The ruling People's Action Party (PAP) must continuously and strenuously defend the common space for people to speak up, because if it does not, then others will occupy the space and make them irrelevant, said Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing as he highlighted three national priorities for the party at its convention on Sunday.
"We must not concede the space - physical or cyber. We will have to learn from the 1960 generation of PAP pioneers - to fight to get our message across at every corner - every street corner, every cyberspace corner, be it in the mass media or social media. We will have to do battle everywhere as necessary," he said.
That is why improving communication is one of three priorities on the national level for the PAP, said Mr Chan, who is the PAP's organising secretary. It must also deliver and enable.
The Government must deliver a better life for Singaporeans, not just through its many policies from housing to health-care, but it must integrate these policies across the different areas to achieve the desired impact, he said.
But the Government cannot be the sole deliverer of all things that Singaporeans desire, It must also enable Singaporeans to search for and develop solutions for themselves and their communities, he said.
"No one feels they belong because they get served or someone else delivered the goodies for them," he said. "We feel we belong because we participated and contributed. This is crucial to the next phase of development of our nation's spirit and identity."
In addition to the priorities on the national level, Mr Chan said that the PAP has to make sure national policies are connected at the local level, and its Members of Parliament must show there is a difference between them and the others.
"We are the Government. Unlike others, we do not say that taking care of the poor is the Government's business. We are the Government. We close the last mile. We go the extra mile," he said.