率是60%,或者说,每三天就有一个老年人自杀。

上个月的海峡时报报道,老年人们正在担心自己在孤独中死亡。一个85岁的老年人说,“我是一个独居老人。没有人照顾我。邻居发现2位老年人的逝世是因为他们嗅到死尸味道。我已经步入老年人时期了,我希望,当我逝世时有人会知道。”

社会工作者说这种情况将会越来越恶劣。类似于这样的问题是由于行动党的政策造成的。

例如,一些年长者被迫卖掉自己现有的房子,改住在较小的房子,这样他才可以增加收入。问题是,老年人这么做到结果是:他们必须把自己从已经居住数十年的社区搬走,移居到一个完全陌生的邻里社区。他们可能就此被家人和朋友所抛弃。这对于老年人来说在心理上是一个极其严重的创伤。政府是否真正了解到我们的老年人的自尊心啊!

在4个星期前,也就是我们开始展开补选活动时已经有2个老年人自杀了。但是,报章并没有报道这2起事件。我们是在进行沿户家访时发现的。

为什么会出现这样的情况啊?为什么我们的老年人需要在这样的情况下逝世?为什么我们的老年人要自杀?为什么我们的老年人晚年想要裹着孤独和恐惧的生活?

默仁里说,他要关注穷人和老年人。请稍等一下。假设默仁里说,他自己已经在这里工作了16年,那么,在过去6个星期宣布补选运动开始时,他是否表达了自己对穷困的老年人的关心?

当他说,自己已经在武吉巴督工作过一段时期时,他应该是为这里贫穷和老年人做了一些事。

事实上,他可以为老年人的尊严做的事情是极少的。因为这是行动党的政策造成了老年人过着这样悲惨的生活。

这种情况必须改变。我们必须对老年人进行特别的照顾。我们必须提高老年人的生活素质——从我们武吉巴督区居民开始。作为您们的国会议员,我将会认真看待老年人的生活和尊重他们的需求和愿望的这个问题。

各位爷爷们、奶奶们、叔叔阿姨们,您们青年时是那么勤劳的工作,比我们还勤劳。您们和我们一样为国家的发展做出了贡献。当步入老年时。您们的政府是不可以把您们搁在一旁不管的。行动党政府不可以把您们当成废纸巾用完就扔掉。

不可以,绝对不可以。我们必须照顾我们的老年人,因为我们有一天也将成为老年人。我在2个方面解决这问题。

首先,正如我已经向大家解释过,我们将会实施武吉巴督爱心计划和提高居民关心和协助区内的老年人的运动。

我们所说不仅仅是的涉及金钱的问题吧了。这是涉及到生活素质的问题。这是每一天存在的问题,那就是需要考虑老年人所面对的经历的问题。老年人需要在生理上和精神上的互动和活跃的生活。这样才会使他们过得健康和活跃。我们将会在武吉巴督组织一些活动计划,例如有益身心的聚会、早晨麻将、园艺和心系武吉巴督等等活动。这些活动将有助于为老年人居民增添生活节凑,并让他们每一天清晨起来时就可以计划如何过好今天的生活计划。

其次,我将会在国会里不断地提出这个问题,直到政府增加援助我们的老年人的开支预算,并更好地照顾新加坡的老年人。

我要老年居民有一个完整的生活,而不是一直在担心着将来谁来照顾您们。您们需要自己有能力独自的生活,而不是依赖您们的孩子的支持。孩子们也有自己孩子需要照顾。他们不可能在一个家庭里同时照顾两代人。政府必须负起自己应尽的责任。

作为您们的国会议员,我将会负起应该负担的责任去推动有关更加关注您们所需的计划。

我们推行的心系武吉巴督计划最大的卖点就是,把在区内散居在区内低收入的家庭并入一个群体。

现在,您们可能会认为这个计划会协助哪些那些有需要帮助的人吗?是的。但是,这只是我们其中的一个计划。这只是帮助那些需要援助的家庭,即送礼者。

我坚信一句格言所说,“施比受更是福” 。我肯定,大家都是有共同的看法的。当您施给时,我们加强了自己是这个世界的一份子想法。

这就是为什么不论任何宗教,佛教、基督教、穆斯林、兴都教等等的行为,我们都统称为帮助我们当中那些特别弱势和穷困的群体。

我要让武吉巴督的居民和社区接受不同的态度和展望。我要成为一个推动者、使武吉巴督一个更加富有同情心、更加奉献的社会的人。我坚信,国会议员可以成为众人中点燃慷慨精神者。我要成为这样的国会议员。

另一个主动的计划是我们已经建议的社会计划里推行理财计划(Dollars and Sense programme)

女士们、先生们,随着经济的下行情况下,裁员浪潮的情况已经越来越严重和加剧了。情况将会变得更糟糕。假设您们面对被裁员的话咋办?我并不是只是在谈论着低薪工人,也包括专业人士、经历人员、工程师和技术人员。

问一问我们的船厂工人,工厂经理、零售业销售员以及受国际油价下跌影响的造船工业。我们工厂重组和在购物中心的一间接一间的商店关闭。不论您是销售助理、销售经理,当经济情况如目前一样的恶劣时,您们的工作将不会获得保障

当老板叫您们进去办公室并通知明天不必再来上班,因为公司已经无法维持了?这时,您们发现自己已被裁员时咋办?

您们的收入来源突然间中断了,但是,您们仍然必须支付房屋贷款、孩子上学的费用、水电费和家里的日常三餐。您们和您们的家人如何面对这样的情况?

