People’s Action Party’s (PAP) first Assistant Secretary-General Heng Swee Keat is encouraging women in Singapore to take on more leadership roles and shared his hope that more women will join the Party.
Speaking at a dialogue session during the PAP Women’s Wing Annual Conference on 14 September 2019, Mr Heng reflected: “As a male MP, I find it heavy-going, but when I see our women Members of Parliament, they have it even heavier because they have to juggle many more roles.”
Mr Heng, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, added that it is not an easy task when looking after young children and it is a testament to the quality of Singapore’s female leadership.
To build a stronger foundation for Singapore to take on future challenges, he asked companies and the public sector to “open the door for men and women to complement each other in leadership, and create better workplaces, stronger organisations and more robust ecosystems.”
In his speech, Mr Heng also said that he would like to see women in Singapore engaged in meaningful work, while having the support to start a family, take care of their parents, or have other pursuits.
“We must build a society where our mothers are honoured and our daughters can pursue their aspirations without barriers…This is what the PAP Government has always stood for. This is how we will build a future-ready society, by allowing the talents and potential of all Singaporeans to shine,” he added.
Mr Heng also emphasised the PAP Government’s commitment to building a society of equal opportunities, where all Singaporeans can grow to their fullest potential, regardless of background, race, religion, and gender. He added: “As long as the PAP is in government, we will always strive to ensure that women in Singapore have the same opportunities as men, to realise their potential, to lead fulfilling lives.”
Lauding the WW’s efforts in advocating the interests of Singapore women, Mr Heng expressed confidence that the WW will continue to be an effective initiator of action, to empower and enable women in Singapore even more. He said the Women’s Wing can play a bigger part in an expanded democracy of deeds, as part of the Singapore Together movement.
In her speech, Chairperson of PAP WW and Minister for Manpower Josephine Teo said that cultivating a family-friendly Singapore requires a whole-of-society partnership.
“The PAP Government will work more closely with citizens to shape a Singapore in which getting married and raising a family are achievable, enjoyable, and celebrated.” She added.
Mrs Teo shared that the upcoming Citizens’ Panel is an example of how the Government is strengthening such partnerships. She added that she would be meeting the members of the Panel in two weeks and receiving their recommendations in due course.
At the conference, which was attended by about 500 WW activists, Mr Heng, Mrs Teo, along with three invited speakers, Susan Chong, CEO of Greenpac (S) Pte Ltd; Nabillah Jalal, Founder of NJ Studio and Wong Su-Yen, Founder and CEO of Bronze Phoenix Pte Ltd also shared insights on how Singaporean women can harness their diverse strengths in a panel discussion.