In the last three months, the PAP embarked on a series of engagement sessions, led by the Party’s three branches
- the PAP Policy Forum (PPF)
- the Women’s Wing (WW)
- the Young PAP (YP)
The Party sought views from members on the way forward. From these sessions, several themes were highlighted.
Our Cause: Our People
The People of Singapore have been, and will always be, our Cause. As a Party, we are dedicated to the service of our nation, and the progress and well-being of all Singaporeans. We uphold our democratic socialist ideals. We believe that we can achieve more through joint endeavours than individual efforts. We will continue to listen to, speak out for, and act on behalf of, our people.
A Singaporean Singapore
The Party stands for a Singaporean Singapore. We celebrate diversity and welcome those who share our collective values and purpose. At the same time, we want individual communities to keep alive their own heritages and ethnic identities. We will continue to promote trust, understanding and
give-and-take among our different communities, and uphold harmonious relations in our multiracial and multi-religious society. We want a Singapore where people of different races and different faiths live peacefully together, as a cohesive society, and a nation of Singaporeans.
Opportunities for All
We aim to build a vibrant economy, offering abundant opportunities for all to work and prosper. We adapt and adjust to the realities of the global marketplace. We use market mechanisms to deliver services efficiently, but we also acknowledge its limitations. The market system must be complemented with active government and community action to avoid winner-takes-all outcomes. Every Singaporean who runs the race contributes to the progress of the nation, and deserves a share of the collective gains.
An Open and Compassionate Meritocracy
We firmly believe in a system of meritocracy where everyone has the opportunity to strive, and do well for himself and his family on the basis of ability and performance, regardless of race, language or religion. At the same time, we recognise that extreme competition can breed excessive rivalry and division, and undermine social mobility. So we must keep open paths and opportunities for all Singaporeans, regardless of their social backgrounds. We must give every child an equal chance to excel and lead a full life. We do not want advantages to be fixed at birth. Ours must be an open and compassionate meritocracy that benefits all, consistent with our ideals for a fair and just society.
A Singaporean Model of Social Welfare
We must develop a social welfare system that addresses immediate concerns, but is also sustainable over the long-term. Our ageing population makes this an urgent task. We should learn from the experiences of others and avoid their mistakes and problems. Our focus should be to help
those with less, especially the poor, the disadvantaged, and those with special needs. We should give the elderly a sense of security, and honour the Pioneer Generation who built this nation. Our model of social welfare must sustain a fair and just society not just for one or two electoral terms, but for generations.
A Fair and Just Society
This was the founding mission of the Party in 1954, and it is even more relevant today, as we confront the forces of globalisation and rapid technological change. Our society will always have some who are less successful and others who do better, be it through hard work or good fortune. But all of us must feel that we are one people belonging to one nation with one destiny. So we must continue to ensure economic progress, and to share the benefits of progress with the less successful. We support a progressive system of taxes and benefits, and the provision of good housing, affordable healthcare, and quality education for all. As a fair and just society, we judge ourselves by how we treat our weakest members.
A Democracy of Deeds
We believe that collective responsibility and community solidarity – a shared sense of belonging and a willingness to work for the common good – will create a better life for all. We welcome diverse views and robust discussion from all Singaporeans to devise solutions for the good of all. We strive for a society where Singaporeans actively give of themselves to others. We aim for a nation where we feel a duty to one another, and not just a right to the benefits of citizenship. We stand for a State that is dynamic and positive, one that works to catalyse and support community action for a fair and just society.
A Responsive and Responsible Government
As a Party in Government, we will be responsive in addressing immediate concerns, and responsible in ensuring the long-term sustainability of our policies. We will tackle immediate challenges, to build more flats, improve our public transport, ramp up infrastructure provisions, and
manage the inflow of foreign workers and immigrants. We will also look beyond the immediate and create long-term sustained success for Singapore. We eschew money politics in Singapore. We govern with integrity, and will never tolerate corruption.
Engage and Empower our People
The Party must reach out to Singaporeans from all walks of life, to make common cause with the broad mass of citizens. The values and objectives of the Party and the people must be at one. We must improve the way we communicate our intentions and actions to the people, and involve
citizens in decisions that shape our nation and our shared future. As a Party, we need to get our messages out more effectively. We also need to counter distortions, falsehoods and half-truths, wherever we find them. We must lead with our values and objectives, and with concrete action that delivers results.
Transform the PAP
The Party must evolve and succeed under constantly changing conditions. We must stay in step with the young to help them realise their dreams and aspirations. We must do more with the old as valued members of our society, and tap on their collective experience and wisdom. Within the Party, we need to equip and train our members, and tap on their diverse range of skills, expertise and experience. We must also press forward with self-renewal, by systematically identifying capable and passionate young men and women of all backgrounds, including from the Party rank-and-file, and giving them opportunities to contribute and serve. This will keep the PAP fresh, enthusiastic and relevant, so that it can best serve the people of Singapore.