这个未曾预见情况的出现,将造成整个家庭面对严重的社会问题后果。即便是已经没有收入,但是,那些应付的账单却不可以不偿还。

由我们的陈钦亮先生(Mr Tan Kin Lian)领导的理财计划(Dollars and Sense programme)将能够协助您们预先策划好这个问题。您们不可能找到像陈钦亮先生所领导这样专业的团队。他是金融服务消费人士协会主席和前全国职总英康保险总裁。

我们的理财计划(Dollars and Sense programme)将为您们提供理财方面的指导,协助那些已经面对经济困难的人。与此同时,我将为被裁退的工人提供一个裁退保险的长期计划。以下是我们的裁退保险计划的建议:

假设一名工人被裁退,在这个裁退保险计划下,他将首6个月获得自己在被裁退时最后领取的薪金的75%的援助;他将在第二个月 6个月获得自己在被裁退时最后领取的薪金的50%的援助;他将在第三个6个月,获得自己在被裁退时最后领取的薪金的25%的援助;

这项裁退保险援助计划将在被裁退工人获得雇佣后或者被裁退后的第18个月终止支付。

支付裁退保险计划制定中等薪金定顶限款额为每月4千元。这就是说,假设一名被裁退的个人每月赚取的薪金是3200元。他被裁退时将可以在这个计划下获得首6个月2400元的援助金、第二个6个月是1600元,最后一个6个月是1000元。

人力部将会协助被裁退的工人寻找工作重新被雇佣,并尽可能协助他/她们找到适合于他/她们的技能、或者薪金水平的新工作。

这些被裁退的工人可以连续三次婉拒人力部所提供新工作。

这个计划的目的是要协助那些被裁退者取得临时的工作和给予优先的帮助,以协助他/她们度过难关,知道他们找到新的工作。一旦他/她们找到工作了,将从他/她们的公积金户头里扣除一小部分。政府将会在账单里及时显示。

行动党说,这样的援助计划将导致在新加坡人产生福利社会的思想和造成国家经济的破产。这是不正确的。因为领导世界经济的国家如德国和北欧等都有这样的援助计划。亚洲经济富裕的国家如日本、韩国、台湾和中国香港地区也是实行裁员援助保险政策。这些经济富裕的国家都被为是福利国吗?

我们将会从这些经济富裕国家实施的政策中找出适合于我们新加坡的政策。

即使是在政策研究所的经济学家和国大,甚至行动党的国会议员都把我们的建议引入他们的计划里。假设我获选,将继续推动这个计划以协助被裁退的工人。

默仁里说,他还是选择着重于为被裁退的工人寻找工作的方案。是的。我也知道。我也是同意这个想法。但是,他并不是贸工部长或者人力部部长啊!事实上,他的党不为新加坡人创造就业机会着想啊!

在去年。政府创造了100分工作对吗?是的。您亲耳听到的。这100分工作是提供给新加坡人和永久居民的。这就是说,在全新加坡的选区里,提供给武吉巴督选民只有一份工作。假设您们当中一些人被裁退的话,有多少人将会去竞争这一份工作。

李显龙在他的星期天劳动节群众大会上说,行动党的制度是最好的。他说,“为什么不接受这个计划的优势呢?——由政府支付让您们成为自雇者,而不是成为失业者?请支持我们和提升自己。把让自己成为老板。”是的。我们今后将会永远生活得很愉快。结束。

我听到一些国人说,谁不知道这个道理?那样子我也会吗?

假设一年只创造一份工作,但是被裁退的工人是数以千计,那么,甭管您们是如何地提升自己,您们有机会找到工作吗?

与此同时,行动党继续他们的引进外劳政策。我们继续提升自己。在政府继续引进那些不需要技能,但是薪金低廉的外劳政策下,我们可以和这些外劳竞争职位吗?

女士们、先生们。您们现在可能很有一份工作,但是,你们绝对无法知道您们几时会被裁退。请不要等到您们被公司叫进办公室,然后,告诉您们已经被裁退了时,才开始想找人帮忙争取裁退津贴。到那个时候已经太迟了

假设我获选,我将和工人党的国会议员,甚至是行动党那些关心被公司紧缩政策下被裁退的工人问题的国会议员一起合作处理这个问题。为什么不可以?一旦我们获选,我们就必须选为人民服务的。所有的国会议员都必须一道为全体人民的着想,而不会只是为这个选区是属于哪个政党的。我将会建议有关裁员保险计划。我将会与全体国会议员一道共同推动这个计划在国会里获得通过。

我的朋友们,我刚才给您们所说的请您们牢记着。因为这将影响您们,假设您们现在正在读书,随后将进入就业市场。或者假设您们是身为孩子的父母,你们的孩子即将毕业,我请您们牢记,这将影响您们的孩子未来的生活的。

假设您们基于错误的原因而把票投给了错误的人,让他进入国会后啥事都不干,也不代表您们为此事发出声音,您们的未来将会面对难于估计的麻烦。这是一场补选。这是一个最好的机会把我送进国会代表您们及您们的孩子发出声音。

即便是那些目前仍然有工作的人,您们可以确定自己是否有能力退休吗?

几个星期前,我在大牌207 的咖啡店与一名退休人士谈话。他是因为油价下跌而被裁员的。因为公积金设定了最低存款额的限制,使他无法领出自己的公积金。他说,他写了信给王金发先生。然而,王金发无能为力帮忙他。

不久前,一个名叫Phan Pang Chia先生写了一封信给《今日报》(the Today newspaper,)。他指出了,公积金局通知他的妻子,在64时,可以开始从公积金户头里每月领出一笔现款。公积金局补说,在她的退休户头的结存足于让领取63年。Phan Pang Chia先生问,为什么政府要让他的妻子的公积金胡退休户头的钱延长到128岁,在新加坡寿命最长的也只不过是115岁啊!

