Addenda to President's Address: More dialogues, youth activities as Govt pledges to partner Singaporeans for a better future

The MCCY said it will actively engage youth on issues that matter to them.
The MCCY said it will actively engage youth on issues that matter to them.PHOTO: SCAPE

SINGAPORE - More dialogues and activities to engage youth are on the cards as the Government pledged on Friday (Jan 22) to partner Singaporeans to forge a better future for everyone.

It also vowed good governance to uphold the trust of citizens, spend within its means as the economy slows, and continue to give subsidies to those who need it most.

It will also invest in lifelong education for Singaporeans, from a young age.

These plans of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and Ministry of Finance (MOF) were made public on Friday in their Addenda to the President's Address, which will be debated in Parliament next week.

Ms Grace Fu, who heads MCCY, said it will be "all hands on deck" in finding ways to be a more resilient society.

Her ministry will deepen engagement efforts online and offline, she added. These include the ongoing SGfuture dialogues at which Singaporeans discuss their hopes for the country and how they can bring them to fruition.

The MOF and Public Service Division also said they will consult Singaporeans on their ideas.

 
 
 

The future of Singapore lies in its youth and the MCCY said it will actively engage them on issues that matter to them, and provide better support as they transit from being a student to a working adult.

It will also rally youth to contribute to the community, to inspire a culture of volunteerism and philanthropy.

More will also be done to strengthen national identity and pride. The efforts include sessions with people to gather ideas for a Founders' Memorial to honour the values and ideals of Singapore's founding leaders and inspire future generations.

MCCY will also continue to preserve facets of Singapore's heritage, while investing in the arts and sports so that citizens will take greater pride in the achievements of local artists and athletes.

To strengthen community ties, the Government will improve sports infrastructure to promote an active lifestyle for all, including disabled people.

It will also strengthen mutual understanding through the Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circles, which were formed after the 2011 arrests of Jemaah Islamiah terrorists in Singapore.

Meanwhile, the Government also recognises the need for prudent spending in an uncertain economic environment.

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in his ministry's addendum that the Government needs to stress getting value for money as costs in transport infrastructure, healthcare and housing increase.

In the longer-term, the Government must also build up its revenues to meet the higher spending needs of an ageing population, he said.

"We must do so in a way that keeps the economy vibrant and the tax system progressive," he added, spelling out ways to transform the Singapore economy from a value-add to a value-creating one.

MOF will support businesses to restructure, innovate and internationalise, he said, adding that it will review regulations to reduce taxes and costs for small companies.

As Ms Fu said: "Our future depends on what we make of it together... We have had a good start. We can make it even better together."