Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs), Kebun Baru Single Member Constituency (SMC) and Yio Chu Kang SMC Post-National Day Rally Dialogue - Voices of YOUths

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Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs), Kebun Baru Single Member Constituency (SMC) and Yio Chu Kang SMC Post-National Day Rally (NDR) Dialogue - Voices of YOUths

National Youth Council, Ang Mo Kio GRC, Kebun Baru SMC and Yio Chu Kang SMC co-organised a Post-NDR dialogue on 24 September 2023 involving 58 youths and the following GRAs:

  • Mr Kwek Hian Chuan Henry, GRA to Kebun Bahru GROs
  • Mr Yip Hon Weng, GRA to Yio Chu Kang GROs
  • Mr Gan Thiam Poh, GRA to Ang Mo Kio GRC GROs
  • Mr Darryl David, GRA to Ang Mo Kio GRC GROs
  • Ms Ng Ling Ling, GRA to Ang Mo Kio GRC GROs

The session discussed five topics: (i) economy and cost of living, (ii) housing, (iii) active ageing, (iv) future plans, (v) sustainability and (vi) mental wellness. 


Topic: Economy and Cost of Living

Discussion points from breakout groups:

  • Participants said that rising costs made them feel pressured to sustain themselves financially while studying and planning for the future. They suggested that the Government consider providing longer-term financial assistance compared to one-time Goods & Services Tax (GST) payouts.
  • Participants also said that Singaporeans may not be fully aware of policies implemented by the Government, and thus find the support provided insufficient. They suggested that the Government reach out to Singaporeans more regularly on policy updates.
  • Participants said that employees should continue to upskill to remain relevant, and school curricula should be updated to help students remain relevant to the job market.


Topic: Housing

Discussion points from breakout groups:

  • Participants acknowledged the Government’s efforts to make housing more affordable for Singaporeans by introducing the new housing framework in classifying flats as “Standard”, “Plus”, or “Prime”.
  • Participants said that the Housing Development Board (HDB) should prioritise Singaporeans with more urgent housing needs and provide temporary measures for those affected by the long waiting time for Build-To-Order (BTO) flats.


Key insights from panel dialogue:

Participants asked via Pigeonhole whether there would be a higher priority for people who applied for flats to stay near parents suffering from mobility loss.

  • Mr Kwek shared that while it would be more challenging to cater to such cases in locations with higher demand, he encouraged homebuyers whose parents had serious health issues to send appeals for special consideration.
  • Mr Yip said that while policies catered to most Singaporeans, the Government also understood that the needs of individuals differed, and as such, fringe cases with strong reasons were encouraged to make appeals.


A participant asked how housing could be made more affordable to give citizens greater confidence in their ability to care for themselves and their parents.

  • Mr Kwek said that the demand for public housing had increased over the years and that supply was greatly affected due to COVID-19. He said that the housing market was stabilising as HDB continued to deliver on backlogs and that there would be 40,000 new houses (BTO and private) by the end of the year, which would help moderate the prices in the housing market.
  • Mr Kwek also said that the Government was committed to building 100,000 new flats between 2021 and 2025.
  • Mr Gan added that the relocation of the Paya Lebar Air Base for housing development by 2030 would ease demand for housing. He said that the Government intended to help meet housing aspirations of Singaporeans, and that included ensuring that housing remained affordable.


A participant asked if first-timers who did not own any property would be given priority over older couples who were currently staying in public housing when applying under the BTO scheme.

  • Mr Kwek said that the Government understood the needs of first-time buyers, such as young families with children. He said that these groups were already provided an additional chance in the computerised balloting system.


Topic: Active Ageing

Discussion points from breakout groups:

  • Participants acknowledged the Government’s efforts to help seniors age well, e.g. Active Ageing Centres to encourage the elderly to interact with one another and form a community. They also suggested that more assistance be provided for caregivers to better support their needs, such as flexible working hours and priority when applying for public housing near parents’ homes.
  • Participants suggested that the Government could enhance applications like Healthy 365 and LumiHealth to include more incentives for seniors to encourage them to adopt healthier lifestyles. 


Topic: Future Plans

Discussion points from breakout groups:

  • Participants said that the majority of youths were unaware of the policy-making process. They suggested having more avenues for broadbased youths to better understand policy considerations and tradeoffs. They also suggested having consultation platforms for Singaporeans to enquire about policies conveniently.


Key insights from panel dialogue:

A participant shared that youths were disinterested in attending dialogues with political office holders due to the lack of accountability, and asked if the feedback would be shared with the relevant agencies. 

  • Mr David said that while short-term outcomes might not be observable, the feedback from dialogues and other platforms such as Government Parliamentary Committees and REACH would be shared with respective Government agencies through various channels.
  • Mr Kwek said that the policy-making process involved trade-offs and as such, it would have given the impression that some feedback had been neglected. He said that the Government would continue to work closely with Singaporeans to make appropriate policy adjustments to meet citizens’ varying needs.
  • Mr Kwek shared that the Government valued the inputs of youths and was committed to helping them achieve their aspirations for their future Singapore.  


Topic: Sustainability

Discussion points from breakout groups:

  • Participants said that the Government should continue to educate Singaporeans on sustainability issues and the measures put in place, such as targets and milestones achieved for Singapore’s sustainability goals. They said that these forms of education outreach should be inclusive enough for Singaporeans who were less digitally literate to understand.
  • Participants said that public perception of a sustainable lifestyle was that it was expensive and difficult to achieve. They suggested that in addition to incentives, more information should be made readily available to guide and encourage Singaporeans to adopt more sustainable habits.  

Key insights from panel dialogue:

Participants asked via Pigeonhole if Singapore could become self-sustainable to overcome its current vulnerability to external forces and susceptibility to outside influence.

  • Mr Yip said that Singapore had to continue to remain vigilant and prepared as the country was small and lacked natural resources. He said that Singapore was exploring various ways to be self-sustainable but was impeded by land constraints. 
  • Mr David shared that with these constraints, Singapore would continue to diversify economic contacts and establish strong diplomatic relationships to prevent supply lines from being cut off.
  • Ms Ng said that the Government had positioned Singapore as an innovation and technological hub, adding value to global investors to ensure that Singapore’s economy continued to grow and remain resilient. 


Topic: Mental Wellness

Discussion points from breakout groups:

  • Participants said that more Government support was needed to improve mental health literacy. They said that more checks and balances had to be put in place to ensure that mental health resources remained affordable and accessible to all Singaporeans. 


Closing Remarks by Grassroots Advisers

  • Mr Yip said that as Singapore moves forward, Singaporeans would be better educated and be more exposed to diverse pathways of success. 
  • Ms Ng shared that pandemics, supply chain disruptions and inflation were part of life’s ebb and flow, and the current generation was more vulnerable to quick responses and reactions, possibly exacerbated by social media. She said that it was important to remain centred on the value of health, because difficult times would come and pass but personal health was irreplaceable.
  • Mr Gan said that it was important for youths to remain grounded while striving to achieve their aspirations.
  • Mr Kwek said that the Government’s role was to support Singaporeans in achieving their aspirations. He also shared that due to the hyper-connected nature of the current generation, youths were facing more adulting pressures. He encouraged participants to attempt to separate societal pressures from individual happiness and to not be too affected by external negativity. 
  • Mr David encouraged participants to be brave and bold in their aspirations, with the confidence that their basic needs would be protected, as well as to think about the kind of community or societal impact they could make in their personal capacity.