Guórén Wéi Xiān
|Secretary-General||Tan Jee Say|
|Founded||25 May 2014|
|Colours||Red & blue|
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History and political developmentEdit
On 22 March 2015, SingFirst unveiled a new 12-member central executive committee (CEC) with five new faces at its inaugural dinner. Three members of the previous 10-member CEC stepped down. They were director of an education company Loke Pak Hoe, who was assistant secretary-general, architect Fatimah Akhthar, who was assistant treasurer and communications professional Fahmi Rais.
The party's logo is a stylized adaptation of the simple heart logo Tan Jee Say used when campaigning as a presidential candidate in the 2011 presidential elections.
The party was present in a meeting with six other opposition parties (Reform Party, Singapore Democratic Party, People's Power Party, Democratic Progressive Party, National Solidarity Party (NSP) and a possible new party formed by former NSP chief Lim Tean) and former People's Action Party MP Tan Cheng Bock on the possibility of forming a coalition for the next election with Dr Tan as the head.
Objectives and policiesEdit
SingFirst aims to abolish the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and increase social spending.
In its manifesto for GE2015, the party states it will:
- Restructure the economy by making it much less dependent on cheap low-skilled foreign labour as it depresses wage levels, lowers overall productivity, sustains low-skill industries and adds to over-crowding. It will review the need to give very favourable foreign-worker quotas to certain industries that are highly dependent on foreign workers since this special treatment is unfair to other industries and distorts manpower policies. For example, shipyards employ 100,000 foreign workers out of a total workforce of 120,000.
- Place high priority on developing local enterprises, for example, small and medium enterprises into major regional or global firms. Grants for development capital will be provided to help them strike out into new areas especially in the high-tech industry. The party has identified two sectors that are sustainable over the long term: education and healthcare. SMEs can develop their expertise in these areas. The party intends to deal with rising rental costs that have affected these businesses.
- Encourage priority to the employment of Singaporeans across all sectors but particularly at PMET and senior management levels. Foreigners should only be hired where specialist skills are missing in Singaporeans. Government-linked companies should start the trend by enrolling more Singaporeans in the executive and management positions.
- Review policies that put Singaporeans at a disadvantage compared to foreign personnel working in Singapore. On the national-service obligation of Singaporean men, the party will review the two-year national-service period in light of technological progress and new organisational methods and training, so the military training period can be shortened meaningfully.
Tan Jee Say said in a televised forum on 1 September 2015 that his party did not want the government to issue S Passes to foreigners. Amongst the passes that the Ministry of Manpower (Singapore) issues, the S Pass allows mid-level skilled personnel to work in Singapore. Applicants need to earn at least S$2,200 a month and have the relevant qualifications and work experience.
Organization and structureEdit
Central executive councilEdit
As of 22 March 2015:
- Ang Yong Guan 洪永元, chairman
- Tan Peng Ann, vice chairman (resigned after GE 2015)
- Tan Jee Say 陈如斯, secretary-general
- Winston Lim, assistant secretary-general
- David Foo Ming Jin, treasurer
- Michael Chia
- David Tan
- Mohamed Randy Ashmooni
- Leow Pei Shan (resigned Jul 2015)
- Sukhdev Singh Gill
- Patrick Heng
- Wong Chee Wai
The party is led by Tan Jee Say, the party's secretary-general. He is a scholar, former civil servant, former presidential candidate and an Oxford alumni.
GE2015 was the first election for Singaporeans First. SingFirst lost 78% to 22% against the incumbent People Action’s Party (PAP) in Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency (GRC), the former constituency of Lee Kuan Yew. SingFirst also lost 79% to 21% in Jurong Group Representation Constituency (GRC), the largest margin of defeat for any party in a GRC during GE2015.
Being a new political party, SingFirst lacked defined branding and this made its performance dip.[speculation?] A month after the election, Tan Jee Say met leaders of other minor parties to discuss the possibility of an alliance.
- Spykerman, Kimberly (25 May 2014). "Tan Jee Say launches new political party". Channel NewsAsia. Singapore. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
- "Breaking News: SINGAPOREANS FIRST has been successfully registered as a society by the Registry of Societies". Archived from the original on 2014-09-10.
- "Singaporeans First unveils CEC".
- Mediacorp Channel 5, Political forum GE2015, 8 pm, 1 September 2015
-  Ministry of Manpower website
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-13. Retrieved 2015-09-14.