我们拥有的是一个政府就是一个不经思考的政府。假设您们还要继续慷慨的话。但是,假设您们是怀疑的话,那么,您们必须问政府,他们扣押着我们的公积金是不是他们没有足够的现金全部偿还给我们,是不是他们动用了我们的公积金去进行投资失败所造成的原因。

几个星期前,汇丰银行发表了一份研究报告说,高昂的生活成本造成了新加坡是世界上其中一个无法退休的国家之一。近半数的退休新加坡人说,他们在未来5年里没有能力退休。全球平均没有能力退休的平均数据是38%——新加坡是50%。30%的人说,我们不可能完全退休下来——30%——全球是18%。

回应者说,问题是在于缺少储蓄或者成了家属照顾的包袱。汇丰银行的负责人说,经济的现实问题是造成新加坡人不可能退休。

可是,在公积金的计划,我们拥有的退休金数额,是世界上最大的储蓄者。尽管如此,我们仍然没有足够的退休金退休。

到底问题发生在哪儿?让我告诉您们问题在哪儿!

政府迫使我们动用公积金去购买政府组屋。接着,他们又把政府组屋的租赁价格调高。这样一来,我们必须动用更多自己在公积金户头里的钱去租赁政府组屋。结果那个属于您们在公积金户头里的钱就流入到政府哪儿。

接着,政府就拿着这笔钱到世界各地去进行投资。在他们抛出去的几百亿元时,全世界的国家都铺着红地毯迎接他们。但是,请您们记住,这不是政府的钱是您们的。

这就造成了新加坡人留下来可以退休的退休金减少了。在偿还政府组屋租赁金后,留在公积金户头里的这个小数余额现在又让政府扣押在最低存款计划里,他们还告诉我们,这笔款额将分期以细数归还我们。

在另一份由里昂证券亚洲信贷(Credit Lyonaise Securities Asia)发出的研究报告说,他们发现在新加坡有50%的家庭只有极少的储蓄。 这些家庭是依靠薪金赖以生存的。他们引述说,他们是无法面对任何不可预测的经济开支的。

如果一个灾难降临到您们的身上,您们和您们的家人面对着因为要支付一张巨额的医药费账单而破产。正如您们所知,这种意外是随时可能发生的。

很少人会提出关于公积金问题和我们的国家储备。但是,有一个专家是专门研究主权财富基金的。他是来自北京大学克里斯教授(Professor Chris Balding)。

新加坡的主权财富基金是新加坡政府投资公司和淡马锡控股。新加坡政府投资公司主席是李显龙。淡马锡控股是由他的太太何晶负责管理。

克里斯教授指出了我们的主权财富基金有三个方面的问题,特别是淡马锡控股。第一是,淡马锡控股说它过去40年来,平均每年的投资收益是16%。

问题是,新加坡的国际投资收益平均是8%,目前这个时候或者更少。淡马锡控股咋能说自己获得这样的收益?

第二问题是,新加坡已经成为世界上最负债累累的国家。尽管政府告诉我们说, 国家在正常的基础上有大量盈余。克里斯教授查阅了现有已经公开的数据后得出的结论是:当把所有的利息的因素计算在内,大约有8千亿是历年的盈余和融资业务未计算在内。

第三,克里斯教授说,淡马锡控股和新加坡政府投资公司所说的汇报是不一致的。

我想,对这些金融数据是我们是无法深入了解的。坦白地说,您们也不必怎么做。您们要

知道的极其重要的一点是,我们要知道国家的储备金具体情况到底是如何?因为这是我们的公积金占了极其庞大的一部分。

假设有任何情况发生了,不论您们是富人或者穷人,或者您们是居住在The Jade公寓或者 The Dew公寓,或者是住在大牌210A,我们和整个国家的经济都将付诸东流。

假设情况是这样,我们不知道自己的公积金储蓄命运将如何?但是,有一件事我们会知道的是:政府将会以提高最低存款额政策,继续不要归还我们在公积金户头里的钱。政府将继续扣押着我们的钱,即使是我们已经退休。接着下来,他们就一直把我们的退休年龄从62岁提高65岁,很快他们将提高到67岁,来扣押我们的公积金。公积金的领取年龄也将会同时提高。

我们是否知道国家储备金的情况?政府是否在动用我们的储备进行投资时失利而无法归还我们情况下,制定出这些计划来扣押我们的钱。请记住,国家是我们的钱。我们是有权拿回自己储蓄的。

请把我送进国会,我将找出我们的储备金到底去了哪儿。我将会要求把所有账目公开,让一组专业人士把数据梳理出来。看看新加坡政府投资公司和淡马锡控股所呈报的账目中是否有不确定的数据。

他们不应该继续不让我们知道国家储备的情况。行动党已经是政府了,现在是时候把一些人送进国会,代表您们在国会提出一些尖锐和正确的问题。

有一天,一名女士居民问我,民主党有哪些计划是为中层阶层的。我们有制定为穷人和老人的计划,但是没有看到为夹心层制定的计划。

我的回答是,我可以给您们最好的建议是,争取更好的被裁退利益和取出自己在公积金户头里全部的钱。

现在请各位问一问自己。假设默仁里获选,您们认为他会在国会里询问他们党的老板有关新加坡政府投资公司和淡马锡控股的问题吗?为您们争取取出公积金户头里的存款吗?为您们争取裁员利益吗?

