‘Important that everyone in S’pore has a say’: DPM Wong, Tan Chuan-Jin show how & why October 10, 2022 The PAP Government listens to what Singaporeans have to say. Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong demonstrated this to people in his Marsiling-Yew constituency during a Forward Singapore Conversation last week. This while Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin shared this ethos with high-level G20 diplomats internationally. “We in Singapore try to be more inclusive and representative in our Parliament to reflect our multiracial society, to ensure representation by opposition parties and to include the views of different and non-partisan sectors of our society,” explained Speaker Tan at the 8th G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit in Jakarta this previous Thursday (Oct 6). Source: Tan Chuan-Jin Facebook “In the current term of Singapore’s Parliament, racial minority MPs account for about 28 per cent of the total number of MPs,” he added, laying out how the Group Representation Constituencies system ensures that a minority representation. Speaker Tan also added that Singapore’s Parliamentary system ensures that there will always be a minimum number of opposition members, as well as independent voices, represented in Parliament. These are through the Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) scheme and the Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) NCMPs may not represent any particular constituency but the Speaker noted that they have equal speaking and voting rights as elected MPs and ensured a minimum number of opposition members represented in Parliament. “NMPs are independent and non-partisan. Their views in debates do not reflect party lines and can add greater depth and breadth to the discussions,” he continued, detailing how Parliament allows for up to nine NMPs who have rendered distinguished public service. “Ensuring inclusivity and representation in Parliament is only a first step,” he said. “There must also be complementary and supporting citizen engagement efforts to reach the ground directly.” Reaching the ground Source: Lawrence Wong Facebook DPM Wong did just that on Saturday (Oct 8) at the Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC Forward Singapore Conversation. There, DPM Wong listened to over 130 Marsiling-Yew Tee residents on their ideas on how to refresh Singapore’s social compact. These included two extra annual leave days for visiting heritage sites and adding hands-on subjects to primary schools for developing life skills. “In charting this new way forward, we feel it is important that everyone in Singapore has a say,” explained DPM Wong. “You contribute to that process. You give us ideas, suggestions, and we can chart this future together; co-create the future and shape it together.” “While there are many different pillars, at the end of the day, what we are trying to achieve can be summarised in three different themes,” DPM Wong added about Forward Singapore’s structure and objectives. Source: Lawrence Wong Facebook “One, we want to create more opportunities for all Singaporeans,” he said. “Young and old, rich or poor, everyone.” “More opportunities so that everyone can live out their aspirations, their dreams, their passions. So that people do not have to feel pigeon-holed into certain categories.” “The second is around assurance,” he continued. “We also want to give more assurance to Singaporeans, assurance for all the different needs and concerns that people have.” Issues resulting from over the cost of living and an aging population, as well of those of people with disabilities and poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, are important here. “No one in Singapore should feel that they have to fend for themselves,” stated the DPM. “We are all in this together, and we will progress together as one country and one people.” The third theme is unity, where Singaporeans identify with, while caring and looking out for, each other. “Certainly part of this stronger sense of unity means having a stronger sense of who we are as a people, strengthening that sense of heritage, cultural identity as Singaporeans, regardless of race, language, or religion,” said the DPM. Forward Singapore will end by mid-2023, and the Government may take action on its feedback earlier. Petir.sg notes that it is an easy and golden opportunity for Singaporeans to come together to co-create a better future for themselves and the nation.