Singapore—The country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Heng Swee Keat, recently emphasised the commitment of 4G leaders to work with Singaporeans concerning policies around vital issues such as housing, social mobility, and environmental sustainability.
According to DPM Heng, in order to come up with better policies and programmes that will meet people’s needs, the Government plans to tap the four major issues and policy areas: environmental sustainability, housing, young Singaporeans, and social mobility.
He said this at a speech at a REACH-CNA dialogue session on June 15.
“We will listen to your views and explore together what the Government can do, what each of you can do, and how we can create partnerships to take good ideas forward. In the process, I hope you will know better who we are, what we believe in. And as we jointly figure out where we want to go, I hope we will get to know each other better.”
Mr Heng talked about which fourth-generation Singaporean leader will be overseeing citizen engagement on each issue.
For the environment, he said, it is Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, who will spearhead the efforts to come up with actionable plans. The environment is important to many young Singaporeans today since they are the ones “inheriting the consequences of our actions,” DPM Heng said.
For housing, Lawrence Wong, the Minister for National Development, will be meeting with Singaporeans to find ways to build community and shape the living environment.
Grace Fu, the Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth, will meet with young Singaporeans in the endeavour to develop the vision of Singapore 2025 through the Youth Action Plan.
Ong Ye Kung and Desmond Lee, the ministers of Education and Social and Family Development, will tackle social mobility by having dialogues with community groups for the purpose of helping the disadvantaged.
In partnership with business leaders, trade associations and chambers and unions, DPM Heng, along with Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Ng Chee Meng, as well as Ong Ye Kung have been working toward creating good employment opportunities.
Additionally, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo will be leading a Citizens’ Panel, whose purpose is to find ways to improve the work-life balance, something the Deputy Prime Minister is saying is “an issue close to the hearts of many Singaporeans.”
He added, “We may have different views but so long as you have the good of Singapore at heart, we can work together.”
The Deputy Prime Minister said, “This can happen only if we keep an open mind. Look at issues not just through our lens, but also through the perspectives of others.
The Government must also be prepared, if necessary, to step in if particular groups pursue their agenda in ways that divide society or impede the good work of other groups.”
He said that the 4G leaders will not only show what their vision is for the country’s future but also the road map of how to get there.
“We will be frank about the challenges we face, the trade-offs we will have to make, the hard truths confronting us. We will listen to your views and explore together what the Government can do, what each of you can do, and how we can create partnerships to take good ideas forward.”
Mr Heng underlined how important it is that trust is strong between the Government and the people, and that, beyond a Government working for the people, the goal is to build one that works with the people as well as for them.
“The best way to win (Singaporeans’) trust is to first trust you with the truth – no matter how hard or unpopular.
We need to shift from a Government that focuses primarily on working for you, to a Government that works with you. Working with you, for you.”/ TISG
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