GE Daily Roundup: Manifesto Mayhem #3 – SPP in Mountbatten SMC

Singapore People’s Party – Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss: Campaign Manifesto for Mountbatten SMC


Campaign Slogan: Tireless In Mountbatten, Fearless In Parliament

Slogan score: 3.5/5

Yes, it’s long, but I do like the fact that it’s specific. It was an interesting choice to veer away from verbs, which are the easiest for readers to process, but the ideas communicated have enough resonance that it works overall. Thank you, mystery slogan writer, for not writing a slogan that gave me cancer.


Campaign Manifesto Highlights


Professionally run Town Council: working with incumbent to ensure orderly handover within 30 days of taking office, setting up of procurement committee with at least one chartered accountant within 60 days of taking office

I rather wish town councils were not on everyone’s mind, but unfortunately, they are. Gua gua gua. Do we have something specific to measure the TC effectiveness, like the Cockroach Sighting Index (CSI)? I can only imagine the ensuing conversations: “Yah, this year the CSI rose to 1.55 daily average from 1.25. How can liddat? Baygon not cheap leh!”


Transparency and accountability in Parliament: pushing the Government to consider releasing more non-classified information into the public domain, with an eventual view to legislating a Freedom of Information Act

An FOIA has been on my policy wishlist for a long time, and I really do hope we see the day that this happens. What might also be worth considering is pushing for an FOIA outright.


Focus on the elderly: help elderly in constituency understand and claim Silver Support Schemes, preserve existing bursaries, asking LTA to conduct feasibility study on installing a lift at the Kampong Arang overhead bridge

Tangible improvements to the community that facilitate better mobility for the elderly are great, but the need for communicating with the elderly about the support available to them is something largely ignored in campaign pledges. If this could work here, could it also work at a national level to improve the existing support network for the elderly everywhere? I think it also makes a huge difference if the communication is face-to-face, or through direct mailers. If it’s face-to-face interaction, then this might very well work.


Social mobility: set up a Mountbatten Social Mobility Bursary of $100,000, fundraised from the community, to benefit 100 young Singaporeans in the constituency over 2 years, aimed at helping those who are 15–21 years old and making the transition from ITE to polytechnic or polytechnic to university

I’m curious about the details of the fundraising, and if the fundraising will be limited to the community, or open to donations from anyone. If options like crowdfunding and matching donations from corporations are considered, this is a reasonable starting point in terms of the size of the bursary.


Community: keep rental prices affordable for hawkers by working with NEA, enhance feeder bus services, preserve community heritage. E.g. preserve at least three of the iconic Dakota Crescent residences and re-purpose the buildings as a design, creative and heritage space with a Mountbatten community museum, proactively involve animal welfare groups in animal concerns and activities in the community e.g. pet adoption drives, responsible pet owner education, community events at the Katong Dog Park Run

The community-related proposals here range from the basic and practical, like improving feeder bus routes and affordable rents for hawkers, to more niche community issues like heritage and animal welfare. At first glance, I thought the latter two might be written off as fluffy campaign pledges, but I think this is the sort of fine-grain improvement that we need more of in communities. It wouldn’t work in, say, Bishan (the museum would consist of a vegetable patch and one tombstone, and that would be it), but I think it could work for the Mountbatten community.


Overview: Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss’ (SPP) Mountbatten SMC Manifesto

I have only two concerns about this manifesto: first, the feasibility of the heritage preservation plans for Dakota Crescent, which seem to entail a fairly onerous project that will probably require the URA to play a significant role.

Second, the promise to keep hawker rental prices low by working with the NEA, which leads to the question of how this will happen. Otherwise, I’m intrigued by this manifesto, partly because this is the first SMC-specific campaign manifesto we’ve seen so far. It’s also refreshing that heritage conservation was not just mentioned, but one of the focal points of the five-point manifesto.

Full manifesto available online soon. Next up: I romance a bowl of bak chor mee, because that is all the time for flirting I have during campaign season.

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