My heartiest congratulations to the SDP. I am very proud of you. You have returned from the brink of defeat and garnered the support of 36.8 percent of Singaporeans. It is a remarkable feat for a party that was almost written off. Please keep you faith and return to represent us again.
Well close to 39.9 percent of us Singaporeans have registered our dissent for the ruling party. That percentage is set to grow when the citizens struggle with the challenges of daily life in the island.
Singaporeans will rise again to question these realities: rising healthcare, stressed school curriculum, rote educational practices. Ever increasing transport costs and overcrowded buses and trains. Declining job opportunities and depressed wages for the lower income groups. Foreigners preferred over citizens for jobs in many sectors.
Our electorate is maturing, the shackles and blinkers that bound and blinded them are breaking and dropping. People will become more aware and take the brave step towards change.
Be patient, 52 years of learned fear and earned insecurity will take some time to be de-conditioned. Singaporeans will recover to become their own persons and make informed decisions. Yes, the self-serving will always be with us, the blind may never see and others may doubt they can carry on without the familiar comforts, but enough of us have also stood up to voice our stand. At this time, this is sufficient, the next time, we will make clear inroads.
We have told the PAP that we are not pleased, if the party disregards the concerns of the ground, it will be held accountable in five years time. Once again, we will question the tax-exempt million dollar salaries and life time pensions for the leaders of the ruling party.
How is it that other men and women with similar if not better talent and training are willing to work for less to serve the people with rectitude and sincerity and resist the temptations of mammon while others from the PAP demand an exorbitant price from the taxpayers?
This is our country. This is our nation that existed before us and will exist after us, so let's look to a better future. We retreat not in defeat or failure, we will retreat to rethink and recover what is ours to cherish and love. This is a promise we owe to our children and their future.
Since 2006 till this day in 2011, we see a dramatic metamorphosis of SDP. It was once dismissed as a ragtag band of radicals led by Dr Chee and was villainised in mainstream media for being a radical party.
But fast forward to today, it has changed its image, so much so that it managed to recruit more good people into its rank and file: Mr Tan Jee Say, Dr Ang Yong Guan, Dr Vincent Wijeysingha, Dr James Gomez and it had won the support from highly-qualified professionals such as Prof. Tambyah to lend support for SDP's healthcare policies.
Despite SDP's longstanding existence, it must still be said that such achievements since 2006 are considered a baby step towards transforming its image as a credible party, and SDP this time has made it despite not winning any wards contested.
Dr Chee and folks, you all are heroes. You had changed the game the other way round. In the past, you folks were accused of using smear and character assassinations.
But this time round, the role was reversed: it was the MIWs who are using smear and all that, including TNP's coverage of SDP's 'protest march' to discredit you. On the contrary, you folks in SDP stood firm and steadfast, refusing to be drawn into the same smear shop as MIWs.
That's why, by all virtues, I personally agree wholeheartedly that SDP has indeed fought a principled fight, with integrity and for the just cause you had been championing. In that, despite your defeat, your defeat is glorious and honorable.
Please continue to keep up the good work, and not waste the foundation you had created for yourselves this GE. There are still much work to do. Please continue your outreach and if possible, walk the ground to build up rapport so that you can win over more people's heart with your sincerity.
Also, take this 5-year hiatus as an opportunity to evaluate your electoral strate, and also, recruit more heavyweights and maintain and expand your A-team formations. The key word here is continuity and sustainability. Don't be criticised by people for 'disappearing' after the elections. The work has only started since nomination day, and it has not ended yet. This is forever a work in progress.
As amateurish my above suggestions are, I hope they can be useful because they come from my own observation as a third-party in this election using a citizens' perspective. I'm sure SDP is capable of rejuvenating itself further and by 2016, will emerge as a stronger party which is credible. Like the Energizer battery commercial: never say die!