Opposition party the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has set out its economic vision for Singapore, calling for a move away from the ruling People’s Action Party’s economic strategy of “GDP-growth-at-all-cost where crass consumerism prevails”.
The party has drawn up an alternative economic programme, details of which will be released on Feb 7. It gave a hint as to what to expect in a statement on its website on Thursday (Jan 22), saying it envisioned a Singapore where the gross domestic product (GDP) is “not the end-all and be-all of our existence”.
Repeating themes similar to those from its election manifesto in the 2011 General Election (GE), the SDP said it intends to cultivate a less materialistic society and develop the country in a more holistic manner. “In a system that emphasises elitism, Singaporeans in the lower rungs of society are neglected and exploited,” the party said. “We seek to empower those who are economically powerless.”
The party also wants to make the economic system more transparent and accountable and minimise the number of government-linked companies. To foster innovation, the SDP will propose measures to build Singapore into a knowledge-based society with small and medium enterprises at the forefront.
Adding that Singapore must also upgrade the skills and minds of its workers, the SDP said a workforce "free of the shackles of government control" will be more confident, happier and, therefore, more productive.
Last month, the SDP announced it would begin preparing for the next GE, which is due to be held by January 2017.
The party will also mark its 35th anniversary with a series of activities.