Debate on ministries' budgets: Culture, Community and Youth

Parliament: From The Backbench

NOMINATED MP ANTHEA ONG
NOMINATED MP ANTHEA ONG
NON-CONSTITUENCY MP DANIEL GOH
NON-CONSTITUENCY MP DANIEL GOH
NOMINATED MP MOHAMED IRSHAD
NOMINATED MP MOHAMED IRSHAD
NOMINATED MP YIP PIN XIU
NOMINATED MP YIP PIN XIU
MR FAISAL MANAP (Aljunied GRC)
MR FAISAL MANAP (Aljunied GRC)
NOMINATED MP TERENCE HO
NOMINATED MP TERENCE HO
MR HENRY KWEK (Nee Soon GRC)
MR HENRY KWEK (Nee Soon GRC)
MR LEE YI SHYAN (East Coast GRC)
MR LEE YI SHYAN (East Coast GRC)

NOMINATED MP ANTHEA ONG

Smaller groups not helped by fund

Smaller organisations are disadvantaged by the way the Bicentennial Community Fund has been set up, Ms Ong said.

The fund will provide dollar-for-dollar matching for donations made to Institutions of a Public Character (IPCs) this financial year. Ms Ong pointed out that there are only 200 IPCs, but many more non-IPC charities, non-governmental organisations and ground-up initiatives.

She suggested that more can be done to get corporate partners on board, and that in the long term, employment in charities could even qualify individuals for greater tax exemptions.


NON-CONSTITUENCY MP DANIEL GOH

Build memorial wall for fallen soldiers

Construct a "simple and solemn" memorial wall for fallen soldiers at the upcoming Founders' Memorial, on which the names of those who have lost their lives in service can be inscribed, said Associate Professor Goh.

The Founders' Memorial, which will be built at Bay East Garden, is intended to honour Singapore's founding generation of leaders by expressing the ideals and values upon which the nation is built.

"National servicemen and regulars who lost their lives in training and on duty paid the ultimate price for these ideals and values," he said.


NOMINATED MP MOHAMED IRSHAD

Help spur social mixing

Government agencies and community leaders can do more to encourage Singaporeans to mix with people outside their usual circles, Mr Mohamed Irshad said.

He made reference to a 2017 study which found that diversity in social networks among Singaporeans strengthens social capital, trust, national identity and national pride.

Mr Mohamed Irshad asked what the Government is doing to improve social mixing, especially among people with different school backgrounds, as well as those living in public and private housing.


NOMINATED MP YIP PIN XIU

Work towards more inclusivity in sports

In a 10-minute speech, Ms Yip called for a "systemic transformation" of the national sports system which would result in greater integration between the systems for able-bodied athletes and their counterparts with disabilities.

At the moment, all athletes with disabilities are represented through the Singapore Disability Sports Council, instead of the sports they play.

"Are we not putting the disability before the ability?" she asked. "If an agency is representing a sport nationally, should it represent the sport to everyone in the nation, or only to those it deems fit?"


MR FAISAL MANAP (Aljunied GRC)

Better climate for national football team

The problem that is preventing Singapore's national football team from achieving excellence is a systemic one, Mr Faisal said.

He highlighted a Straits Times Forum letter by the Football Association of Singapore's general secretary that pointed out that many local footballers have to juggle other commitments at an age where their peers from other countries are full-time professionals.

He suggested that the Government work on creating a "favourable ecosystem" for the national team and study how Iceland has managed to succeed in this area.


NOMINATED MP TERENCE HO

Do more to support arts fund raising

Set as few restrictions as possible on the use of funds such as the Bicentennial Community Fund and Culture Matching Fund, Mr Ho suggested. Doing so would help to best meet the varying needs of different groups and allow for greater creativity, he said.

Mr Ho also suggested that the Government provide matching grants not just for funds raised, but for earned income such as ticket proceeds. This would help smaller groups with less fund-raising power, he said.


MR HENRY KWEK (Nee Soon GRC)

Let the arts bring people together

In a world that is increasingly fluid, Singapore's arts heritage anchors its national identity and inspires Singaporeans to collectively adapt to the changing world, Mr Kwek said.

He asked how insights from various government initiatives, such as the 2010 Arts and Culture Strategic Review, will collectively shape arts and culture here.

In a world that has changed dramatically since the review was launched, the arts can help to bring diverse communities together and bridge societal fault lines, he said.


MR LEE YI SHYAN (East Coast GRC)

Consider how sports builds character

Quoting at length a note written by national shuttler Loh Kean Yew to the younger players in the National Intermediate Squad, Mr Lee said that sports unites and builds character. In the note, Mr Loh - who had at that point just beaten two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan - reminded the younger players to stay disciplined, tap all available resources, set a goal and persevere towards it.

Mr Lee also asked for an update on the Vision 2030 masterplan and key achievements so far.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 09, 2019, with the headline 'From The Backbench'. Print Edition | Subscribe