Wednesday, 9 September 2015

GE2015: PAP holds lunchtime Fullerton Rally

LUNCHTIME RALLY RECAP: WATCH this short 4min clip of short snippets of speeches made by all the speakers. #GE2015 #PAP4SG Get breaking news, live updates, and exclusive content, on the go, please click:
Posted by People's Action Party on Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Vote for my team to lead Singapore forward: PM Lee
Good govt with good leaders will help Republic overcome challenges and stay successful, he says
By Joy Fang, TODAY, 8 Sep 2015

Vote for the team that can take Singapore forward, a team that can form a good Government with good leaders, who can get their politics right, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, as he urged Singaporeans to vote for the People’s Action Party (PAP) to guide the country forward.

Speaking at a PAP lunch-time rally at the promenade area beside UOB Plaza today (Sept 8), Mr Lee, who is the party’s secretary-general, reiterated that the PAP has worked hard to improve lives, whether it is the Pioneer Generation Package for seniors, affordable housing for young couples, or SkillsFuture and rising wages for workers.

“The results speak for themselves”, he said. “This is what the PAP would like to do with you, if you give us the chance.”

Secretary General Lee Hsien Loong: "We are the trustees and the stewards of Singapore. Our job - to take care of this, it is given to us in trust, to improve, to take good care of it and hand over to the next generation."Get breaking news, live updates, and exclusive content, on the go, please click:
Posted by People's Action Party on Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The nation faces challenges from the region, he said, but he is confident they can be overcome, so long as the country stands together as one nation.

That is the country’s mantra and “secret recipe” all these years, he added. “Why is it a secret? Not that people don’t know it, but people can’t do it. We can do it!”

He noted that with a changing population, politics in Singapore will continue to change and Singaporeans’ interests will be more diverse.

There is, therefore, a need to work harder to form a national consensus for the country to move ahead together.

Staying united means getting politics right, he said, and to do that, one has to vote for the right people who will determine the right kind of politics and policies and put the country on the right direction in the future.

A good Government, with good leaders and a strong team of Singaporeans giving them feedback and ideas, will keep Singapore successful tomorrow, he said.

“And that’s how Mr Lee Kuan Yew did it,” he said, adding that the late Mr Lee did not build the nation by himself. Instead he had a very strong team, such as Mr Goh Keng Swee, Mr S Rajaratnam, Mr Lim Kim San, Mr Hon Sui Sen, Mr Othman Wok.

Mr Goh Chok Tong took over with a strong team as well, such as with Dr Tony Tan and Mr Ong Teng Cheong, and after that, he and his team tried their best to take Singapore forward, said Mr Lee.

Stressing that the third generation leaders are not getting younger, Mr Lee said they have to ready a younger team to take over. The “nucleus” of a younger team is there, he said, naming Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, Mr Chan Chun Sing, Mr Lawrence Wong and Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, among others.

“It’s starting to come together, but I need more, you need more, so this election, I’m adding more. People say ‘jia you’ (add oil), but here, it’s ‘jia liao’, add more substance,” he said, citing Mr Ng Chee Meng, Mr Ong Ye Kung and Mr Chee Hong Tat as examples.

They are people “who can make a contribution ... who can show their commitment and prove themselves and in due course will be able to form that bond with you, with your children. We need a deep bench, and the best possible team for Singapore,” he said.

Secretary General Lee Hsien Loong recounted what late Mr Lee said at the past Fullerton rallies. He added: "So long as PAP is around, no one can knock it down."Get breaking news, live updates, and exclusive content, on the go, please click:
Posted by People's Action Party on Monday, September 7, 2015

Quoting a speech made by founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew 35 years ago, he added that whoever governs Singapore “must have that iron in him”.

Mr Lee was joined by Mr Heng, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and new candidates Mr Ong, Mr Victor Lye, Mr Tan Wu Meng, Mr Amrin Amin, Mr Darryl David and Mr Cheryl Chan, who, with the exception of Mr Goh, gave their own speeches ranging from four to 20 minutes during the two hour-long rally.

Describing Singapore’s Jubilee year as not a destination, but the start of a new chapter, Mr Lee said Singaporeans should pause and ask themselves where they were headed. “That’s why I’ve called for elections, to seek a new mandate at this key turning point in our history, to take Singapore forward, beyond SG50,” he said.

He expressed confidence that the future of Singapore will be even better than today, where its people can do well and achieve their aspirations.

Posing questions to the raucous crowd, who responded with cheers and shouts, Mr Lee asked: “Do we have the same spirit as the pioneers? Do we want to protect and build upon what we have achieved? Yes, of course! Do we want our children to live better lives than us, just like our parents did for us? Of course!”

