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PAP Awards and Convention 2023: Charting the path forward; Every voice counts

05 Nov 2023 10 min read

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The People’s Action Party (PAP) will continue to focus on governing competently, upholding high standards of integrity, and winning elections to take Singapore to greater heights.

Speaking to more than 1,000 party members at the Party Awards and Convention held at Singapore Expo Convention and Exhibition Centre today, PAP Secretary-General Lee Hsien Loong outlined these priorities for the PAP which our founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew has always emphasised. It is the PAP’s responsibility to continue doing a good job to ensure that Singaporeans continue to have a good choice when they cast their vote, he added.

“That is why we must keep on working very hard to prepare for elections, to keep on winning a strong mandate. We need to: Articulate the PAP’s vision clearly, and keep Singapore’s long-term interests front and centre, deliver on good policies that benefit Singaporeans, maintain the integrity and trust that is the PAP’s brand, and convince voters to give us their mandate once more.”

In his speech, Deputy Secretary-General Lawrence Wong stressed that the PAP must be a Party for all Singaporeans to continue to win their support and be elected as Government. He and the 4G team will engage with activists to renew, refresh and strengthen the party through broadening the Party’s outreach, sharpening its messages, and reviewing and strengthening the Party’s organisation.

“For in a society as diverse as Singapore, we must always find ways to forge consensus… That is how I intend to take Singapore forward. It means ensuring the benefits of progress are shared by all, not some. It means uplifting all Singaporeans, not just a few. Above all, it means enlarging and deepening the common space: so as to keep us together; so that every Singaporean will always be respected and valued; and will always have a place on this little red dot.”

Describing party activists as the agents for creating good and effecting change in the community, PAP Chairman Heng Swee Keat paid tribute to the activists who have served the Party with dedication and commitment.

At the Party Awards, a total of 415 activists were recognised for their dedication and service to Singapore. Former political office holder and Member of Parliament Lim Hwee Hua received the Meritorious Service Medal for her dedicated service and outstanding contributions to the Party and Singapore for close to 30 years.

In line with the theme of the convention, three activists spoke on embracing diversity and co-opting different perspectives from different segments of our society to push for change. Branch Chairman of PAP Sengkang Central division Assoc Prof Elmie Nekmat, Organising Secretary of the Young PAP Chua Wei-Shan and Assistant Branch Secretary of PAP Jurong Spring division Dr Hamid Razak iterated the importance of seeking commonality as we celebrate differences, widening the space for youth activism, and building a stronger Party with every voice.

The event was also attended by retired Members of Parliament and representatives of National Trades Union Congress.

Refer to Party Chairman Heng Swee Keat’s speech.

Refer to Sec-Gen Lee Hsien Loong’s speech.

Refer to Deputy Sec-Gen Lawrence Wong’s speech.

Refer to Chua Wei-Shan’s speech.

Refer to Dr Hamid Razak’s speech.

Refer to Assoc Prof Elmie Nekmat’s speech.

Award citation for Meritorious Service Medal recipient Lim Hwee Hua

Comrade Lim Hwee Hua (陈惠华)has demonstrated exceptional dedication and leadership in the People’s Action Party. Her unwavering commitment to our Party’s mission has made her a trailblazer in Singapore politics.

As Member of Parliament for Marine Parade GRC and Aljunied GRC from 1997, Comrade Lim showed her strong dedication to her constituents. She campaigned for better literacy for children from low-income households, and she pushed for employers to adopt more family-friendly policies and for improvements to childcare. She also inspired extensive upgrading works within the private estates.

After five years as a backbencher, she was appointed Deputy Speaker of Parliament in 2002 and chaired the Public Accounts Committee – the first woman to hold both positions. In 2004 she was made Minister of State for Finance and Transport, and in 2008 she was promoted to Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport. In 2009, Comrade Lim made history as the first woman to be appointed to Cabinet as a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Second Minister for both Finance and Transport.

Her impact extended beyond her ministerial roles, as she also played a vital role in the PAP’s Central Executive Committee and served as the Chair of the PAP Women’s Wing where she strengthened women ground activism.

In 2014, she pioneered the Retired Members of Parliament (RMPs) sharing and bonding programme. This initiative facilitated monthly dialogues with Ministers and organized special visits for the RMPs. The hallmark of this initiative was the annual Chinese New Year luncheon hosted by PM Lee at the Istana, an event that remains a highlight for the RMPs to this day.

For her dedicated service and outstanding contributions to the Party, Comrade Lim Hwee Hua has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (功绩奖章).

