General Election is upon us now and it’s time to get educated on the different political parties that will be contesting in the upcoming election.
Who are they? What do they stand for? What is their track record?
In this series, we will cover everything you need to know about the party so you can have a better understanding of what they’re about before you cast your votes.
Following our breakdown of the other political parties in Singapore, we take a look at Singapore’s youngest opposition party, Red Dot United (RDU), in the last part of our series.
A Quick History Of RDU
Red Dot United was founded in May 2020 by former Progress Singapore Party members Ravi Philemon and Michelle Lee, together with other former members of other political parties. This makes RDU the youngest political party in Singapore.
Apparently, when the RDU was first formed, it was merely a few days before the PSP announced that the two individuals have resigned from PSP.
Ravi previously served as the chief editor of The Online Citizen and as lead editor of The Independent Singapore. Before joining PSP, he was a member of the National Solidarity Party (NSP) and before that, the Singapore People’s Party (SPP).
He was one of 10 people named in a controversial video made by an expelled member, claiming that the PSP was funded by foreign sources, a charge the party has denied.
He has since said that the video was not the direct cause of his decision to quit, but “a series of events” that were linked to that incident.
Michelle was formerly a member of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), and was an SDP candidate for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC during the 2011 General Election.
On her resignation from PSP, she has expressed that she was not able to balance political involvement and family commitments during her time in PSP, as she was involved in many areas in PSP ranging from communications to other groundwork.
On why both of them decided to start a new party instead of joining existing opposition parties, Michelle said that the duo “see a distinct space in the [political] landscape and that there is still a need for more opposition parties in Singapore.
Since RDU was formed, Ravi has been serving as the Secretary-General of RDU while Michelle is the Chairman of the party.
What Do They Stand For?
In its set of policy recommendations, titled ‘A Charter for our Future – Captains of our Own Lives’, the party said it wanted to help Singaporeans be the “captains of their own lives and families” in three main ways.
The three main ways are through improving their lives and reducing anxiety, creating more options, and getting ready for the future.
RDU said that individuals should be allowed to withdraw all their Central Provident Fund (CPF) money at retirement age. This will give senior citizens the chance to “live their lives with dignity” and the flexibility to make their own retirement plans, it said.
To increase Singapore’s fertility rate, the RDU said the government should incentivise workplaces to develop family-friendly policies through the likes of tax rebates, reliefs or work permits.
Paid parental leave should go up from the present 18 weeks to 26 weeks, and each parent must take at least eight weeks.
Recognition should also be given to unpaid homemaking work, Red Dot United wrote. CPF contributions should be made to parents who decide to stay home to look after their children.
It also called for the impending GST rate increase from 7 per cent to 9 per cent to be halted for the next five years.
What Do S’poreans Think About RDU?
Red Dot United has been advocating freedom of expression and being “captains of their own lives and families”, which is pertinent in Singapore where Singaporeans have expressed that the ruling party has the main say on the country’s policies.
On their Facebook page, they have been championing their vision to be the Singaporean’s voice in Parliament.
For Singaporeans, they see the RDU as another venue to contest the policies rolled out by ruling party PAP. It helps to have another listening ear and voice from the opposition side.
The members of RDU include people from all walks of life, and Ravi has added that they would be inviting Singaporeans from all walks of life to join the party.
“We are not an elite political party. We recognise all people have value and we welcome all Singaporeans to join us,” he said.
Where Will They Be Contesting?
Like the PSP, this year’s General Election will be their first one and they had put forward candidates to contest in the five-seat Jurong GRC — the only constituency where it will be contesting this GE.
The team consists of Michelle Lee, Ravi Philemon, theatre director Alec Tok, legal engineer Nicholas Tang and entrepreneur-author Liyana Dhamirah.
The RDU team has admitted that it will be an uphill battle against Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s team.
Tharman has been an MP of Jurong GRC since 2001 and it was the PAP’s best-performing constituency during GE 2015, garnering 79.3 per cent of the vote share against the Singaporeans First team.
Disclaimer: Vulcan Post does not support or endorse any political parties.
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Featured Image Credit: Red Dot United