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PAP activists urged to build trust and give back to society

24 Jul 2019 3 min read

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The People’s Action Party’s (PAP) 1st Assistant Secretary-General Heng Swee Keat has issued a call to PAP activists to build trust and give back to society. By doing so, they can help to build our shared future Singapore together, added Mr Heng.

In his keynote address at a dinner to celebrate the PAP Policy Forum’s (PPF) 15th anniversary, Mr Heng, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, urged activists to go beyond giving feedback and suggestions to turning thoughts into action. “While each act of contribution may seem small, the cumulative impact of your actions can make a big difference, which can significantly shape our society,” he said.

Mr Heng emphasised the need for PAP activists to strengthen their communication – to stay close to the ground to better understand the diverse concerns and aspirations of different groups of Singaporeans. “By understanding our people with empathy, by understanding the intent and approach of our policies, you can better reach out to all Singaporeans, to explain our policies and what we stand for.”

In his speech, DPM Heng said that PAP’s approach to leadership must continue to be anchored on trust, unity and constructive politics. Using the acronym ACT: A – Action, C – Communicate, T – Team Up, Mr Heng issued a call to PAP activists to go beyond giving feedback and suggestions and turning them into action. “By taking action to give back to society, better communicating our policies, and encouraging Singaporeans to work as a team to build our nation, you will help to build trust,” he added.

Mr Heng reiterated that the fourth-generation leadership will continue to grow the trust that the PAP has built with the people “by always implementing policies with the longer-term interests of Singaporeans at heart.” He called upon the PAP Policy Forum (PPF) to contribute to a democracy of deeds to make a difference for the better of the nation.

The PPF, set up in 2004, is one of the key platforms within the Party for activists to be involved in the policy making process. It allows activists to share their insights from their work on the ground with policy-makers to help shape better policies for Singaporeans. The PPF also provides input to the Government Parliamentary Committees (GPCs) when they debate policy matters in Parliament.

Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Mr Lawrence Wong, who is also PPF’s First Advisor, noted that the government’s policies are continually being updated to address the evolving needs of our people, and emphasised the important role played by the PPF in this policy review process.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and PPF’s Second Advisor, Mr Amrin Amin, in his welcome address, stressed that the Party must work “together for tomorrow” for Singapore to remain exceptional. He added that the “PPF is well-positioned to translate ideas and views into actionable plans for a better Singapore”.

Highlighting the challenges that PPF faces in an era of rapid change, Chairperson of the PPF, Ms Theodora Lai, remarked that PPF played a role in “establishing a deeper knowledge on policy issues” and “enabling a learning mechanism that is effective for feedback in a complex environment” through proactive engagement and by serving as a platform for party members and leaders to explore and solve issues as one.

The event ended with a closed-door dialogue with DPM Heng and Mr Wong where activists raised questions regarding the challenges facing Singapore and the Party.

More than 300 guests, including past and present PPF members, attended the event.

Read DPM Heng’s speech