The People's Action Party (PAP) on Sunday resolved to uphold an open and compassionate meritocracy, and build a fair and just society in Singapore, as it adopted a significant resolution that will define its cause in a new phase of Singapore's development.
Explaining the reason for this move, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the PAP's secretary-general, said that while the fundamental goals of the PAP remain the same, and have been set out in its constitution and pledge, it is time to interpret and update them for a new generation.
These goals are to build a multi-racial, fair and just society with opportunities for all.
"I think we can all agree these are the right things to do... But what do these ideals mean tangibly, concretely, in this day and age? We must interpret these goals in a new phase and with a new generation," he said at the party's convention at Kallang Theatre.
The party's objectives in its constitution were last revised in 1988, following a nationwide discussion that resulted in an Agenda for Action.
Continuing the themes he had raised in his National Day Rally, PM Lee emphasised in his speech the importance of an open and meritocractic society, building a fair and just society, and strengthening the Singaporean identity.
Particularly, on Singaporean identity, he said it was put as the first item on the resolution because "it is that important".
He said race and religion continue to remain very powerful forces with religious consciousness even stronger now than before.
"We have not reached a point where I do not have to mention a Singaporean Singapore as a goal," he said.
He also unveiled a new group within the PAP that will champion the cause of the elderly, to better understand them and speak up for them.
Known as the PAP Seniors' Group, or PAP.SG, it will be headed by Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, with Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong as its advisor.
"This is an interest group, not a group of old people," PM Lee said to laughter.
With the political environment becoming more contested, he also urged the party members to fight for what they believe and convince Singaporeans that the party's cause is the right one.
"We must counter opposition moves. They may throw stones at you, but we must stand firm. We are the PAP. We are proud of what we are doing," he said.