SG Climate Rally 2021: The People in Crisis will centre the voices of ordinary people who will speak on the effects of climate change and the climate action required. The rally will happen on 5 Dec 2021 (Sunday), 3–5pm on Zoom and will be streamed on Facebook.
The people have spoken at our rally, and we want our leaders to urgently do more and treat it not just as an environmental crisis, but also an economic, labour, housing, educational, social, and familial issue as well.
Please write to our ministers using the draft template which summarises the rally demands! If you can, you are encouraged to personalise the letter before sending to make it more effective.
Here’s what you can do to help make our rally a great experience:
Turn on your camera to recreate the feeling of seeing each other at a physical rally, and support our speakers
Be ready to share your experiences and thoughts at the open mic segments, creative offerings (music, dance, spoken word, etc.), or submit written responses at http://tinyurl.com/peopleincrisisopenmic
We would like to invite you to prepare physical or virtual placards in the spirit of the 2019 rally and display them at the closing activity to make your voice heard — it can be as simple as a few words written on a piece of paper!
We want to create a welcoming, inclusive and safe experience for everyone. Be open and respectful of others, honour their stories, and listen to each other with care. Treat what other rallygoers share as anonymous outside of the rally space, unless with their consent.
We are committed to making our event accessible to the widest possible audience. During the Rally, we will be providing:
Singapore Sign Language (SgSL) interpretation
Live closed captions and transcription (Auto-generated)
A transcript will be made available to participants who request for it
A screen reader-friendly version of the programme is also available here:
SPEAKERS & PERFORMERS
Our speakers come from diverse fields ranging from healthcare, housing, the environment, labour, the arts, students/youth and the Southeast Asian region, and will share action that is urgently needed for a green and just transition in the face of climate change:
Firdaus Sani (Orang Laut SG)
K Karthikeyan (United Workers of Petroleum Industry)
Liyana Dhamirah (author of Homeless)
Louis Chua (Workers' Party)
Marlina (volunteer in rental flat neighbourhood)
Paul Tambyah (infectious diseases expert)
Terese (NTU Divest)
Wan Rizal (PAP "Action for Green Towns" Chairman
Zakir Hossain Khokan (migrant writer)
with performances by Ash, Ben & Sam Driscoll, and Subsonic Eye
To make the rally a success, we need as many attendees as possible so that it's clear that the climate crisis affects everyone. Help spread the word by sharing our social media posts or copying the text and poster here!
We are also doing a book giveaway: to win a copy of Eating Chilli Crab in the Anthropocene, share about the rally on Instagram or Facebook and tag us!
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
We'd encourage everyone to register on Zoom so that you can participate more fully by speaking in the open mic and other interactive segments, and showing your support to our speakers!
We would like to invite you to prepare physical or virtual placards in the spirit of the 2019 rally, and prepare creative offerings (music, dance, spoken word etc.) for the open mic.
There will also be avenues to submit written testimonials anonymously, if you are uncomfortable sharing publicly. Sign language interpretation and automatic live transcription will be available too!
SPEAKERS & PERFORMERS
On Health, Housing and Climate
We've talked a lot about the parallels between the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate crisis, and how care work is important climate work. Proper housing is also a prerequisite for good physical and mental health.
But our well-being is also tied to the environment, and new developments should fall within ecological limits, as LepakInSG's Our Wild Spaces report argues.
At our rally, hear from people who are deeply involved in ensuring everyone - including the most marginalised - have access to these basic needs.
Paul Ananth Tambyah is an infectious diseases physician and professor of Medicine. He is President of the Asia Pacific Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infection and President elect of the International Society of Infectious Diseases. He is also active in civil society and was a founding member of MARUAH and is also Chairman of the Singapore Democratic Party.
Marlina is a 43 year old mother of five beautiful children. She has been living in a rental flat neighbourhood for 11 years. She has volunteered in various community development activities in her neighbourhood for 3 years, where she has had many in-depth conversations with her neighbours about issues such as living space, health, and food security. When she finds the time, Marlina also manages a home-based snacks business.
Jeanette started getting involved in sustainability through a chance encounter of a YouTube video on zero waste living. 5 years later, she's a vegetarian, regularly volunteers at the Zero Waste Packaging Initiative, holds the Presidency for SIT's Action for Environment Conservation club, and works with LepakInSg to raise awareness on Land Use Planning in Singapore.
