Voices Of Youth

Never too early to learn about politics

In the lead-up to the recent general election, my parents took me to rallies held by the People's Action Party, Singapore Democratic Party, Singaporeans First and Workers' Party.

They wanted me to hear and see for myself what policies and values the parties promoted and represented.

A month before going to the rallies, I accompanied my father and his friend to a few Meet-the-People sessions.

Again, my parents wanted me to experience being "on the ground", to know the everyday problems faced by some of the middle- and working-class Singaporeans, and to develop empathy for others.

These were eye-opening experiences.

It was evident from the rallies that many people wished to listen to what the opposition had to say.

The large crowds at the opposition rallies, however, did not translate into votes in the end. This was an important takeaway for me, as social media did not seem to reflect that.

It is vital that Singapore youth keep abreast of the local political scene, as it will soon be their turn to vote.

Having knowledge of local politics, and some awareness of regional and global current affairs, will help us make informed decisions based on balanced perspectives.

We cannot simply stay in our comfort zone and rely on social media for information and perspectives.

As far as possible, we should be involved with our community.

In this way, we can learn what is happening on the ground in Singapore.

Yeo Jen-Lin, 16, Secondary 4 student


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2015, with the headline ''. Print Edition | Subscribe