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K. Shanmugam quizzed at forum on hot-button issues

Minister tackles youth queries on HDB prices and ISA, among others

Published on Oct 8, 2012 6:00 AM
 
Law and Foreign Minister K.Shanmugam went from table to table, answering the questions raised by some 100 youth participants at a full-day forum organised by Chong Pang Community Club and North West Community Development Council. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

From HDB prices to meritocracy, the questions came thick and fast on Sunday. Law and Foreign Minister K.Shanmugam went from table to table, answering the questions raised by some 100 youth participants at a full-day forum organised by Chong Pang Community Club and North West Community Development Council.

Some hot-button issues raised by university students, grassroots leaders and activists of different stripes included the relevance of the Internal Security Act and whether Singapore needs a more comprehensive social safety net.

"I've heard a lot of talk about LGBT issues, Section 377A, our system of meritocracy and the consequences (and) should we do something about it," said Mr Shanmugam, who added that the Government can better communicate its policies to Singaporeans. LGBT refers to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Answering a question on prices of flats, for example, Mr Shanmugam asked a table of 13 young people if they knew the average price of a four-room Build-To-Order flat from the HDB. There was surprise that the real answer was far lower than headline resale prices, which exceeded $1 million for the first time last month.

 
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Background story

GENERATIONAL SHIFT

The next 20 years will be very different from the last 20 years.

- Mr Shanmugam, saying the forum's focus was on young Singaporeans because there has been a 'generational change'