PAP conference

Party activists urged to give human touch to policies

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has called on his party's activists to provide the human touch to government policies, like building more flats or ramping up pre-school places.

In doing so, they help people to better understand the benefits and broader intent of policies, which are aimed at addressing their concerns.

"Beyond these individual policies, we need to connect the dots, to paint the overall picture for Singaporeans, so that people get the broader message," PM Lee said at the People's Action Party (PAP) conference yesterday.

"The broader message is that the Government understands your concerns, that the PAP is working with you to tackle problems together, and that whatever your difficulties, in Singapore you will never walk alone.

"To do that, we have to complement good policies with a human touch," PM Lee said in setting out a key objective of the party.

Speaking to more than 3,000 activists, he added: "By showing voters that you personally care, it convinces them that the PAP cares, and the PAP government cares."

He told them that they give the party a human face when they work with people on the ground.


"When you go door-to-door on house visits, you understand the residents' circumstances and needs. You can explain how exactly they can make use of government policies to personally benefit themselves."

He gave the example of how they can show young parents the way to use the Marriage and Parenthood Package to ease the financial burden of raising children, or explain to seniors how the Pioneer Generation Package and upcoming Merdeka Generation Package will help with their healthcare needs.

"You are not just helping to write letters and send them off to the Housing Board or Central Provident Fund Board or some other government agency," said PM Lee of their work at Meet-the-People Sessions. "You are offering residents friendship and encouragement, so that they identify with you, trust you and confide in you - help you to help them more."

In his speech, he also commended several activists for their long service, leadership and dedication to the party. "I know your work is not easy. It will be tiring, and sometimes even discouraging," he told the audience.

"But we are all here today because we count it a privilege to serve. Each person we succeed in helping, and whose life we make better - even by a little bit - makes it all worthwhile."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 12, 2018, with the headline 'Party activists urged to give human touch to policies'. Print Edition | Subscribe