Conversations on Singapore Social Fabric and National Identity
NYC had supported Ci Yuan Youth Network’s Post-NDR Dialogue. This is part of a series of dialogues exploring youth views on how Singapore can maintain a strong social fabric even as policies evolve.
At the National Day Rally 2022, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke on the following key topics:
- Living with COVID-19
- External environment and addressing economic challenges
- Repeal of S377A and protecting definition of marriage between one man and one woman
- Securing our future
- Long term plan review
WHAT WE HEARD
On Saturday, 3 September 2022, about 86 youths and a panel comprising Grassroots Advisers vested in the topics covered in NDR 2022.
- Mr Kwek Hian Chuan Henry, Adviser to Kebun Baru Grassroots Organisations
- Mr Yip Hon Weng, Adviser to Yio Chu Kang Grassroots Organisations
- Mr Gan Thiam Poh, Adviser to Ang Mo Kio GRC Grassroots Organisations
- Mr Darryl David, Adviser to Ang Mo Kio GRC Grassroots Organisations
- Ms Ng Ling Ling, Adviser to Ang Mo Kio GRC Grassroots Organisations
- Ms Nadia Ahmad Samdin, Adviser to Ang Mo Kio GRC Grassroots Organisations
Here were the key points raised by participants in the conversation:
Covid-19 Recovery, Healthcare and Social Spending
- Participants acknowledged the Government’s efforts in managing the COVID-19 situation, and said that the measures implemented were somewhat effective in mitigating the spread of the virus.
- Participants agreed that the relaxing of mask requirements would help prevent fatigue.
Participants suggested improvements to the benefits of healthcare workers, to allow them to have a more comfortable workplace. Some suggested employing more elderly to enable them to continue to be engaged meaningfully.
Economy and Cost of Living
- Participants said that the Government could provide more long-term financial assistance, and more support to enable Singaporeans to continue to remain relevant and competitive. They also said that Singaporeans should not be over-reliant on the Government for financial support.
- Participants said that employers and employees needed a mindset shift on education and upskilling and suggested that the Government provided incentives for employers to encourage them to allow their employees to attend Skillsfuture courses, especially courses that happen during office hours.
- Participants said that schools should offer a curriculum that is more skill-based and applicable to the current world.
- Participants said that the repeal of S377A was a balanced approached. They said the repealing of S377A showed that Government had respected the views of the majority while protecting the needs of the minority.
- Participants said that the Government should continue to have more dialogues with Singaporeans, and be more deliberate in ensuring that various segments of the community are represented. Participants said that for Singapore to continue to remain inclusive, Singaporeans need to have an open mind and respect each individuals beliefs and views.
Geopolitics and Foreign Influence
- Participants said that youths should use social media responsibly and the Government should continue educate youths to be more vigilant and discerning. They suggested that the Government should establish laws to protect individuals from “Cancel Culture.”
- Participants said that Singapore had to remain neutral, and not take sides in times of conflict, as Singapore is a small country that depended largely on international relations and trade. Participants suggested that the Government should continue to explore ways to be self-sustainable, and be less dependant on imports.
- Participants said that Singapore should continue to strengthen our geographical advantage through constant development and redevelopment, like Tuas Port, to remain competitive and relevant.
- Participants said that plans to increase amenities and developments will enhance the country’s economy by creating new jobs, new homes and improve tourism.