The Reform Party 5-year Master Plan: Towards a Brighter Future for 2016Published: 13th May 2011
The Reform Party is pleased to announce its plan for the next five years: “The Reform Party 5-year Master Plan: Towards a Brighter Future for 2016″.
As a Party our work for GE2016 started on the Monday that GE2011 finished. The response from the Public was even swifter than that. Outreach campaign volunteers, polling and counting agents, those attending our rallies and supporters in general started coming forward to sign up as members and to pledge their help in the early hours of Sunday morning. We thank all of them.
There is no doubt that campaigning in an election is seen as a rite of passage by the public and a necessary step towards establishing ourselves on the electoral map. Although we did not win any seats we must not forget that The Reform Party is the first new political Party in Singapore to contest in a GE for over 20 years. This fact alone has changed the Singaporean political landscape permanently.
We fielded 11 candidates and won a total of 4.3 % of votes cast in our first election. This makes us by no means the smallest Party contesting nor the least successful, despite being newest. In fact, only 2 years in our current form and crippled by a media blackout during the campaigning period, our results were still about 10% higher across the board as compared to say, the results for GE2006 of a similar sized Party established for 30 years.
We are greatly encouraged by the evidence that there is an audience receptive to our message. The focus now until GE 2016 will be to build our brand, get our message out to a larger audience and grow and consolidate the Party based on success and best practice already identified. The luxury of 4-5 years gives RP an excellent opportunity to put in place the mechanisms for growth, which had to take a lower priority whilst all focus was on the campaign for GE 2011.
- We will continue to build on Opposition harmony and alliances already established.
On May 07, 2011, 86,300 Singaporeans voted RP. We will build on this incredible number by strengthening ties already established with residents in West Coast and winning over new hearts and minds one by one, through continued outreach activity.
- We will continue working on our 5 year Plan for West Coast and have already started producing similar plans for Radin Mas and Pioneer.
We will soon strengthen our geographical base by moving our Party HQ to the West Coast area and establishing additional branch offices in Radin Mas and Pioneer. A supporter has already come forward with the offer of a loan of commercial space for that purpose. Secondly, we will be organizing our membership along regional lines due to the overwhelming response from supporters on the ground wishing to join as members.
- Chapters for Radin Mas, Pioneer and West Coast were established at a meeting of the Central Executive Committee this week and we expect other Chapters to follow.
Policies not Personalities
The Reform Party is a manifesto-based Party and in fact our manifesto was unveiled in 2010 but is still not widely recognized.
- Over the next 5 years we will focus on expanding disseminating and explaining our manifesto through the distribution of printed material, online interaction and live debates and forums.
Internal Growth and Consolidation
- We have co-opted two new members into the CEC this week and have identified several other potential CEC members.
- We will also be focusing on identifying new candidates for 2016 and thank those who have already come forward expressing their interest in standing.
The Reform Party had a large and well organized and extremely dedicated volunteer base for GE2011. It was this strong base that enabled us to put together a new team to contest Ang Mo Kio at a late stage, establishing democratic principles in yet another corner of Singapore.
- Over the next four years we will build on that base and at least double that number to 400-600 hundred strong for 2016.
Our outreach teams are hard working, organized and well versed in issues on the ground. They made innovative use of new media and social networking sites to identify actual residents’ concerns and produce concrete proposals for improvement.
- Several potential leaders have been identified from their work on the ground in West Coast and over the next 5 years those leaders will focus on training a similar outreach momentum for Radin Mas and Pioneer SMCs.
We currently have a Youth Wing and a Women’s Wing. We have canvassed our Membership from the Singaporean Malay community and they have said that they are against the idea of a separate Malay bureau or Wing at this time. They wish the Party to continue in its current inclusive form. We will continue to ensure representation from our Malay community membership on CEC, in leadership positions and as candidates in GE2016.
We may set up a Seniors’ Wing, if our membership expresses this desire.
Our innovative programme of events for the public will continue with talks, debates, forums, fundraisers, anniversary dinners and cultural celebrations.
- The Party’s weekly Thursday Open House, where the public can meet and discuss manifesto policy with candidates and CEC, reconvened yesterday, May 12th, at our Smith Street location. It was well attended and several people came along specifically to sign up as members.
Not only did the results of GE 2011 clearly show that there is a desire for our message but in fact it can be seen that many aspects of the RP message in one form or another were picked up and echoed by many of the other Opposition Parties. This shows us that we are on the right track but after only 2 years (in our current active form) we still are too small and unknown to have the brand recognition required to get our message across.
- In the next 5 years we will focus on getting our message on the benefits of pluralistic democracy and our policy proposals out to all Singaporeans.
A message from Ms Ho Soak Harn, leader of The Reform Party Women’s Wing and candidate for West Coast GRC 2011
The Reform Party has always been an innovative and pioneering Party. For example we were the first Alternative Party to form a Women’s Wing. The aims of the Women’s Wing are to encourage women to stand up and participate in the cause of Reform, to represent women’s and family issues in our fight for a liberal democracy and to grow the Party’s female membership base. The Reform Party’s vision for Singapore is one of a people-oriented, diverse and democratic community, making full use of our finest resource – our people, which includes both men and women.
Our strong Women’s Wing allowed us to field two women candidates in GE 2011 and we hope to field twice that many for GE2016 . The Reform Party’s Women’s Wing will shortly be introducing their own 5 year plan for growth and consolidation to run alongside the Central Party plan. We will also detail our continued exciting schedule of events.
This week our CEC established a Women’s Wing chapter for West Coast GRC under the leadership of a local resident member and we will follow with chapters for Radin Mas and Pioneer.
The Women’s Wing most successful event in the run up to GE 2011 was a “Film Screening, Wine & Cheese Gala Night” in November 2010. The programme included merchandise sales and an innovative “auction of services”. It attracted a significant turnout and a record amount was raised in aid of the Party’s election campaign. We hope to stage many more similarly successful events.
Amongst the guests stimulated by that event were key female figures from SPP, who expressed at that time the intention of following our lead by forming a WW of their own.
We understand they are now putting that plan into place and if that comes to fruition then our Women’s Wing looks forward to working informally with them and indeed any other women’s wings formed by alternative Parties. Mrs. Lina Chiam and Ms. Sylvia Lim will continue to be our role models as outstanding Women Parliamentarians.
A message from Ms Vignes Ramachandran, deputy head of The Young Reformers
The Young Reformers is a constituent branch of the Reform Party catering to Party members under the age of thirty five. The Reform Party Set up its Youth Wing in order to build on its appeal amongst generation X and Y, to support the Party on outreach and during election campaigns and to identify future Party leaders from amongst its membership. In the run up to GE 2011 we unveiled a new logo and kick-started a weekly quiz. We will be introducing our own detailed 5 year plan to run concurrently with the Central Party plan.
In brief that plan will focus on our proposals for:
- Increasing the membership of the Party amongst our demographic
- Providing volunteers from among young Singaporeans to help the Party fight GE 2016
- Hosting innovative events to inform young individuals about the Reform Party’s activities and programmes
- Organising activities and structuring growth around regional bases.