亲爱的武吉巴督选民们,这些都是极其严肃的问题与至关重要的问题。它们将不仅仅影响您们,同时将会影响您们孩子。假设您们做出错误的选择投票给一个错误的人,当事情开始发生时,您们将会看到没有人会在国会里为您们发言。现在,您们有这样的机会,请做出正确的选择。

行动党告诉你们,我的人品不好。因此您们不要应该把票投给我。这些话在过去数十年他都这么说了。他们的部长一个接一个的跳出来向我攻击。他们对个人进行了极其敌意的人身攻击。

但是,我不会理会这一切。我不像行动党那样。我要给武吉巴督人民呈现我的良好形象和善意。我不要让政治变得如此恶毒。我会看到将使我们的国家没落。假设我们让这种情况继续下去,我将会为自己国家感到悲痛。

假设我需要英国对我的对手进行破坏性和摧毁性的污浊游戏而赢得选举,那么,我宁可不要。我将不要在这样情况下赢得选举。正如我之前所过,假设我赢得选举。我要赢得有尊严。假设我输了,我将会输得光彩。

在来临的星期六不管是风是雨,我在此向武吉巴督居民致以良好的祝愿。您们没有任何 的顾虑。假设您们选择了默仁里成为您们的国会议员,我会尊重您的选择意愿。我会使用各种方式继续为您们服务。

我会给您一个我所说的例子,我有着一个武吉巴督居民的心。我将在此直接向默仁里表达我的心愿。

例如,我将宣布,你要在武吉巴督开始进行一项学生学习计划(a student mentorship programme)。我怀疑和这类似于我们的创业者计划(Pathfinder programme)。我仍然是欢迎的。假设我无法获选去实施这个计划。我将期待你去实施这个计划,因为最终,我所关心的是武吉巴督的青年人能够获得这样的关注

关于个人的人身攻击。从我知道你将成为行动党的候选人开始,你就成为我最尊重的人。我没有对你进行任何个人的人身攻击,不是因为你是 一名律师、或者你是一位富人、或者你是行动党支部的主席。我这么做是因为你是人。

我要求民主党的同志不要对你个人进行人身攻击。我想,我们已经遵守承诺了。但是,非常遗憾,即便是善达曼向我们做出的承诺。但是。你们的同志却不断的食言了。

他们对我个人进行了人身攻击,甚至利用报章的头版进行这种邪恶的攻击。

即便是我对你和你的政治观点有不同的看法,但是,我已经要求自己并保证在我们的竞选活动中不要对你个人进行任何的人身攻击。我要求你也和我一样在竞选运动中告诉李显龙、吴作栋、哈利玛、陈川仁、傅海燕和其他人停止这样的肮脏政治行为。

我是这场竞选的负责人。假设你也是这场竞选运动的负责人的话,你将会要求你的同志停止这样胡闹的行为。这就像我确保民主党仍然坚持进行一场干净和着重于关注武吉巴督居民的福利。我请你也这么做。

我说这些话是因为我要利用这个机会向我们的人民呈现最美好的一面。政治可以利用来分化我们,也可以利用来团结我们。作为一名领导人,我们必须有责任确保,我们是为了国家的利益而利用政治。

我要求行动党要有前瞻性,不要为了赢得武吉巴督的补选运动而失去了整个新加坡。我们的国家没有分裂的本钱。

我把您们视为是我在武吉巴督的朋友。作为一名朋友,我的同胞,一个我要协助和代表他们发声的同胞。假设您们支持我,那是因为我获得您们的支持,那是因为在过去25年来赢得了您们的信任。没有人可以收买您们的选票。没有一个人可以无休止的满足您们的要求。当然,也没有任何一个会自认为自己有资格成为您们的国会议员。

在过去几个星期,我与您们许多人都见过面了。我与您们交谈过。我们互相欢笑过,我们还通过唱过《真打拼》(福建创作歌曲《Ji Pa Ban》)。不论您们是华人、或者马来人、或者印度人、或者是欧亚籍人,您们都对我表示支持。我为此感到骄傲。

我和您们握手。您们看着我说支持我。这并不是您们把视为华人、或者马来人、或者印度人。那是因为您们把看成我是一个可以关心您们的人,和不论彼此间的种族肤色关心着新加坡的人。

您们的支持是因为您们看我只是在这里6个星期,而别人在这里已经25年了。您们支持我不是因为一路走来跌跌撞撞、每一次被打倒都还再爬起来继续前进的人。您们看到的是一个在他的旅途中带着疲惫的身躯很想放弃,但是最终还是坚持下去的人。

行动党继续对我的人格进行人身攻击。他们给我标上了各种名字:骗子、撒谎者、流氓、叛徒、精神病患者。他们开除我、监禁我、让我破产,但是面对这一切,我仍然坚持着站起来。

那些嘲笑、藐视、惩罚和攻击是无情的。但是,我不会像那些人嘲笑我的人屈服!我不会向那些攻击我的人跪下!我不会跪下,那是因为我为了原则、信仰和人民!

不论斗争是多么的艰巨,我会昂首挺胸继续前进。我之所以能够这么做,那是因为我不理会行动党是那些人在说我什么!我们到底是一个怎样的人?上帝知道、我的太太知道、我的孩子知道,更加重要的是我自己知道我是谁!

正因为是这样,这一切都无法扼杀我,只能让我更加坚定不移,我在每一次的攻击中成长起来。

我的孩子会长大的,他们会了解这一切有关别人在报章和电视媒体指责他的父亲的事。我要告诉我的三个孩子An Lyn, E Lyn and Shaw Hur:

正如您们在家里的电视机所观看到的群众大会,身为一名父亲,我要教导你们,在我们的生活里有许多东西。但是,我可以传授给你们最重要的课程是:我们不要羞怒他人来提高自己。我们不要踩踏别人的梦想来实现自己的梦想。我们不要因为他人与我们不一样而嘲笑他。

相反地,我们要扶持他们,向陌生人伸手和我们要原谅我们的敌人。我们要做我们认为是好的,这样其他人就会看到我们善良的心,让他们在我们身中所看到这一切。这就是人的品行。我要你们不可以忘记这一刻。

朋友们,你们不投默仁里一票,不是因为您们不相信他的同志说有关我的问题。或者,您们不投我一票不是因为我是华人。您们投我一票是因为您们已经和我见过面!您们已经和交谈过了!您们投我一票是因为您们已经知道我是谁了!您们投我一票是因为您们为我感到骄傲!

