2022 roundup: Forward Singapore, for a stronger social compact


To round off 2022, Petir.sg is looking back at moments where our Party decisively took action this year.

Where’s our country headed? What can we do to secure the future we hope for? And how can each of us contribute?

Launched on June 28 and guided by newly-promoted Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, Foward Singapore aims to answer these pertinent questions.

Forward Singapore is a year-long all-of-nation engagement exercise.

It gathers and incorporates diverse Singaporean viewpoints, partnering the 4G leadership in shaping Singapore’s roadmap for the future.

Essentially, Forward Singapore refreshes the shared social compact between Singaporeans and the Government.

“Singapore’s social compact is a shared understanding of how we relate to each other,” said DPM Wong.

“It is an expression of our shared values and norms, and determines the roles and responsibilities of the Government, the community, businesses, and individuals in society.

“A social compact that all of society accepts as fair strengthens social capital, fosters trust, and enables us to progress together to build a better future,” he explained.

Six pillars led by 4G leaders

This all-of-nation initiative is divided into six pillars, which are led by 4G leaders.

Pillar leads will engage Singaporeans to understand their concerns, listen to their feedback, and explore the trade-offs involved in various policy shifts.

In the process, they will review and update policies, and establish new partnerships with stakeholders to implement changes.

“Forward Singapore will also build on the ideas that were gathered across various engagements in recent years, such as the Singapore Together Emerging Stronger Conversations, the Conversations on Women’s Development, and the Long-Term Plan Review.

So, what are the pillars under Forward Singapore?

Briefly, Empower focuses on the economy and jobs. Equip focuses on education and lifelong learning, while Care looks at health and social support.

Build is concerned with home and living environment and Steward covers environmental and fiscal sustainability.

Lastly, Unite bolsters Singapore identity.

Our country at the crossroads

Forward Singapore comes at a precarious point in world history.

“All of us had expected a strong recovery from Covid-19, but now we have flown into stronger headwinds,” said DPM Wong.

“We have a war raging in Europe fuelling global inflation, and possibly a recession — if not stagflation. We also face rising geo-political tensions, especially between the US and China; disrupting supply chains and ushering in a more dangerous and bifurcated world.”

All these add pressure to Singapore’s emerging experiences: our rapidly-ageing population, concerns over social mobility becoming social stagnation and fears over being displaced by other people.

Forward Singapore, then, is built to keep Singapore on the right course.

“If we strengthen our social compact, we can turn each set of challenges into opportunities,” said DPM Wong.

“We can find the silver lining in whatever comes our way. We can be a bastion of stability and opportunity in this world. And we can leave behind a better Singapore for tomorrow.”

So, where’s our country headed? This way.

Top image credit: Forward Singapore