A big Thank You to all of you, our active Contributors, for your support and participation!
About 200 REACH's active contributors came together on 2nd May for the annual REACH's Contributor Forum. This year's event was graced by National Development Minister, Mr Khaw Boon Wan and Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth & Sports, Mr Chan Chun Sing.
Housing, pet ownership and how Singaporeans can be more politically aware – these are some of the discussion topics raised at the forum, themed "Singapore 2020 – Co-creating Our Future".
Three active REACH contributors were also honoured as 'Outstanding REACH Contributors' at the event. They are:-
- Ms Murugiah Komala, a final-year university student
- Mdm Siti Nor'aini Abdul Samat, a housewife
- Mr Yap Tze Kiat Eddy, a purchasing officer
REACH Chairman, Dr Amy Khor shared that the three recipients were selected based on the keen interest they demonstrated in national issues, their positive attitude towards public engagement, and because they exemplify how to offer constructive feedback and promote civil and respectful discussions both online and face-to-face.
Opening Remarks by REACH Chairman, Dr Amy Khor
Check out the questions by REACH contributors during the REACH Contributors' Forum 2012 !
Political Awareness of Youths
Mr Lu Keehong asked to see youths becoming more politically aware so that we would have Singaporeans who can check on the Government.
Mr Chan explained that political awareness was more than just about attending rallies but also about understanding the concerns and challenges, the tensions and trade-offs in Singapore and also the larger forces in the world shaping Singapore's future.
Mr Soh Yi Da noted that capital gains through investment in property has also contributed towards the wider income gap and is a liability towards the creation of a cohesive society. He thus asked if heavier taxes could be imposed on the higher income group who invest in property to narrow this income gap.
In response, Mr Chan said that he shared similar concerns that the wider income gap will limit the social mobility among Singaporeans. As such, he emphasised that the government would ensure that there are equal opportunities for all Singaporeans through sound and wide-reaching policies such as education. However, it is also important for the public, private and people sector to work together to create these opportunities for Singaporeans beyond the social transfer that the Government can provide.
The participant recalled his experience in Hong Kong where activities such as mock parliaments were organised to engage youths on local policies and global issues.
Mr Chan said that similar platforms are available here for youths and those young at heart to engage on the dynamics of policy-making such as the recent Singapore Model Parliament organised by REACH. However, he added that he would like youths to be more involved in these platforms to nurture the substance and depth of the issues surrounding policy-making and not merely emulate the form of these available mediums. Moreover, he elaborated that every generation must reconsider the policies that have been set in place and its relevance to today's context as well as its future implications.