“I strongly believe that everyone can take action to combat the climate crisis, because everyone is affected by the climate crisis. Small actions like starting a discussion on a piece of climate news can bring us one step towards better understanding on this complex topic, and working together to fight it. I believe that the little actions I take will influence someone around me to take action.”
Having gone through a period of homelessness, Liyana has emerged stronger through her struggles and even wrote the bestselling & award-winning book, “Homeless: The Untold Story of a Mother’s Struggle in Crazy Rich Singapore”. Liyana's life experiences also inspired her to start Virtual Assistants Singapore as an entrepreneur, and run for the 2020 Singapore General Election as a candidate with Red Dot United. Work and life as a mother of four keeps her busy, but in between it all, Liyana actively advocates for lower-income and underprivileged families.
"I'm speaking at SG Climate Rally 2021 as someone who has been homeless before, and understands that issues of housing insecurity and income inequality are deeply interconnected with the climate crisis. It is unfair that those lower-income families will bear the brunt of climate change, when their carbon footprint is negligible compared to the carbon emissions generated by wealthier households and corporations."
On Communities and Climate
The climate crisis will impact those who did the least to cause it, and this is why climate justice is one of our core principles.
The actions we take in Singapore can also have impact beyond our borders — last year we participated in the Asia Climate Rally, and also raised awareness on issues affecting communities in the region, like the Orang Asli in Malaysia. NTU Divest also represents students, such as in the recent #NoMoreTop Down movement.
These speakers advocate for communities that we should pay extra attention to as we fight for a green transition, to ensure that nobody is unduly burdened by it.
Bianca is a researcher in the energy and sustainability sector. As a member of the Burmese diaspora in Singapore, Bianca has helped highlight the struggles and plight of the people in Myanmar since the Feb 2021 Coup on Singaporean social media. They have also conducted fundraising campaigns for the Civil Disobedient Movement and for oxygen supply networks in vulnerable townships and districts.
Firdaus Sani is a fourth-generation Orang Laut, whose ancestry can be traced to the Riau islands. In 2020, Firdaus started Orang Laut Singapore (@oranglautsg), a page dedicated to retelling stories of Pulau Semakau, one of Singapore’s Southern Islands, through photographs and stories based on his family's experience. Firdaus also offers traditional Orang Laut cuisine, home-cooked by his mother Mdm Nooraini at www.oranglaut.sg. He works at an environmental non-profit and strives to bridge the gap between sustainability and island traditions.
Terese (she/her) is a second-year undergraduate student studying environmental science and public policy. She is also a member of NTU Divest and an aspiring environmental journalist / nature writer. Through raising awareness on issues related to the environment, Terese hopes to draw more people into the global climate movement.
“I am participating in this rally because I believe that telling stories is one powerful way of inspiring climate action. Climate change is an intersectional issue, and so must climate action be...Besides campaigning for the university's complete divestment from fossil fuels, our work has also influenced the university's Sustainability Manifesto and policies on wildlife handling."
On Labour and Climate
On Labour Day this year, SGCR held an open meeting in support of a petition calling for better rights for private-hire drivers and food delivery riders. The pandemic also revealed our migrant workers' poor living conditions, where even today they do not have full freedom to leave their dorms.
For a green transition to succeed, it must ensure that workers are protected and given opportunities to transition to green jobs with fair wages. Workers did not cause the climate crisis, they should therefore not have to pay for it.
K Karthikeyan is currently Executive Secretary of the United Workers of Petroleum Industry (UWPI). A wage freeze in 1986 led him to form the Singapore Petrochemical Complex Employees' Union (SPCEU), and he eventually negotiated a collective agreement that saw company staff receive backdated bonuses as well as wage increments. Mr Karthikeyan has been serving the Union for 35 years, and many other roles including Vice-President of the NTUC Central Committee and Nominated Member of Parliament.
“As a union, my biggest worry is whether our workers can adapt and change to new environments and re-skill to work in renewable energy and in the production of electricity.”
