Residents must take centrestage as PA strives to build cohesion: Lim Swee Say

Charting the direction he wanted the grassroots movement to take at its annual seminar, PA deputy chairman Lim Swee Say called on volunteers to change their mindset to a more "resident-centric" one, so as to better fulfill the PA's mission of buildin
Charting the direction he wanted the grassroots movement to take at its annual seminar, PA deputy chairman Lim Swee Say called on volunteers to change their mindset to a more "resident-centric" one, so as to better fulfill the PA's mission of building a cohesive community. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NURIA LING

The People's Association (PA) needs to re-orientate its focus back on its core mission of serving residents, deepen the emotional bonds with them, and involve more organisations as community partners.

Charting the direction he wanted the grassroots movement to take at its annual seminar, PA deputy chairman Lim Swee Say called on volunteers to change their mindset to a more "resident-centric" one, so as to better fulfill the PA's mission of building a cohesive community.

There was a mistaken perception that grassroots leaders and organisations existed to help the PA, its advisers who are drawn from members of Pailiament, and the Government, he told more than 1,000 grassroots volunteers at Orchid Country Club.

That was not the core mission, said Mr Lim, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Office. In reality, the PA and advisers are helping grassroots leaders to serve the citizenry.

He also called on grassroots volunteers to change their interactions from a "touch-and-go" one to a "touch-and-hold" one that would lead to better engagement with residents.

The PA, he added, should also work together with more partners, such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs), to serve the community.