The parliamentary elections are just around the corner and it is time to find out about the various political parties that will be running in the upcoming elections.
Who are you? What do they stand for? What is your track record?
In this series we will cover everything you need to know about the party so that you can better understand what is going on before you cast your vote.
After the collapse of the People & # 39; s Action Party (PAP) and the Worker & # 39; s Party (WP) we will deal with the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP).
A brief history of SDP
As one of the most popular opposition parties in Singapore, the SDP has introduced two icons in Singapore's political scene: current Secretary General Chee Soon Juan and ex-leader Chiam See Tong.
SDP's first successes were founded by Chiam in 1980 and were based on his popularity. Chiam has been active in the political scene for over 40 years and conquered Potong Pasir in GE1984. The seat was held from SDP to GE1997.
In 1993 the party struggle split the SDP in the middle. The central executive committee was split between Chee and Chiam due to a defamation scandal involving the PAP.
Chee accused the PAP of planning his discharge from the National University of Singapore, where he worked as a lecturer in psychology.
Chiam wanted to blame Chee's comments, but was overruled by other party leaders. The opposition leader was seized from his sec-gen post and parliamentary seat and left the SDP to join the newly formed Singapore People & # 39; s Party (SPP).
The SDP held seats in parliament until the 1997 parliamentary elections.
Credit: Vulcan Post
In a meteoric rise to power, Chee was chosen as the SDP's Sec gene. After the GE era in 1997, the SDP entered into a ten-year series of legal and public disputes with the PAP.
In 2006 Chee Soon Juan was sued by the PAP for bankruptcy and could not be elected until he was exempted from bankruptcy in 2015. The SDP's central executive committee was sued for defamation over an editorial on the National Kidney Foundation scandal.
The SDP was the first political party to put up a publicly gay candidate, Vincent Wijeysingha. However, Wijeysingha resigned from politics after being accused by Vivian Balakrishnan of having a "gay agenda" during GE2011.
In 2017, SDP initiated (and lost) a lawsuit against the PAP over the decision not to request a by-election in the Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC when PAP Halimah Yacob resigned to apply to become president.
What do they stand for?
SDP has a strong Singapore first policy. Its mission is to reduce the cost of living, liberalize the Central Provident Fund system, give priority to employment for Singaporeans, care for the poor and give young people opportunities.
Over the past two decades, the party has shown left-wing anti-establishment tendencies. The SDP organized rallies in Hong Lim Park during GE2011 and blasts the PAP openly for corruption and cronyism despite the risk of litigation.
The SDP has also accused the PAP of criticizing and then copying its political proposals. This includes ending the stream of education by 2024, increasing taxes on the top 5 percent of the workforce, introducing a minimum wage in the progressive wage model, bundling national health risks in Medishield Life and prioritizing Singaporean workers as part of the "Fair Consideration Framework".
For GE2020, the SDP has proposed guidelines that aim to protect Singaporeans from the effects of Covid-19. RESTART, a common insurance system, entitles redundant workers to 50 percent of their last salary for 18 months.
They also propose the RISE program for older people in Singapore in the bottom 80 percent to get a basic income of $ 500 a month and relieve families of the burden of supporting their parents.
SDP also rejects PAP's alleged decision to increase the population of Singapore to $ 10 million in its 4 Yes 1 No campaign. The PAP has accused the SDP of spreading misinformation about the $ 10 million population growth proposal, which was never officially promoted as a government policy
What do S & # 39; poreans think about SDP?
The SDP has willingly declared a sentence that the Singaporeans have included in their official mission to be "pah see bui zhao", a sentence in Fujian / Teochew dialect that means "You will never run even in the face of death" .
As one of the most outspoken opposition groups in Singapore, SDP members are often on trial for violating censorship laws or (allegedly) defaming PAP leaders.
Chee's name has become synonymous with civil disobedience. The SDP leader has been fined, arrested, and sued for various reasons, including because he protested without a license against a ban on Muslim headscarves at the Speakers Corner.
The SDP's history of ousting Chiam has also earned them a bad name from voters who viewed the incident as a betrayal of a beloved opposition icon.
Photo credit: mother ship
However, SDP continues to retain significant support, according to the surveys. The party's outspoken and sensitive opposition to the PAP has become an integral part of the political scene.
Results of past parliamentary elections
No SDP member has been elected to parliament since the 1997 election after Chiam's fall.
Until a comeback in GE2011, the SDP's share of the vote remained well below the national average. SDP contested four election divisions and, with 39.92 percent of the vote, was above the national average in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC.
The SDP's popularity in elections has only increased since then.
With GE2015, Chee returned to politics after bankruptcy. Under Chee's leadership, the SDP contested five electoral departments and interviewed Timah GRC in Holland-Bukit with 30.14 percent of the vote above the national average.
Where will you compete?
SDP will run in 5 electoral departments for GE2020, namely Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, Bukit Batok SMC, Bukit Panjang SMC and Yuhua SMC.
Eight SDP candidates compete in two teams of four against the PAP in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC and Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC.
Ex-presidential candidate and SDP member Tan Jee Say in particular will compete against Vivian Balakrishnan in Holland Bukit Timah GRC.
Sec-Gen Chee Soon Juan will fight PAP Murali Pillai in Bukit Batok, while three SDP members will compete as solo candidates in Bukit Batok SMC, Bukit Panjang SMC and Yuhua SMC.
Disclaimer: Vulcan Post does not endorse or endorse political parties.
You can find the latest election-related news on our GE 2020 microsite. Find out which constituency you belong to and who is running where on the campaign field.
Selected image source: Democratic Party of Singapore / Facebook