Enhancing roles of fathers, bridging education pay gap, promoting social mixing: Day 1 of Budget Debate 

The Budget Debate has begun, and our MPs have come prepared to offer their views on the best ways to strengthen our social compact. 

Speaking up on a range of issues, here are some of our favourite quotes from Day One.

Enhancing the roles of fathers 

Women are still naturally associated with being maternal and nurturing – terms that are still not naturally associated with men. These perceptions are quite gender stereotypical and frankly, might actually be unfairly burdening mothers with more societal responsibilities and expectations.”

Mr Darryl David (Ang Mo Kio GRC)

Besides paid paternity leave, Mr David highlighted why men should receive more support in their fatherhood journey to quash toxic gender stereotypes and promote equality.   

Social mixing starts early 

We need only look to National Service, an education and training system in its own right, to see how it has helped Singaporeans learn to live and work together, unite, and forge a common identity regardless of race, religion or background. Learning to mix with people from all walks of life is invaluable, wholesome and rich, and it carries into the working world.

Mr Christopher de Souza (Holland–Bukit Timah GRC)

Recognising the benefits of social mixing, Mr de Souza called for all secondary schools to accommodate all streams and expand Subject-Based Banding (SBB) so that students can have the opportunity to mix freely. 

Building consensus in a diverse society 

Achieving consensus in society is a Sisyphean task…Every decision requires careful deliberation, consultation, trade-offs and tough choices. In this process, there will be growing pains. However, stewarding a peaceful and fruitful exchange of ideas is a difficult, but necessary task to undertake before we can build bridges in the spirit of our shared social compact.

Ms Nadia Samdin (Ang Mo Kio GRC)

As Singaporeans explore their values and priorities in the Forward Singapore exercise, Ms Nadia explained why bringing about consensus is an arduous but necessary component of nation-building.

Bridging the education pay gap

I am heartened that we will continue to invest in our people, and the Jobs-Skills Integrator…will be the game-changer because we all know that not all skills training will translate into good employment outcomes. This will plug the gap and ensure that training can translate into better employment and earnings prospects.

Dr Wan Rizal (Jalan Besar GRC)

Dr Wan Rizal expressed high hopes that Jobs-Skills Integrators could be the building block to address the increasing income gap between non-graduates and graduates.

Systemic learning for employees

There should be multiple routes connecting roles, opportunities and commitments of individuals throughout their adult lives. If we are able to do this, it will grow a strong talent base and capabilities for businesses and provide fulfilling careers for workers.

Ms Jessica Tan (East Coast GRC)

Talking about life-long learning, Ms Tan believes the appointment of job-skills integrators can provide companies with the insights to make learning at the workplace as systemic as possible.

Cover Photo Credit: MCI/YouTube