TODAY: Workers’ Party updates its manifesto

WITH whispers of elections around the corner, the Workers’ Party (WP) launched its updated manifesto on Saturday.

The 52-page booklet outlines the party’s stand on issues and policies, covering areas from economic and judicial policies to media and sports and recreation.

On civil liberties, the party takes the stand that the Group Representation Constituency be abolished and that electoral boundaries be announced at least one year before a General Election is called, and the rationale for changes be explained.

The party has also taken up the cause for a fairer judiciary system, pointing out, among other things, that the Court of Appeal should not have the power to enhance the sentence, that an arrested person should have early access to a lawyer, and that there should be equal access to case information for the defence and prosecution.

On housing policies, it calls for a fair allocation of public housing subsidies for all citizens, including singles, as well as a second but lower cash grant for second time buyers.

On policies related to the arts and media, the WP calls for political films to be allowed under the Films Act. The manifesto, last updated in 1994, took one year to work on, said WP chief Low Thia Khiang.

“This shows that the WP is serious about politics,” said Mr Low.

It went through a more comprehensive consultation process than previous manifestos, culling feedback from members of the public as well as experts. With about 200 active members, in the coming election, the party has new candidates to pick from.

Asked how he feels about WP being the opposition party to watch, Mr Low said: “I don’t know. Better don’t watch too much. It’s better to watch the PAP to see what they’re doing.” – TEO HWEE NAK

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