Future success depends on youth of today: Minister

Good when they are not too contented - it shows they want to make S'pore better: Chun Sing

How successful Singapore will be by SG100 is not just up to the next generation of leaders, but the following generation - in other words, the young people of today, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing yesterday.

That is why he likes it when young people complain and are not too contented, he told a group of them at a networking event, as this means they want to make Singapore better.

"If you are actually quite Zen sitting down there like everything in Singapore is okay, then I'm actually quite worried," he said, addressing some 700 volunteers and representatives from educational institutions and youth groups at Our Tampines Hub.

"Each generation must build upon the foundations of the last, each generation must add something to it. Otherwise, Singapore will plateau, and anything that plateaus and stops moving will soon degenerate," he added, telling them that Singapore is a "constant work in progress".

Speaking at the event organised by the People's Association Youth Movement (PAYM), Mr Chan encouraged volunteers to seek out partners to collaborate with, so that they can share information and leverage existing work to further help the community.

The dialogue was part of the PAYM's first large-scale networking session for members of its Youth Executive Committees and youth groups such as school clubs.

PAYM signed new agreements with nine partners, including the Junior Chambers International (Singapore), National University of Singapore Medical Society and Young Sikh Association.

BUILD ON FOUNDATIONS

If you are actually quite Zen sitting down there like everything in Singapore is okay, then I'm actually quite worried... Each generation must build upon the foundations of the last, each generation must add something to it. Otherwise, Singapore will plateau, and anything that plateaus and stops moving will soon degenerate.

MINISTER IN THE PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE CHAN CHUN SING

Reminding the youth that they can make a difference, Mr Chan said that while there are many things in Singapore that people admire, there are also areas for improvement.

"The trick lies with you all today. It is your generation, your partnerships within your generation and across generations that will take Singapore to the next lap," he added.

Noting that Singaporeans are often described as "complain kings and queens", he said this was something to cheer as it shows a desire for improvement.

"But having complained, who is going to solve the complaint? It is not some amorphous government out there. It is nobody but us. We owe it to ourselves, 3.5 million Singaporeans... we will make it work," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 22, 2017, with the headline 'Future success depends on youth of today: Minister'. Print Edition | Subscribe