We should always be respectful of the different views on issues, such as sexuality and gender, that Singaporeans care deeply about and listen to one another, said Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.
“We should learn how to accommodate these different views. Accommodating these different perspectives sometimes will require us to be able to compromise. That means no single group can get everything they want. So in Singapore compromise must never be a bad word,” he said.
DPM Wong was speaking at a youth forum organised by CNA.
Without compromise, every group aims to seek out the maximum for themselves, which will lead to a divided society.
And thus, listening, recognising differences and living with differences are important — even if we cannot change views or bring another person to our point of view.
“Learn to embrace our diversity and amidst that diversity, find the common ground we share as Singaporeans. And there are many things that we hold in common as Singaporeans. And if we continue on that journey, then I think we can continue to work at a more perfect union here in Singapore. A more perfect, multiracial and multi religious society. That must always be the Singapore Story,” shared DPM Wong.
Certainly, Singapore isn’t perfect and has its flaws but that’s where the current generation of Singaporeans, as stakeholders, come in and do our part together.
“Singapore is not perfect. We have our flaws. But it’s precisely because of the flaws that all of us here in Singapore, have a reason to want to fix the flaws and make society better.”
And despite the multiple challenges, DPM Wong is confident that a united Singapore can overcome many problems.
“We can draw confidence from the fact that there are few things in Singapore, few problems in Singapore that we can’t overcome. If we apply ourselves as one people to these problems, there are few things we can overcome if we apply ourselves as one people to these problems,” he said.
On race and politics
When quizzed on to what extent must politics and race be kept separate, DPM Wong said that race or money politics are clear no-nos for the PAP Government.
“Politics and race should never mix. We do not ever want to get into race politics in Singapore or money politics, for example. I think those are clear no-nos for the PAP Government certainly and we will do our very best to keep such politics out of Singapore.”
“And hopefully Singaporeans will also reject any such form of politics because anytime you bring, raise money into politics, you change the tone of politics. And I think it will bring us into a direction that I don’t think would be good for the country at all.”
The forum doesn’t just focus on unity as a topic.
Footage of the youth forum is being split into multiple videos: there’s one on lifelong learning.
And cost of living.
In his subsequent Facebook post, DPM Wong shared that these topics strike a chord with many Singaporeans in many Forward Singapore conversations.
He also urged Singaporeans to partake in making Singapore better with the Forward Singapore exercise.
“Everyone can play a role to shape a better Singapore. Find out more at Our SG – Home of Forward SG,” he wrote.
Cover photo credit: DPM Wong / Facebook