Strengthening Singapore’s social fabric. Building a smart and liveable city. And expanding our system of meritocracy to be broader and more open.
President Halimah Yacob set out these priorities for the Government during her Presidential Address at the mid-term opening of Parliament on Apr 10.
They are needed too, to push through the uncertain times ahead and build a Singapore where every Singaporean thrives and has a say.
The PAP stands ready to fulfil these priorities.
Our leaders like MP Joan Pereira (Tanjong Pagar GRC), MP Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim (Chua Chu Kang GRC), MP Cheryl Chan (East Coast GRC), MP Ng Ling Ling (Ang Mo Kio GRC) and MP Carrie Tan (Nee Soon GRC) recently shared their reactions to President Halimah’s speech and what is to be done as we move forward together.
The social fabric and safety nets
“The President’s speech at the opening of Parliament has set the context for the challenges ahead that are facing the world and Singapore. The most important factor that will help Singapore to tackle all these obstacles is for us Singaporeans to be united,” said MP Pereira.
That is an important reminder. Our shared history, from the post-war economic miracle to emerging stronger from the pandemic shows that we can achieve the impossible together.
“But to do so, the Government, people and private sector must work together to help the vulnerable amongst us, and leave no one behind so that we can move ahead together,” contextualised MP Pereira.
“Social solidarity is not guaranteed forever and the critical challenge for all of us is to prioritise social cohesion and the progress of our country in a changing post-pandemic world,” said MP Zhulkarnain in a similar vein.
“As Deputy Chair of Law and Home Affairs GPC (Government Parliamentary Committee), I look forward to the Government’s plans to ensure that our laws remain relevant to maintain our social and racial harmony and in particular in our fight against drugs and providing access to justice for all Singaporeans regardless of their social standing.”
Our smart, liveable city
“On the focus of building a green, connected and highly liveable city, I agree with Madam President that the city should become more people-friendly. One where we as citizens share responsibilities in jointly building the culture, heritage and vibrant living spaces that we wish our children can grow up in and our seniors can age gracefully in place,” said MP Chan.
So: More districts upgraded into go-to places like Bras Basah. Bugis and more active ageing facilities which let Ah Kong and Ah Ma spend their golden years healthy and fulfilled alongside the rest of the neighbourhood like in Kampung Admiralty.
MP Ng’s on-the-ground experiences also give her one successful, smartwatch-centric action plan for helping seniors enjoy a smart city.
“I have been stepping up promoting healthy living in my constituency, with the launch of the Jalan Kayu (JK) Community Health Club in February this year,” she shared.
“Two months into our operations, we have more than 600 residents above 40 years old who have signed up. With the help of a sponsored smartwatch and partnership with our local GPs and regional health system, we are growing health screening participation and chronic disease management awareness.”
And President Halimah’s call for a broader, more open meritocracy? MP Tan is pushing for employers to rethink hiring criteria.
“An overemphasis on academic qualification may not be constructive in the long run. I hope that the Government can engage with employers to look beyond academic qualifications to hire people based on their capabilities,” she said.
“That way, parents can have the assurance that the future their children are entering has different paths for them to succeed.”
The call, Petir.sg notes, means updating one of the fundamental principles of Singapore’s success.
The PAP is serious about preventing social stratification. Spreading the benefits of progress to all Singaporeans is the fundamental mission of the Party, after all.
Hence this change. It is for the shared future of Singaporeans: So that while Singapore moves forward, we indeed leave no one behind.
Source: Joan Pereira, Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahman, Cheryl Chan, Ng Ling Ling and Carrie Tan / Facebook