Profiles of speakers

Chua Wei-Shan (蔡玮珊)

Chua Wei-Shan (36) is a mother of two preschoolers, a young entrepreneur and an active volunteer who joined the Party in 2012. She is the Organising Secretary of Young PAP (YP) and is a member of PAP West Coast division. Wei-Shan has been serving in the community since her teens and is currently the secretary of West Coast Citizens’ Consultative Committee. She believes that it is important to listen to the perspective of young Singaporeans and support them to achieve their fullest potential. Her commitment to advancing the aspirations of Singapore’s youth is seen in the work that she does.

Wei-Shan leads the youth wing of the Party in expanding the network that YP engages, advocating the causes that YP champions, and deepening young Singaporeans’ understanding of our political system. Under her leadership, YP submitted two position papers in 2020 and 2022 to the Government that made recommendations on sustainability. They were included in two Parliamentary motions filed by PAP Members of Parliament to address climate change and its impact on Singapore. Beyond this, she was also involved in other major initiatives. In 2021, in support of the national White Paper on Singapore Women’s Development, YP and PAP Women’s Wing submitted a joint paper consisting of 12 recommendations on women development to the Government. YP has also strengthened its ties with the National Trades Union Congress’ (NTUC) youth wing, Young NTUC, bringing on YP activists to be a part of NTUC Peer Supporters Learning Circle. YP and Young NTUC recently co-produced a commemorative book, ‘Centennial Reflections’, to honour our founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy. Wei-Shan had previously received the Youth Medal at the PAP Party Awards in 2018 and will be receiving the Bronze Medal at the upcoming Party Awards.

Assoc Prof Elmie Nekmat (埃尔米)

42-year-old Assoc Prof Elmie Nekmat is Branch Chairman of PAP Sengkang Central division. A party activist since 2016, A/P Elmie is also an adviser to the Young PAP and Assistant Secretary of the Malay Affairs Bureau.

An Associate Professor of Communications and New Media at the National University of Singapore (NUS), A/P Elmie is concurrently a resident fellow at the Ridge View Residential College, a research associate at the NUS Centre for Family and Population Research, and principal investigator for the NUS Centre for Trusted Internet and Community at NUS.

A/P Elmie gives back to the community through volunteering and various capacities where his experience and expertise help inform digital literacy, education, communications, and community development in Singapore.

Elmie also serves on the Ngee Ann Polytechnic Council, the National Council Against Drug Abuse, the Malay Language and Learning Promotion Committee in the Ministry of Education, and the Steering Committee for the SG Eco Fund. Being a father to four young children and a strong advocate for digital safety and media literacy, A/P Elmie serves in the Media Literacy Council and sits on the Advisory Panel on Parenting at the Ministry of Social and Family Development to help promote effective and safe digital media use among families.

Elmie was formerly a research coordinator in the Sunlight Alliance for Action Against Online Harms and a member of the Global Future Council for Media, Entertainment and Sport at the World Economic Forum.

Separately, he is Assistant Secretary, and Chairman of the Communications Working Group in the Sengkang Central Citizens’ Consultative Committee and a district councillor for the Central Singapore Community Development Council.

Dr Hamid Razak (哈宓医生)

38-year-old Hamid Razak is the Assistant Branch Secretary of PAP Jurong Spring division.  Married with three children, he is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at SingHealth and a Clinical Associate Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School.

Hamid joined the Party in 2017 because he wanted to contribute directly to its mission – to build a fair and just society where the benefits of progress are spread widely to all. This resonated with him on a personal level as he is a strong advocate for an inclusive society for everyone to contribute to and succeed in.

He is also active in community work. He was appointed as second Grassroots Adviser to Jurong GRC Grassroots Organisations (Jurong Spring) in August this year. Previously, he served the community at Taman Jurong, volunteering with the Active Ageing Committee for over eight years and Taman Jurong Citizens’ Consultative Committee for over seven years.

Hamid is also an active volunteer with other organisations like Singapore Indian Development Association, National Youth Council and Singapore Prison Service. Further to that, Hamid is a strong advocate for our migrant workers and volunteers his time and efforts through various initiatives and organisations such as Healthserve. He has served as a volunteer doctor with Healthserve for over nine years.

Hamid is deeply passionate about mentoring. He mentors actively through national programmes such as the Advisory Mentorship Programme. Additionally, Hamid and his team of volunteers crafted a bespoke mentorship programme in 2021, dedicated to guiding youth from underprivileged backgrounds. This programme is run under the auspices of a ground-up organisation called IMPROF.  Hamid was one of its founding members in 2015 and currently serves as its Deputy President.