What about the weak and inarticulate?
AS A participant at a recent session of Our Singapore Conversation, I was heartened to note that the participants knew clearly what issues they stood for in their personal capacities and spoke passionately about them.
However, the same strength was also its limitation.
I left the session with the conclusion that the sampling of participants of the national dialogue was skewed towards those who are relatively more vocal and passionate.
In my mind, there are important groups that have been glaringly unrepresented.
These groups are the people who live in rental flats, the homeless who are waiting for rental flats, the chronically unemployed receiving any form of assistance, elderly singles, the caregivers of the chronic sick, the intellectually and physically disabled, and low-wage workers, just to name a few.
I am certain that they, too, have valuable ideas for Singapore's future.
Instead of inviting participants or waiting for the self-invited, minister-in-charge Heng Swee Keat should consider bringing the national conversation to the doorsteps of these vulnerable groups, as the future of Singapore concerns them as well.
I am deeply concerned about how our nation gears itself towards providing more protection for the vulnerable and the lower strata of society. This is the mark of our society's progress and maturity.
Chan Lai Gwen (Dr)