If so, the country has to “buckle down and be prepared to work hard, sacrifice for one another, and most of all sacrifice for a better tomorrow for our children”, he added.

Mr Lee said while young people may worry about their future, he reassured them that they have every reason to be confident and shouldn’t be afraid to pursue their dreams.

Chase that Rainbow! Secretary General Lee Hsien Loong encouraged all young Singaporeans to take the leap of faith and go forth to chase the rainbow.#GE2015 #PAP4SGGet breaking news, live updates, and exclusive content, on the go, please click:
Posted by People's Action Party on Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Recalling a Youth Day celebration where he had told the young that their future is theirs to make, he added: “We’ve given them all that we can, resources, education, guidance, support. It’s up to you - make the most of it. Chase that rainbow, Go for it!”

Mr Lee who also hit out at the Opposition’s proposals and approach to politics in his speech, pointed out that politics is not just about policies, but also about people.

PM Lee on WP
If ever the Workers' Party becomes the Government - as they aspire to - Singapore is finished: PM Lee Hsien Loong #GE2015
Posted by Channel NewsAsia Singapore on Tuesday, September 8, 2015

To produce results for Singapore, he needs the right team to work with him and with residents, he said as he urged for support for all his candidates standing in all constituencies.

No matter the constituency, the candidates standing there are standing on behalf of the PAP, he said. “So by voting for him, you’re voting for me, you’re voting for my team, you’re voting for my programmes, and you’re voting for my promise. And the promise is — we will work with you to make Singapore better for you and your children.”

“Vote for the party who has never let you down. We will work with you, we will fight for you, we will work and fight for Singapore.”

"That Iron Must be Inside Our Heart. As long as PAP is in charge, nobody is knocking it down."
Like father. Like son. PM Lee at Fullerton today: "That Iron Must be Inside Our Heart. As long as PAP is in charge, nobody is knocking it down."
Posted by Fabrications About The PAP on Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Ruling party will be weakened if it loses many seats: Ong Ye Kung
By Jermyn Chow, Defence Correspondent, The Straits Times, 9 Sep 2015

No matter how dominant the People's Action Party (PAP) appears, the ruling party will be undermined and weakened if it loses many seats, said Sembawang GRC candidate Ong Ye Kung.

"Worse, it can be compelled to become populist," said Mr Ong at the PAP's lunchtime rally yesterday.

Taking aim at the opposition's argument that there should be 20 or 30 opposition MPs in Parliament, the second-time candidate said: "So instead of talking about the SG100 vision, we may end up spending a lot of effort in politicking."

Mr Ong said asking voters to elect more opposition MPs to pressure the Government to work even harder is like a boss bypassing the hardworking guy, promoting the other guy who does less but talks a lot more. "It cannot be. I feel that our politics should not work this way," said Mr Ong.

"Singapore's politics must be about the ability to balance continuity as well as change," he added.

Mr Ong compared today's political divide with the one that caused the Barisan Sosialis to split from the PAP in 1961. Principles divided both sides then, said Mr Ong, adding that they disagreed on big things like the merger with Malaysia and socialism.

Mr Ong also spoke of his late father Ong Lian Teng, saying that the former Barisan Sosialis MP would understand that his son joined the PAP "because it is the only system that works for Singapore".

Today, the PAP system is still working and is still relevant, said Mr Ong, even after its founder Lee Kuan Yew stepped down 25 years ago and died in March this year. That is because the PAP system has been built up over decades "through knowledge, through skills, through experience in running the country".

But it is also evolving, said Mr Ong, adding that the PAP has been listening "more and more" to people over the years and adopting their views.

"More and more inclusive social policies have been implemented to counter the global trend of income disparity. After 2011, and after we lost in Aljunied, upgrading continued in Aljunied," he said.

"It does take courage to say that the current system is not working. Let's tear it down, build another one. Let's go for a revolution.

"But I think in today's Singapore, it takes even greater courage to say the system is still working. It needs to evolve, and so work with it and (let it)... undergo a process of evolution, not revolution."

A good education can flourish only if S'pore succeeds: Heng Swee Keat
The Straits Times, 9 Sep 2015

When a primary school dropout makes it to polytechnic and a 50-year-old woman enrols at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), it shows that Singapore's education system provides opportunities to bring out the best in everyone, said Education Minister Heng Swee Keat.