Zakir Hossain Khokan is a community organizer, prize-winning poet, freelance journalist, writer, editor, photographer, organizer, social entrepreneur, speaker at TEDx Singapore and various social platforms. He and a migrant–local volunteer team have been raising awareness of the climate crisis, mental health, promoting diversity, and empowering migrant community through literature, reading, photography, film, blood donation drive, book fair, panel discussion, human library, stage poetry play, art exhibition, book publishing, and other art activities from “Migrant Writers of Singapore”, “Bangladesh Book Fair, Singapore”, “One Bag One Book” and “Migrant Worker Photography Festival”. Zakir is from Bangladesh and works as a project quality controller at construction industry.
Louis Chua is a member of The Workers’ Party and Member of Parliament representing the Rivervale division of Sengkang Group Representation Constituency (GRC). He is also an equity research analyst at a global bank.
“We need to recognise the climate emergency for what it is today, and it is important for all of us to speak up because we can, should, and must do more.”
Dr Wan Rizal is passionate about education and sports and champions the upholding of social mobility. He was a PhD candidate at Nanyang Technological University and specialises in Human Behaviour. Rizal obtained the Gold Medal Award from Rotary International in 2005 and was a NTU PhD scholar. Prior to that he was a P.E teacher for 12 years where his passion for teaching and in the area of Physical education and sports began.
He is currently a Senior Conexus Manager where he oversees research in Health and Wellness related projects. Concurrently, he is also a Senior Lecturer at Republic Polytechnic, School of Sports, Health and Leisure where he teaches Heath & Wellness, Human Motor Control & Learning as well as Sports Coaching.
He is active in community work as he strongly believes in giving back to the community. Previously, he was a member of the Citizen Consultative Committee for Pasir Ris East and Punggol East constituencies. Rizal is the Member of Parliament (Elect) for Jalan Besar GRC.
On the Arts and Climate
Apart from the energy and comfort radiating through their art, the musicians we've chosen to perform at the rally also use music to speak for the causes they believe in: from building a better relationship with the natural world, to talking about issues affecting their communities. We hope they will give you strength to fight for a better world.
Sam Driscoll is a singer/songwriter who first found internet fame as the "angmoh" on YouTube talking about Singaporean culture. He slowly moved from comedy to music, recording covers on YouTube and dabbling in writing original material.
Benedict Tan is a singer who has explored various genres from jazz, acoustic pop and everything inbetween. He writes original songs once in a blue moon and talks about fish in his day job.
Ash (aka. ashisdead) is a 20-year-old rapper-producer based in Singapore. As a teenager, Ash turned to rap as a distraction from the darkness that he found himself in. Hip-Hop was, to him, the shining light in his life during a period of self-destructive entrapment. Having grown up in an impoverished neighbourhood, his experiences influenced him to give voice to the voiceless and represent the disenfranchised. The rapper then developed his alter-ego, ashisdead, to explore and understand the darker, more twisted side of his psyche.
As ashisdead, he has no filter – he expresses himself unabashedly, disregarding the opinions and reservations of others. Ash places an importance on illuminating all sides of his story – the good, the bad, and the untouched.
Beginning in 2017 as five friends formed through dreampop-centred kinship, Subsonic Eye craft noise rock with earth-inflected parallels, brought to life through adventures in Singaporean forests and a wide-eyed love for the natural world.
“We’re participating because we believe in everything SG Climate Rally fights for. We believe that people have all the power in their hands to bring about a greener and more kind future.”
Emcees and Closing
Last but not least, our emcees Phoebe and Ziyad will be your hosts for the entire rally, while SGCR member Kristian will give a closing speech to tie together all the demands and concerns from our amazing speakers.
Phoebe Rae is an advocate at heart, especially when it comes to the climate crisis, social injustices and empathy for this vast world of greys we live in. With her background in communication studies, she hopes to inspire people to join the movement towards a liveable planet for all.
Ziyad Bagharib is a Singaporean who grew up in Tampines. He sells sports gear for a living. On the side, he makes furniture out of wood. An avid outdoor enthusiast, he loves trekking, camping, fishing and kayaking - especially at Pulau Ubin.
Kristian (he/him/his) is a member of SG Climate Rally. Most recently, he co-wrote and co-performed Brown Is Haram (2021) at The Substation, a performance-lecture on minority-race narratives. He was also a contributing author for white: behind mental health stigma (2020), an anthology on mental health in Singapore.