ON MAY 7, you will be at the polling station making a decision.
When you make that decision, it may be good if you ask yourself: "Are you better off than you were five years ago?"
Is it easier for you to buy the things that you want now, compared to five years ago? Do you know of more or less people who are working harder and working longer hours?
Is it easier for you to cope with your bills now, compared to five years ago? Do you find more or less of our older aunties and uncles working manual jobs?
During the founding years, many of our older Singaporeans have made great contributions and personal sacrifices to help build the Singapore of today.
They dutifully served their national service. Most started work from young, without the opportunity of a good education, and contributed to our economy.
Years after independence, we accepted the "two is enough" policy, as the Government saw rapid population growth as a threat to living standards.
In 1999, Singaporeans accepted the need to cut the CPF contribution rate from 40 per cent to 30 per cent to save jobs.
We accepted later, CPF withdrawals and a higher minimum sum.
We also accepted ministerial pay increases to ensure that we have the best people to serve the people.
In these years of developing our country, Singaporeans have proven to be understanding and willing to sacrifice for the greater good.
We have been fully supportive of the Government's vision to make Singapore into a world-class city, so that Singaporeans can look forward to a "Swiss" standard of living.
But has this promise been delivered? Despite the strong economic growth that we have attained, the fruits of these economic benefits have not been evenly distributed.
While the old are worried about whether they will have enough to cope with the rising cost of living, the young are worried about their job prospects, and the middle-aged are worried about their employability.
We can do better.
Our earlier generations have done a lot to make sure that our generation has a life better than theirs. It is now our turn.
This General Election is not a time for you to ask what you can get out of it.
It is a once-in-five-years opportunity for you to ask, "What choice can I make?", to steer the country in the right direction.
It is a time for you to ask, "What can I do right?", to ensure that our next generation will have a better life than ours.
We have to look beyond the short-term benefits and focus on the longer-term well-being of our nation.
Do you want change in our immigration policy? Do you want change in HDB policies? Do you want our country to have fewer and fewer babies, and more and more foreign labour?
Nothing comes for free.
If we want change, we have to look beyond estate upgrading plans. Ten years from now, our population may be 6.5 million. What do we do if we have negative productivity growth and low birth rate then? What do we do if we are forced to take in more foreigners to grow our economy, despite our limited living space?
We can change that.
We can start a new chapter for Singapore. A chapter written by ordinary Singaporeans. A chapter written with a different approach. The approach of giving more to those with the most, and then hope it will trickle down, did not work.
What works for the people of Singapore is to not just focus on the talents and the privileged, but on the people in the street.
What our Government needs to focus on is not tax and spend, but a commitment to invest in better Singaporean jobs, better transport, better health care, and better education that emphasises developing our students' potential.
And most important of all, bringing the people of Singapore together, and ensuring that we develop an environment to unleash the potential and creativity of our people so that we can innovate, create value and succeed globally.
On May 7, we need to vote for our future.
We can choose hope over fear; unity over conformity; and power-sharing over power concentrated in the hands of a few, so that we can bring the best out of ourselves, so that we can come together as one nation, and one people to do the right thing and make the right choice.
That is what is at stake. Our future is at stake. Together, we can start a new chapter for Singapore. A chapter written by Singaporeans for Singaporeans.
Political Broadcast by National Solidarity Party, 28th April 2011.
Political broadcasts on April 28:
» PAP: Making tomorrow better for all our citizens
» NSP: Let's write a new chapter, Singapore
» WP: Move towards First World Parliament
» SDP: We will make your voice heard
» RP: Wake from your slumber, dare to dream again
» SPP: Hold the Government accountable to you
» SDA: A heart for the people, Singaporeans first