A Petir Online exclusive by council members of the 9th PAP Policy Forum – member Cheyenne Tan, Vice-Chairperson Larry Medina and Chairperson Jude Tan.
The business of government is a complex one.
Issues cut across multiple disciplines. They have to be solved through cohesive teamwork where decisions are taken, not just on the basis of individual ministry considerations, but also the overall needs of our nation.
In any form of decision-making there are hard choices and trade-offs that have to be made.
Take the environment as an example. The removal of vehicles with Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) from our roads would lead to lower carbon emissions and a cleaner environment. But in order to switch to Electric Vehicles (EVs), hurdles such as having enough charging points, and reducing the cost of EVs must be addressed.
This would in turn impact industries such as automotive support and repairs, petrochemicals and other industries that support ICE vehicles. These industries provide employment to a segment of our population, and contribute to taxes that would have to be forgone in exchange for a cleaner mode of transportation.
In the Singapore context, the PAP Government recognises such complexity and trade-offs in the decision-making process, and takes a multi-ministry, whole-of-team approach to major initiatives.
In doing so, the team has been able to work together to deliver good outcomes for Singapore and Singaporeans.
Our 4G leaders have worked together for some time on multiple projects and have been exposed to different roles in Cabinet. They are therefore able to understand the intricacies of the issues prevalent in our society, and to see things from different perspectives.
As a result, the decisions made by our 4G leaders often come from a national perspective based on a collective judgement.
When the pandemic hit, the team was quick to respond. Difficult decisions were made, and measures to protect public health and reduce the risk of community infection were put in place. A lot of hard work also went into helping businesses and workers to cope with the economic slowdown. Because of the swift and decisive response to Covid-19, many lives and livelihoods were saved, and our essential supplies were not disrupted.
While the rest of the world is scrambling to try to get back on their feet, we are able to enjoy in Singapore a semblance of normalcy while keeping the infection under control. Our economy is recovering, community transmissions have been consistently low, and travel will soon become a possibility again. Covid-19 has been a test for the 4G team. The team has grown and bonded closer together as a result.
The 4G leadership has proven that they are a united team, where the whole is more than the sum of its parts. They have diverse experience with a shared commitment to do what is right for Singapore. Whether it is The Green Plan, the fight against Covid-19 or rebuilding our economy for a post-Covid-19 world, the 4G leadership team has proven that they are up to the task.