Why the SDP way is the future

In Political governance on 04/02/2016 at 11:42 am

We now know how a bunch of social workers whose poster gal ids PAP MP Kate Spade Tin have made fools of themselves in parly over the issue on NCMPs. It’s chief called them duckweed, then wanted one of the posts. I’ll blog on this after CNY as I want to hear the gossip on why WP did what they did. As I saw the situation, the WP could have had its cake and eat it: opposing the existence of the NCMP posts while pushing for Danirl Goh to get the post that Ah Lian didn’t want.

But it really double confirms that the SDP approach is the better way.

Photoshopped movie poster on the Singapore 2015 election by PixelGod

Too bad that this didn’t happen. He and his team got trashed but that doesn’t detract from fact, as I’ve said before the only oppo party with a coherent and comprehensive set of policies is the SDP*. Now I have many issues with the funding of these policies, and Chee’s trust of the neighbours, but the SDP is not coming into power any time soon. So the existence of these policies allows easier debate of the Hard Truths, if the sheep S’poreans want to do so. And the indications are that the lambs are more willing than their elders to do so.

SDP realised a few yrs ago that no opposition party can get into Parliament simply on the basis of a protest vote, i.e., a vote against the PAP**. An opposition party also needs a pro-party vote, i.e., people consciously voting for the party. The sum total of the entire protest vote plus a significant pro-party vote will then get an opposition party across the finish line. (Derek da Cunha, a political observer, during the 2015 GE campaign)

The problem is that while it has the plan right, it’s not a party that is trusted by those willing to vote for Dr Tan Cheng Bock (my short hand for the swing voter) in preference to the PAP’s preferred candidate. WP is the only Oppo party  that these people trust. So let’s hope the WP starts formulating policies rather than say “We are PAP Lite”:

*SDP’s list of policies

These papers have been widely reported online and are available on this website. We list them below:

Ethical Salaries For A Public Service Centred Government (2011)
Caring For All Singaporeans: The SDP National Healthcare Plan (2012)
Housing A Nation: Holistic Policies For Affordable Homes (2013)
Building A People: Sound Policies For A Secure Future (2013)
A Singapore For All Singaporeans: Addressing The Concerns Of The Malay Community(2014)
Educating For Creativity And Equality: An Agenda For Transformation (2014)
A New Economic Vision: Towrads Innovation, Equal Opportunity and Compassion (2015)
A Promise To The Residents: The SDP Town Council Management Plan (2015)

In addition, we published Shadow Budgets for 2012 and 2013.

Singapore Democrats


**Worked for WP but George Yeo and his wimmin from hell were too atas for voters. Didn’t work in 2015. WP Low’s insight




  1. the main problem with the sdp is that its “ideas” are too westernized and most of the local voters don’t buy its too westernized “ideas”.

  2. I have always thought that SDP is the only credible opposition party coming with alternative policy that is worth looking into. I do not agree with all of them but at least they took the time to formulate and present us with an alternative choice. Unlike the PAP lite party.

    With Leon and Daniel in the parly, I hope things will be different for the WP else in the next election, we may left with only 1 oppo MP.

  3. The debate in parliament was a win-win for both the WP and PAP. WP criticizes the NCMP scheme because it doesn’t want voters to think that having NCMPs is enough. They succeeded in dampening the enthusiasm that came when the government announced the expansion of the NCMP scheme from 9 to 12 opposition best losers. By strongly criticizing the scheme and calling it “duckweed on a pond”, Low has dampened the enthusiasm that the public felt about the loosening of PAP’s grip in parliament.

    Some are angry at him for that. The PAP supporters are unhappy that the joyous occasion was ruined.

    The contradiction about WP seeking the NCMP seat to be transferred when they had just criticized the scheme, was not as impactful as it could have been. PAP had a golden opportunity here but screwed up. The problem in the PAP’s argument was that Lee Li Lian had already decided not to take the NCMP seat that night when she lost. It’s far-fetched to call that a political manoeuvre now, 5 months after she announced her decision on TV. And even during GE2011, WP chief Low had said that he won’t be taking a NCMP seat. By now, most people already know that WP doesn’t allow elected MPs to return as NCMPs when they are voted out. Lee Li Lian’s decision just confirmed that by providing a precedent.

    The second problem for the PAP is that people do want Associate Professor Daniel Goh in parliament as a NCMP. They don’t care how he gets it, but they would rejoice if he got it. In Singapore, elite credentials appeal to both sides of the political debate. There are PAP supporters who are okay with a professor becoming a NCMP.

    PAP should have attacked the WP MPs for being indecisive and hypocritical and just stopped there. But instead PAP went on to blame Lee Li Lian and called the whole drama a ‘political manoeuvre”. What an overkill! That was the dumbest thing they could have done! Like Daniel Goh said, it’s unfair for PAP to attack a former parliamentary colleague and make such personal attacks when she is not even there to defend herself!

    Charles Chong, the incumbent Punggol East MP, also screwed up by wading into this farce, expressing disappointment that unlike his time in Joo Chiat, this time there is no NCMP there to help his residents have a voice. He also said “WP should not bring someone into parliament by the backdoor way”. He made himself look like a fool here since we all know which party the backdoor route is associated with. Charles Chong is no Sitoh. He lacks tact.

    The whole debate in parliament has an unlikely beneficiary- former MP Lee Li Lian. She has gained public sympathy. Why else do you think many Punggol East residents turned up for the CNY shopping trip she organized recently? (

    Most people have accepted that PAP and WP have equally lost the moral high ground in the NCMP debate. If anything, people are frustrated with the political bickering and are less interested to follow politics. This is not the way to a First World Parliament. The main parties should excite the electorate not put them into a slumber. Focus has shifted from the WP ‘A’ team who are already known for their stance and performance to the WP ‘B’ team (Daniel Goh, Dennis Tan and Leon Perera) who are new faces, have stellar credentials but lack a track record. WP’s success or failure in this term will be decided by the NCMPs alone. The ‘B’ team will take centre stage. .

  4. Well said above. PAP screwed up by unnecessarily attacking lee li lian. It had plenty of ammo to use with towkay low. No political muscle my foot really. He knows how he’s best made use of the scheme for his party.

    The B team is truly one to watch for now. Leon may have no roots as his chief says, but I think he’s displayed more muscle than CSM anyway.

    As for the SDP, there’s just one problem. Chee himself. Several who helped to craft those policies already left because of him. To continue with the party you just have to be a Chee supporter. It will not matter what you are be it anti LGBT or ex ISA detainee. Or even drug user for that matter. And Chee has yet to win over people the way towkay low has. Next five years is crucial. If Paul Tambyah quits, SDP is gone again then.

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