Diversity and inclusivity resonate most among Singaporeans at Forward Singapore engagements

The Forward SG x REACH dialogue session was themed “SG2050 – How do we get there?”, where participants shared their hopes and ideas to shape a better future for Singapore.

Amanda Tan

Skills include buying the same jeans in different colours.

Published: 21 October 2022, 4:22 PM

Diversity and inclusion are key themes that resonate with many Singaporeans and will be taken seriously by the Government to co-create and shape Singapore’s future, said Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong at a REACH dialogue session on Thursday (Oct 20).

The engagement session, held at the Singapore Management University, was organised as part of the Forward SG exercise.

About 110 participants were invited to suggest any topic they wished to discuss under the theme SG2050 – How do we get there?, where they could share their hopes and ideas to shape a better future for Singapore. Out of the submitted suggestions, participants voted for the ones they resonated with the most.

Of the 10 most voted topics, some included improving the mental health of youths in school, building an inclusive society for all groups and walks of life, enabling difficult conversations about identity between seniors and youths, and creating more diverse educational pathways at an earlier age that honours a greater variety of interests and vocations.

The participants who suggested the topics then led and shaped the discussions.

On building an inclusive society, participants pointed out that they hope to see corporate laws and policies being built to protect the disadvantaged, such as the disabled. They proposed for companies to have a minimum employee quota of such individuals and eliminate corporate medical exams during the hiring process.

Another proposition made was to exempt Goods and Services Tax (GST) on medical expenses, similar to how the UK has waived the value-added tax on certain feminine care products.

As for creating more diverse educational pathways, one participant shared that parents have to support their child’s identified interests. If and when the child’s interest changes along the way, the education system should then be equipped to help support the child’s journey on a new pathway. 

Building on this, another participant emphasised that we should encourage and nurture curiosity, not cut it down.

DPM Wong noted that these themes that arose from the participants’ inputs and conversations struck a common chord with many of the sessions that the Government has been having.

He thanked the participants for giving “very useful inputs” in thinking about the “new ways of doing things in order to shape a better Singapore”.

“Of course, the changes are not just for Government policies alone because as we all know, moving to a better place is not just the responsibility of the Government, nor is it possible for the Government to do it all.

“It’s also for us to think about what changes employers can make, what (changes) community organisations may make and how Singaporeans might change our mindsets, attitudes and expectations,” said DPM Wong.

For more content about Forward SG and how youths can participate, click here.

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