我要会成为您们的国会议员而感到高兴。当您们遇见朋友时,可以很自豪地说,我是来自武吉巴督和徐顺全是我的国会议员,那不是因为我机灵、或者富裕、或者更加强大,而是因为由于有人为了您们而敢于站出来,并为您们而斗争、每天一起身就为了您们而斗争!

谢谢大家!晚安!

 

 As long and as hard as the struggle has been,I walk with my head held high

 DR. Chee’s speech in SDP Rally  (3 May 2016)

 

Hello Bukit Batok, hello Singapore, a very good evening to all you of here at the industrial Park in Bukit Batok and to the thousands more who are watching this rally online.

We’re into the seventh day of the by-election and more than a month since we started the campaign to spread the message of building a better town here in Bukit Batok. The schedule has been punishing but we’re feeling very excited and upbeat as we head into the last stretch of the campaign.

Tonight, I want to elaborate a little more on our programme Hearts for Bukit Batok which I talked about at the last rally and which I believe will greatly benefit the residents of the town.

Bukit Batok is a mature estate with a large segment of its population made up of the elderly. Nowadays, however, the elderly in Singapore are going through a very tough time.

There has been steady increase in the number of older people committing suicide. In 2000, 79 seniors committed suicide. In 2010, the number jumped to 95. In 2014, 126 elderly people killed themselves – and increase on 60% from 2000. In other words, I elderly Singaporean commits suicide every three days.

Last month, the Straits Times reported that the elderly are increasingly afraid of dying alone with nobody knowing. An 85-year-old man saying: “I am alone, and there is no one to take care of me. Two of my neighbours died and people found out only because of the smell. I don’t want the same thing to happen to me. I’m in my old age already, and when I die, I want someone to know.”

Social workers say this problem will only get worse. Many of these problems are created by PAP policies.

For example, some elderly people are forced to downgrade their flats so that they can get income. The problem is that when they do that they often have to uproot from their community which they may have lived in for decades and move to an entirely new neigbourhood. They could be displaced from their families and friends and for the elderly this is very traumatic. Does this government really understand the plight of our elderly?

There have been two elderly suicides just in the four weeks since our campaign started in Bukit Batok. These have not been reported. We found these out as we were walking the ground.

Why does it have to be this way?  Why do our elderly have to live such kinds of misery and die, or worse, kill themselves, in loneliness and fear?

Mr Murali says he wants to focus of the poor and the elderly. Hang on a minute. If Mr Murali says he’s been here for 16 years, then why is he expressing concern about the elderly poor only in the last six weeks when the by-election was called?

Surely he could have done something for the poor and elderly here in Bukit Batok in the time that he says he’s been here.

The truth is that there’s very little he can do about the plight of the elderly because it is the policies of his party that has caused our elderly to live such miserable lives.

This must change. We must take better care of our elderly. We must raise the quality of life for our eldelrly folk – starting with our residents here in Bukit Batok. As your MP, I will see to it that our older folks get the life and the respect they require and deserve.

Ah Peh, ah um, pakcik, macik, when you were young you worked just as hard if not harder than any of us and you contributed to our nation’s development just like us. When you become old, your government cannot just put you to one side. The PAP cannot treat you like tissue paper, use you and then throw you away after it uses you.

No, we must take care of our elderly better if only because one day we all will become old ourselves. I will tackle this issue on two fronts, first as I explained earlier, we will implement our initiative Hearts for Bukit Batok and raise awareness among the residents to help the elderly poor in our constituency.

And it’s not just money that we’re talking about. It’s the quality of life, the day-to-day existence that the elderly go through that needs to be considered too. They need interaction and activity, both physical and mental, to keep themselves healthy and mobile. We will be organising programmes and getting the help of volunteers through our Hearts for BB programme such as bingo nights, mahjong mornings, gardening and so on. These activities will help to fill the lives of our older residents and give them something to look forward to when they wake up every morning.

Second, I will raise this issue in Parliament and I will raise this issue in Parliament again and again and again and agian until the government increases the budget for assistance for our elderly and provide more care for elderly Singaporeans.

I want you, our elderly residents, to lead a full life and not have to constantly worry about who is going to take care of you. You need to lead more independent lives instead of having to rely on your children for support. They have their own young children to look after and cannot afford to look after two generations in the family. The government must do its part.

As your MP, I will do my part to push for programmes that will pay more attention to your needs.

One of the big attractions of our Hearts for Bukit Batok programme is to facilitate residents in the constituency adopting a family from the lower income group of which there are many scattered throughout the town.

Now you may think that this programme is to help the needy. Yes, but that’s only one part of it. It is also to help families who provide the assistance, that is, the givers.

I’m a strong believer in the adage “It is better to give than to receive” and I am sure that there are many of you who feel the same way. When we give, we reinforce that idea that we are one in this world.

This is why in whatever religion we practice, to whichever faith we subscribe be it Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and so on, we are called to serve by helping those  especially the weak and poor among us. This is the core tenet of many religious teachings. It is what makes us human. Humans are often selfish. But we can also be capable of much kindness and compassion. Whether we orientate towards selfishness or selflessness depends very much on leaders of the community. If the MP in Bukit Batok can foster and cultivate a community that emphasizes on giving and helping those around us, then I believe that this will be the beginning something special, something we can be truly proud of as a community.

