The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) is “completely committed” to the defence of Singapore, but what it wants is more transparency in spending, said Dr Paul Tambyah on Sunday (Sep 6). The candidate for Holland-Bukit Timah Group Representation Constituency (GRC) was responding to comments from People’s Action Party (PAP) candidate Christopher De Souza - also contesting that GRC - that the SDP was jeopardising the sovereignty of Singapore with its proposal to halve the defence budget so as to fund a national healthcare plan. “The SDP is completely committed to the defence of Singapore,” said Dr Tambyah, a medical doctor who said he enlisted in 1983 and served for 31 years. “What the SDP is calling for is transparency and accountability in all government spending, including defence.” “We’re asking for smart defence spending. There are many questions which have been raised, for example of the F35 fighter, which has been called the fighter plane which cannot fight. It would be good for issues that involve huge amounts of taxpayer dollars and have had serious concerns raised by other international experts to be debated openly,” he said. “These issues have been debated even in countries like Turkey and Israel which are fighting wars right now. There’s no reason why they cannot be debated in Singapore.” Speaking at the SPD’s rally held at Jurong East Stadium, Dr Tambyah also responded to other criticism from PAP candidates for the Holland-Bukit Timah division. On Saturday, Mr Liang Eng Hwa had criticised the SDP for suggesting a minimum wage for foreign workers, saying this would drive up costs for businesses.