Thursday, 4 June 2015

Forge a new generation of pioneers in all parts of society: Heng Swee Keat

Singapore 'needs generation of new pioneers'
By Wong Siew Ying, The Straits Times, 3 Jun 2015

SINGAPORE has to forge a generation of new pioneers in all parts of society for its people and the country to continue to thrive, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday.

Doing so, he told 300 People's Action Party (PAP) activists, involves understanding and facing challenges squarely, and having the "ingenuity and tenacity, and sense of togetherness, to turn big problems and constraints into big opportunities".

"This pioneering spirit, this sense of togetherness in our society, will enable us to put forward our best ideas and devote our energies to realise our aspirations - to build a caring, kind society and a society of opportunities for all."

Celebrated the 10th anniversary of the People's Action Party Policy Forum (PPF) last night.At my dialogue after...
Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday, June 2, 2015

He was speaking at the PAP Policy Forum's 10th anniversary dinner at Orchid Country Club. Mr Heng is first adviser of the forum, a platform for party members to help shape government policies based on ground experience.

Mr Heng noted that this year, when the country celebrates its Golden Jubilee, gives Singaporeans the opportunity to reflect on their journey as one people and commit to build a better future.

The death of Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on March 23 was a sad moment, he added, but it also saw Singaporeans showing care and concern for fellow citizens, and reliving the nation's tumultuous years.

There was no textbook for a new nation, yet Mr Lee and the founding fathers forged a way, earned Singaporeans' trust and, "with grit and determination, set out to achieve bold dreams".

Mr Heng said the years ahead are fraught with uncertainty and challenges no less than the ones Singapore's early pioneers faced.

He cited three challenges: rising competition in the global economy, global threats to safety such as terrorism, and the ageing population with its impact on social and economic infrastructure.

Mr Heng said that for the PAP to fulfil its responsibility of taking Singapore forward, it must continue to be the "champion of great ideas" from all parts of society.

"Every idea that is good for Singapore counts," he added.

Activist Zizie Zuzantie, 24, said this involves continually listening to different voices and bringing people from different segments of the population together.

Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Transport Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said such ideas will also have to involve pioneering efforts in family life and taking care of those in need.

Mr Heng thanked forum members for playing an active role, including focusing on specific policy themes, building knowledge in certain areas and collecting ideas from the ground and, in doing so, giving valuable ideas to the PAP.

At the dinner, the forum launched its new logo, which was unveiled by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

PM Lee had a closed-door dialogue with forum members.

PAP Policy Forum chairman Benjamin Tay said the session aimed to discuss the future of the party. "We can look back at what we have done and the best way to move forward, and we are hoping for some input and guidance from comrade Lee on the best way to uphold the legacy," he added.

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