I want the residents and community for Bukit Batok, to adopt a different attitude and outlook. I want to be the enabler, the facilitator of a more compassionate, more giving society. I believe the MP can be that spark to ignite the generosity of spirit latent in all of us. I want to be such an MP.

Another initiative that we have proposed in our social programme is the Dollars and Sense  project.。

Retrenchments are coming thick and fast with the economic downturn. It’s going to get worse, much worse, ladies and gentlemen. What happens when you get retrenched? And I’m not just talking about our lower-wage workers, I’m talking about our Professionals and Managers and Engineers and Technicians too.

Ask our shipyard workers, our factory managers, our shop sales staff as our ship industry are rocked by the oil price crash, our factories relocate and our shops in our shopping malls close down one by one. I don’t care if your a sales assistant or the sales manager – when the economy is as bad as it is now, your job is not safe.

And when you find yourself layed-off what do you do? What do you do when you’re called in to your bosses office and told that you don’t have to come in tomorrow because your company is downsizing?

How do you prepare yourself and your family for such a scenario? Your income all of a sudden dries up but you still have to pay your housing loan, your children’s school expenses, your PUB bill, and buy food for your family?

Unexpected lay-offs cause severe strain on the entire family with serious social repercussions. Even though income stops, the bills don’t.

Our Dollars and Sense programme headed by Mr Tan Kin Lian will be able to help you plan ahead. You can’t find a more qualified profesional to head our team because Mr Tan is currently the President of the Financial Services Consumer Association and former CEO of NTUC Income.

Dollars and Sense will be in programme to provide financial guidance to help those of you who find yourselves in financial difficulties. In addition and for the longer term, I will push for the retrenchment insurance scheme for our retrenched workers. Here’s what we propose:

If a worker is retrenched, the scheme pays him/her 75% of last drawn salary for 1st 6 months, 50% for 2nd 6 months, and 25% for final 6 months.

The payout stops once the individual is re-employed or 18 months after retrenchment.

The payout is capped at the prevailing median wage (which is about $4,000 a month). In other words, a retrenched employee earning $3,200/month would be paid $2,400 for the first 6 months, $1,600 for the second 6 months and $800 for the final 6 months. But an employee who earns $10,000 a month, will received $3,000 for the first 6 months, $2,000  a month for the second 6 months and $1,000 a month for the final 6 months

The Ministry of Manpower will assist the retrenched individual to seek re-employment and help match his/her skill- and salary-level to new job where possible.

The individual can reject only up to 3 job offers.

Such a scheme is meant to help provide temporary and limited assistance to retrenched workers to tide them through the difficult time until they find another job. Employees, while you are still working, pay a small amount each month which will be deducted from your CPF and the government will foot the remainder of the bill.

The PAP says that such a scheme would breed a welfare state mentality and bankrupt our economy. This is not true because leading global economic powerhouses like Germany and the Scandinavian countries all have such retrenchment schemes. Asian economies like Japan, South korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong also have retrenchment insurance policies. Do any of these economies look like welfare states to you?

We can take the best practices of these economies and adapt them for Singapore.

Even economists at the Insitute of Policy Studies and NTU and even PAP MPs agree with our proposal to introduce such a scheme. If elected I will continue to push for this policy to help retrenched workers.

Mr Murali says he prefers to focus on helping you find re-employment. Yes, I know, I want that too but he is not the Minister of Trade and Industry or Minister of Manpower. In fact, it is his party that is not creating jobs for Singaporeans.

In all of last year, the government created only 100 – yes, you heard that right – 100 jobs for citizens and permanent residents. That means, voters of Bukit Batok, only one job was created per constituency throughout Singapore. How many of you here in Bukit Batok think you’re going to fight for that one job if and when you are retrenched?

Mr Lee Hsien Loong, in his May Day Rally on Sunday, said that the PAP’s system is better. He said: “So why not take advantage of the schemes – paid for by the Government – to get yourself employed instead of staying unemployed? Please support us and upgrade yourself, make yourself employable.” Yes, and we all live happily ever after. The End.

“Please upgrade yourself and make yourself employable.” Now why didn’t we all think of that? You mean we just paid him $2.4 million a year to Mr Lee so that he can tell us to upgrade ourselves and make ourselves employable?

I can hear Singaporeans say: Who dunno? Lid dat I oso can, what.

If you create only one hundred jobs a year and thousands are retrenched, then no matter how you upgrade yourselves what are the chances of you finding re-employment.

And the PAP continues with its foreign workers policy. We keep upgrading ourselves and the government keeps bringing in foreign workers who may not necessarily have better skills but who are cheaper. How do we compete like this?

Ladies and gentlemen, you may still have a job now but you never know when you are going to get retrenched. Don’t wait until you get called in and told that you have been layed-off before you start thinking about having someone to fight for retrenchment benefits for you. By then, it’s be too late.

If elected I will work with WP MPs and even PAP MPs who want to see retrenchment entitilements for workers. Why not? When we are elected we are elected to serve the people and MPs should work together for the good of the people instead of constantly bickering whether we belong to this party or that party. I will propose a retrenchment insurance scheme bill and I will work with fellow MPs to try to pass the bill.

My friends, what I have just told you is something that you must listen carefully because this affects you if you are studying now and entering the job market soon. Or if you are parents with children who are about to graduate, I ask you all to listen carefully because this will affect your children’s lives.

If you vote for the wrong person and for the wrong reason and he goes into Parliament and does not, will not speak up on this issue, your future is in much, much trouble. This is a by-election and it’s the perfect opportunity to send me into parliament to speak up for you and your children or your grandchildren on this issue.

