International Business & Economy Arts NMP questions the importance of the arts in Singapore

Arts NMP questions the importance of the arts in Singapore




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In his maiden speech in Parliament, Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) for the Arts community has questioned how important arts is to Singapore.
“Where is Art in the future of Singapore? Why is Art important in the future of Singapore?” Mr Kok Heng Leun asked.
“I’m sure that if I search hard enough, I will be able to find statistics on the arts in Singapore. How our audiences have increased over the years, the number of art works have multiplied since the 1990s. Yet, the very fact that I am standing here, asking about the importance of the arts in Singapore, suggests that there is some cause for concern,” he said.
The NMP also drew attention to the fact that the arts are not mentioned in this year’s budget speech and that “culture” is only referenced in the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.
Mr Kok said that he was surprised that arts did not also get a mention in the section “Transforming our economy through enterprise and innovation”.
“This despite the fact that the arts powers innovation,which is important if we are to be future-ready in challenging times,” emphasised Mr Kok.
Saying innovation is the primary objective of the arts and artists which breaks old regimes, creates new paradigms and encourages creativity, the NMP said “the creative mind coupled with critical thinking can complement our usually pragmatic and logical approaches to problem solving.”
Pointing out that the young must be encouraged to learn critically and creatively, Mr Kok asked the Ministries of Education and Culture, Community & Youth to invest more in creative and critical teaching of students.

Read the full text of Mr Kok’s maiden Speech here:

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