The Straits Times
Published on Oct 21, 2012

Singaporeans care about values, dialogues show

They are keen to create a kinder, more gracious society, says Lawrence Wong


When Singaporeans sit down to talk about their vision of the country's future, many focus on values such as kindness, graciousness and compassion.

This theme has emerged in dialogues since the national conversation kicked off officially a week ago, observed Senior Minister of State for Education Lawrence Wong, a member of the panel overseeing the consultative process.

"There is something that people do feel in wanting a kinder society, a more gracious society. That is one emerging thread that I've seen in the conversations that I've attended so far," he told reporters after a session with 60 young people on Saturday. Organised by the National Youth Council, it saw youth aged 16 to 25 suggesting offbeat ideas to make Singapore a happier home, many of which centred on values.

Junior college student Ang Jie, 17, suggested having dedicated days to recognise the contributions of blue-collar workers such as cleaners and construction workers, to make Singaporeans more compassionate. "This will help us better understand and appreciate what they do," she said.