Even for those of you who remain employed, how sure are you that you will be able to retire?

A few weeks ago, I was at the coffee shop in Blk 207 and talking to a retiree. He was retrenched because of the crash in oil prices and couldn’t get back his CPF savings because of the Minimum Sum Scheme. He said he went to see Mr David Ong but there was nothing the MP could do for him.

Recently, there was a Mr Phan Pang Chia who wrote a letter to the Today newspaper, pointing out that the  CPF Board had informed his wife that she would be able to start withdrawing a monthly payout from her CPF accountr when she hits 64. The CPF added that with her Retirement Account balance can last her another 64 years. Mr Phan asked the government why would his wife need her Retirement Account to last until the age of 128, when the oldest ever Singaporean was 115 years old?

This is the kind of unthinking government that we have, if you want to be generous. But if you want to be suspicious, then you would have to ask whether the government is withholding our CPF money because it doesn’t have enough funds to pay us all back because of its failed investments.

A few weeks ago the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank released a study which said that the cost of living makes Singapore one of the toughest countries to retire in. Nearly half of Singaporean pre-retirees say they would not be able to retire in the next 5 years. The global average is only 38 percent – Singapore is 50 percent. 30 percent say that they will never be able to retire fully – 30 percent – compared with 18 percent globally.

Respondents said the problem is the lack of savings or the burden of having dependents to look after. The head of HSBC said that the financial realities make retirement impossible for Singaporeans.

And yet, because of the CPF scheme we are the biggest savers in the world in terms of our retirement. How is it that despite this, we still don’t have enough to retire on?

What went wrong? I’ll tell you what went wrong.

The government has driven us to use our CPF money to buy HDB flats. It then jacks up HDB prices so that we have to use more and more of your CPF to buy our homes. Now what once belonged to you in your CPF account has gone to the government.

The government then takes these funds and goes around the world to invest them. With hundreds of billions of dollars at its disposal, the world will roll out the red carpet. But remember, this is not the government’s money, its your money.

This has left Singaporeans with little disposable income for our retirement. And the little that we have left after paying off our flats, the governmenmt now retains it under the Minimum Sum Scheme and tells us that it will return it to us in bits and pieces.

In another study, this one by Credit Lyonaise Securities Asia, it was found that 50 percent of households in Singapore have little or no savings. These families subsist from paycheck to paycheck and QUOTE leave them unable to cope with unexpected financial expenses. UNQUOTE

If a mishap should befall you, you and your family are but one major medical bill away from financial ruin. Accidents, as you know, can happen anytime to anyone.

Very few people have asked the necessary questions about our CPF money and our reserves. But there is one expert who studies what sovereign wealth funds do. His name is Chris Balding – Professor Chris Balding – from Peking University.

Singapore’s sovereign wealth funds are GIC and Temasek Holdings. GIC is chaired by PM Lee Hsien Loong and Temasek is run by his wife, Mdm Ho Ching.

Professor Balding has pointed out three problem areas with our sovereign wealth funds, in particular Temasek. The first is that Temasek Holdings says that its average annual return is 16% for 40 years.

The problem is that Singapore’s global stock returns average only 8% or less during this time. How does Temasek make such a claim?

Second, Singapore has become one of the most indebted countries in the world. This is despite the government telling us that it runs large surpluses on a regular basis. Professor Balding examined the publicly available data and concludes that there is about $800 billion that is unaccounted for from historical surpluses and financing operations and when the claimed interest is factored in.

Third, Professor Balding says that the returns claimed by Temasek and GIC cannot be reconciled.

I know it’s hard to follow all these financial terms and figures and, frankly, you don’t have to. What you have to understand is that this it is enormously important that we know what is happening to our reserves because a large part of this is our CPF funds.

If anything happens to these reserves I don’t care our rich or how poor you are, whether you live in The Jade or The Dew or in Blk 210A, you and I and the whole of our economy and our country is going to go down the drain.

As it is, we don’t know what is going on with our CPF reserves. But we do know one thing – the government continues to not want to return us back our savings by raising the minimum sum which the government will retain even after we retire. And then it keeps raising our retirement age from 62 to 65 and it’ll soon be 67. The CPF withdrawal age ill go up too.

Do we even know what is happening to our reserves. Has the government incurred hue losses in failed investments and cannot pay us back and then come up wth a scheme to retain our money? Remember, the CPF money is our money. The PAP is not doing us a favour by giving it back to us. We are entitled to get back our savings.

Get me into Parliament to find out what is going on with our reserves. I will call for the accounts to be made public and for a team of experts to comb through the numbers to see why there is all this uncertainty in the claims made by the GIC and Temasek Holdings.

We cannot remain so uninformed about the state of our reserves. The PAP is already the government, now is the time to put in Parliament someone who will ask the tough questions, the right questions on your behalf.

The other day, a lady resident asked me what plans are there for the middle-class. We have plans for the poor and the elderly but nothing for the sandwiched class.

My response to her is that the best proposal I can give her is to fight for retrenchment benefits for her if she gets retrenched and to free up her CPF savings for her retirement.

Now ask yourself this one important question: Do you think Mr Murali, if he is elected, is going to go to Parliament and question his party bosses these questions about the GIC, and Temasek and to fight to have your CPF savings returned to you and for retrenchment benefits for you?

Dear voters of Bukit Batok, these are serious matters that affect not just you but your children as well. You make the wrong choice and elect the wrong person, and when things start to happen, you will find that you won’t have anyone to speak up for you in Parliament. While you have this opportunity, make the right choice.

