Progress Singapore Party Secretary-General Dr Tan Cheng Bock took aim at Deputy Prime Minister Minister Heng Swee Keat and the India-Singapore CECA at the launch of his new party on Saturday (3 Aug).
Speaking about job priority for Singaporeans, he said that the CECA threatens jobs for Singaporeans and leaves Singaporeans vulnerable.
“PSP will call for a review of the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA). This agreement was negotiated by our current DPM Heng Swee Keat and signed in 2005. Among the terms, CECA, allowed the free movement of professionals in 127 sectors to enter and work in Singapore.”
DPM Heng is widely-expected to take over the leadership of the PAP and be appointed as Singapore’s next Prime Minister once current PM, Lee Hsien Loong, steps down.
Dr Tan added that the government must be more transparent with the public about the benefits of the agreement.
“We need the government to publish a balance sheet for CECA, to show how Singapore and Singaporeans have benefitted from this agreement, how many local jobs have gone to Indian Professionals and how many Singaporeans have gone to India? We need accountability.”
Dr Tan also said that the PSP will push for the voting age to be lowered.
“At 18, they are old enough to drive, the girls enter university and the boys enter into National Service. Since they have a duty to defend our country, these 18 year olds should also have the right to elect their leaders. They are mature enough to take on the responsibility of active citizenry, to understand policies and vote for the government they want. This is the voting age of most countries around the world, in all of the other ASEAN countries.”
Regarding concrete policies, Dr Tan said that the PSP will reveal more details of its proposals closer to the next General Election.