Manifesto

DPP Manifesto 30 march 2013

THE SPARK

We believe in RESPECT
Respect between the government, its citizens, neighbours,

colleagues, friends, employers and their employees.

Respect in partnerships between the government and the citizens.

Respect for solutions sought by our electorate. Be true, be empowered, be inspired.

 

THE IDEA

We are all important building blocks of society: participatory, egalitarian and equal in stature.

We are the true shareholders of our country. Through collective ownership and collaboration we can initiate change.

We strive to initiate action based on the core principle that every citizen is an agent of change.

We seek common network intelligence, not presumptuous right to information.

We work together to secure a better tomorrow and solidify words into action for the national transformation of our country.

We do this because we love our country.

 

THE METHOD

Every issue consists of interrelated factors and has to be tackled holistically.

Problem solving is a consultative process that taps into the network of open source intelligence rather than through the monopoly of knowledge.

Collaboration is our key process to grow as individuals, as citizens and as a country.

The best outcome is the consequence of cooperative actions founded on mutual respect.

 

THE BELIEF

We believe all Singaporeans are the stakeholders of the country.

We believe Singapore has an identity of its own: unique in its history and culture with its special place in the world.

We believe our collective identity, heritage and shared values are worth protecting.

We believe all issues have processes that engender policy and cultural change.

We believe the core values and best practices of our founding years can guide us to our future.

 

THE GREAT DISRUPTION SINCE INDEPENDENCE

The founding years was cemented in our pledge: the pursuit of “happiness, prosperity and progress” for our nation. This idealism need not be questionable.

The founding years imbibed the cultivation of change for the greater collective good. This practice need not be disrupted.

The founding years was engineered for the benefit of citizens. This process need not be relented.

 

THE VALUES

We believe that the competitive edge of our founding years was born from the inept understanding of the human condition to aspire for a better life.

We are inspired by the founding values that bear relevance even today:

  1. i)  Nation above community and society above self.
  2. ii)  Family as the basic unit of society
  3. iii)  Regard and community support for the individual
  4. iv)  Harmony of race and religion
  5. v)  Meritocracy above aristocracy

We believe in meritocracy.

  1. i)  Everyone has a unique potential and a contribution towards society
  2. ii)  Each contribution is an invaluable component of the national ecosystem.

 

GLOBALISATION

Research has shown that each city is unique and offers unique offerings to investors. As a country Singapore is better placed to focus on quality not quantity.

Market convergence does not equate to loss of sovereignty.

Our country pursues market convergence whilst we remain savvy about potential downsides of contagion effect, imported hyperinflation, depletion of resources, environmental degradation and corruption prevalent in other countries.

Good governance of a global city includes a meticulous assessment of the cost incurred on the base population to achieve certain national objectives.

The competitiveness of global cities is the result of the accumulation of high value services and not the agglomeration of low value providers. We propose which is cost vis-a-vis value proposition and not cheap vis-a-vis quantity.

 

LABOUR

Employment issues have become contentious. Wages have improved little or even remained stagnant in the last 20 years for the low and middle income workers.

All businesses need to have a social compact between employers and their employees. The key performance indicator of business should include the welfare of the worker and convergence with national social objectives. Jobs designed correctly can increase productivity, wages and profit. All jobs should be a source of pride and dignity to the worker, not a source of frustration over low wages and long work hours.

 

FAIR WAGE

There are effective models in developed economies where there are no minimum wage like in Denmark and Norway. In these countries, labour unions negotiate with employers regarding fair wage. In support of having a non-confrontational labour climate, the government should negotiate through TAFEP to benchmark decent wages in all clusters.

 

PRODUCTIVITY

The notion of “equal wage for equal work” should not be ruled out in the hiring process and decisions. This will ensure that competitive hiring will be based on quality, not cost. This provides equal footing for all new hirers be they Singaporeans or foreigners.

The issue of increasing productivity across sectors should work from both end of the spectrum. Provide reasonable access to labour to companies. At the same time, challenges built into the system so that companies will be forced into productivity.

 

THE WORKPLACE

A biased form of ‘colonisation’ has grown in some workplaces. More Singaporeans are being displaced by the employer’s preference for foreign workers.

The assumption that meritocracy will prevail in the free market has been prejudiced by hiring practices in several industries. Free market only functions effectively if other factors such as nepotism and discriminatory hiring is curtailed. The high presence of racial and nationality enclaves has emboldened certain groups to gain more affirmative action for their own kind. When racial and nationality enclaves grow, it does not bode well for the Singaporean worker who essentially becomes a minority in the company.

We reject the rhetoric that Singapore workers are less skilled than foreign ones. International rankings show clearly that Singaporean workers are sought after globally for example in the middle east where Singaporeans are paid equal or more than another worker from a developed country.

 

ELDER WORKERS

Our elder workers are the talent pool of untapped resource. The national economic strategy should include the productive capacity of such elder workers. Their participatory rate should grow on a par with other developed economies like Japan and Germany.

We need to create a functional and enforceable framework to ensure that their welfare is taken care of and that they are paid fairly and timely.

 

YOUNG PMETs

(Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians)

The last seven years has seen a disruption in the fair hiring of our young PMETs. Nepotism and discriminatory hiring has kept young PMETS out of sunrise industries. Current measures to root out nepotism and discriminatory hiring should also include measures to reverse the damage done.

 

FERTILITY

Workers welfare is interrelated to total fertility rate. Long hours at low productivity rob us of our private life. This affects our chances of finding a partner or releasing resource to care for more children. It is an unacceptable trade off. Our private life and time should be respected. This respect need to be inculcated in relationships between employer- employee and customer- service provider.

 

HEALTHCARE

The issues faced by the sandwich class are still largely ignored. There has been an effort to relive the financial burden. To care for the aged and a young family takes up energy, time and emotional stress. This links back to live work balance, unreasonable expectations of employers and the lack of labour protection.

The theory that each generation should pay its own way is not practiced in healthcare. The sandwich generation is expected to pay for the previous generation who were born before independence and have no CPF or retirement nest egg. We have to be mindful that the sandwich generation are largely not married and have no children. Who will pay for them ?

OUR NATIONAL PLEDGE

“We, the citizens of Singapore, pledge ourselves as one united people, regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society
based on justice and equality
so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation.”