The PAP tells you that I have a bad character and that you shouldn’t vote for me. That’s all they have been saying for the past several days. One by one, the ministers have popped up to take shots at me, every single one of them attacking me very personally and very viciously.

But I don’t care. Unlike the PAP, I want to appeal to the good sense and good hearts of you, the Bukit Batok voters. I don’t want to see politics being so poisonous. I’ve see how it can ruin countries and if we continue down this path, we will tear our country apart.

If I have to play so dirty, to be so destructive and tear down my opponent so badly in order to win, then no, leave me out of it. Then I don’t want to win. As I said before, if I win, I want to win with honour, if I lose I want to lose with grace.

On Saturday, no matter who wins, I want to wish all the residents in Bukit Batok the very best. You deserve nothing less. If you choose Mr Murali as your MP, I will respect your wishes and I will continue to serve you in whatever way I can.

I’ll give you an example of what we mean by having the Bukit Batok’s residents at heart.  and on this I want to address Mr Murali directly.

For example, you just announced that you want to start a student mentorship programme for Bukit Batok. Even though it sounds suspiciously similar to our Pathfinder programme, I welcome it. If I don’t get elected and you do, then I look forward to you implementing this programme because at the end of the day, my foremost concern is that the youth in Bukit Batok get the kind of attention they need.

And regarding personal attacks, right from the word go when I learned that you were going to be the PAP candidate, I accorded you my utmost respect. I did it not because you were a lawyer or because you were rich or because you are the chairman of a PAP branch. I did it because you are a fellow human being.

I have asked my colleagues in the SDP not to attack you and your person, and I think we have kept our word. But sadly, even though Mr Tharman gave us his promise, your party colleagues have broken the promise repeatedly.

They have attacked me in the most personal and vicious of ways, even resorting to using made up newspaper headlines.

Even though I may not agree with you and your political views I’ve asked – and ensured – that our campaign does not attack you personally. I ask that you do the same with your campaign and ask Lee Hsien Loong, Goh Chok Tong, Halimah Yacob, Tan Chuan Jin, Grace Fu and others to stop engaging in such dirty politics.

I’m in charge of my campaign. If you are in charge of yours, you will ask your colleagues to stop their nonsense, and just as I have made sure that the SDP’s campaign remains clean and focused on what Bukit Batok residents care about, please ensure that yours does the same.

I say this because I want to use this opportunity to appeal to the best side of our people. Politiics can be used to divide or it can be used to unite us. As leaders, we have the responsibility to ensure that we use politics for the good of our nation.

I ask the PAP to have foresight, don’t win the battle in Bukit Batok but lose the war for Singapore. Our country cannot afford that divisiveness.

I have only seen you, my friends in Bukit Batok, as my friend, my fellow citizen whom I want to help and speak up for. If you support me, it is because I am someone who has earned your support, someone who has worked for 25 years to earn your trust. Not someone who can buy your vote, not someone who can give you more and more of what you want, and certainly not someone who feels entitled to be your MP.

In the past weeks, I have met many of you. I have chatted with you, I have laughed with you, and I have even sung Ji Pa Ban with you. Whether you are Chinese or Malay or Indian or Eurasian, many of you have expressed your support for me and I am grateful.

I have shaken your hands and you have looked into my eyes and say you support me. It’s not because you see me as Chinese or Malay or Indian, it’s because you see me as someone who cares about what happens to you and what happens to Singapore – regardless of the colour of my skin or yours.

You support me because you see me as someone who wasn’t just here 6 weeks ago but someone who started this journey 25 years ago, someone who stumbled many times along the way, was knocked down many times, but got up each and every time and pressed on. You saw someone who was so tired and weary during many parts of the journey and who was so tempted to give up but never did.

You see me not as a hero but as an ordinary guy who like lives like you in a 3-room HDB flat, who goes through what you are going through and because of this also see someone who understands – really understands – what you mean when you say you are hurting and that you want someone to speak up for you.

The PAP continues to attack my character. They’ve called me all sorts of names: cheat, liar, gangster, traitor, psychopath, they’ve sacked me, jailed me, sued me and made me bankrupt. But I’m still standing.

The taunts, the insults, the punishments, the attacks have been unrelenting. But I do not bow to those who mock me nor will I bend to those who attack me. I will not kneel before them because one cannot stand up for one’s principles, for one’s beliefs and for one’s people on bended knees.

As long and as hard as the struggle has been, I walk with my head held high. I can do this because it doesn’t matter who the PAP says I am. What matters is God knows who I am, my wife and my children know who I am, and, most important, I know who I am.

And because that which does not kill you, makes you stronger, I have grown stronger with every attack.

As my children get older they begin to understand what’s being said about their father in the newspapers and on TV. I want to tell them this.

An Lyn, E Lyn and Shaw Hur, as you watch this rally at home, I want to tell you that there are many things in life that I want to teach you as a father. But the most important lesson that I can impart to you is that we don’t ruin others in order to rise up, we don’t step on others dreams in order to fulfill ours, and we don’t ridicule others for not being like us.

Instead, we lift up our friends, we extend a hand to strangers and we forgive our enemies. We do what is good so that others may see the goodness in our hearts and want for themselves what they see in us. That is character. I want you never to forget this lesson.

My friends, don’t vote for Mr Murali because you believe what his colleagues say about me. Or don’t vote for me for me because I am Chinese. Vote for me because you have met me, because you have talked to me. Vote for because you know who I am. Because you are proud of me.

I want you to be proud of your MP, to say with pride that I’m from Bukit Batok and Chee Soon Juan is my MP not because I’m smarter or richer or more powerful but because you know that you have a friend, someone who cares about what happens to you and someone you know who stands by you and struggles with you and wakes up everyday to fight for you.

Thank you and good night.

 

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