"That is why I'm so committed to making every school a good school, because every child is a child of Singapore, every adult is a member of our society," he said yesterday at the People's Action Party (PAP) lunchtime rally at the promenade outside UOB Plaza.

Whether it is the ITE, polytechnic, university or the SkillsFuture scheme to promote continual education and training, the focus is on broadening pathways to success, he said.

But ultimately, a good education alone is not enough, said Mr Heng, who leads the PAP's five-member team in Tampines GRC.

"What do our students do when they finish school? Do they have jobs to go to? Do they have continuing opportunities to train, to learn? It all depends on one thing.

It depends on whether Singapore succeeds. If Singapore fails, the best education we give to our children will just mean one thing, that they have to go to other countries to find opportunities. Do we want that?"

PAP newcomer Amrin Amin offered himself as an example of what goes right in an education system that offers opportunities to all. A candidate in Sembawang GRC, he told the crowd at the rally: "My parents took on multiple jobs to support us. I went to ordinary schools in Singapore - I am now a lawyer."

He said it was unlikely that a minority-race individual from a background like his would have as many good opportunities in another country.

He also did not think a two- or three-party system would fulfil the aspirations of minority communities.

The PAP candidate in single-seat Fengshan, Ms Cheryl Chan, said that with a strong team of leaders in place, Singaporeans will be assured that meritocracy will prevail for another 50 years.

Another new face, Mr Darryl David, a father of two who is a candidate in Ang Mo Kio GRC, said his concern is providing quality after- care for families with young children.

Govt acting on PMET concerns: Lim Swee Say
He stresses Govt's commitment to get firms to develop strong 'Singaporean core'
By Wong Siew Ying, The Straits Times, 9 Sep 2015

The Government is acting on the concerns of professional, managerial, executive and technical (PMET) employees who have been bearing the brunt of competition from foreigners in the workplace.

"I feel their frustration and stress," said Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say at the People's Action Party (PAP) lunchtime rally yesterday.

But he noted that efforts to moderate the inflow of foreign professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) have paid off. The annual increase of Employment Pass and S-Pass holders - referring to foreign professionals and foreign mid-level skilled staff respectively - has fallen by 70 per cent since measures were announced in Budget 2010. Mr Lim also emphasised the Government's commitment to get companies to develop a strong "Singaporean core" of PMEs in the workforce.

Outlining what he called "very important immediate priorities", he said the Government was looking closely at where concentrations of foreign PMEs were found here - by geographical location, company, industry and even department.

Mr Lim did not give specific examples, but there have been complaints in the past of some banks, or some firms' IT departments, having a high concentration of foreigners. Although these foreigners were making good contributions to the economy, he said, it was undesirable for them to be concentrated in certain locations, industries or specific departments in organisations.

He said the Government will continue to scrutinise companies that are "double-weak" - those that do not have a strong core of Singaporean employees and do not do enough to nurture Singaporean PMEs.

Another priority is to speed up the transfer of knowledge and expertise from foreign PMEs to Singaporeans so that local workers will be able to drive the economy in future. There needs to be more leadership development for Singaporean employees too, and this is where the SkillsFuture initiative can help to nurture promising Singaporeans to become future business leaders.

Against the backdrop of a more difficult global environment, he said, Singapore experienced four downturns in six years from 1997 to 2003, and another during the global financial crisis in 2008.

"Maybe the next one is already on its way here," he said.

Still, Singapore is doing much better than most other countries, with low youth unemployment and rising median wages for those in PMET jobs. In nominal terms, he said, the median wage of this group rose by more than 35 per cent in the last five years, and after offsetting inflation, increased 20 per cent.

He said measures to tighten the inflow of foreign workers have helped to keep the ratio of local workers to foreigners steady at 2:1.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and jobs also featured in the speech by PAP newcomer Chee Hong Tat, a candidate for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.

"For our SMEs to grow, they need a strong government, one that is not based on populism but based on sound policies, one that has long- term vision, one that can put policies into practice," said Mr Chee, the former second permanent secretary at the Trade and Industry Ministry.

He criticised the Workers' Party's proposal to freeze the intake of foreign workers, saying it would further "squeeze" SMEs. He also questioned the opposition's sudden interest in helping small businesses.

"Only during election time (do they) suddenly make noise, suddenly come out, pretend that they are doing something to help our SMEs," he said.

#GE2015: Kiss92 FM's Arnold Gay and assistant political editor Rachel Chang pick the highlights from PM Lee's speech like how he channelled Mr Lee Kuan Yew and highlighted future leaders like Mr Ong Ye Kung.
Posted by The Straits Times on Tuesday, September 8, 2015

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