Needed: New pioneers for a better S'pore

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A pioneering spirit that dreams of a better future, faces tough challenges squarely, and turns problems and constraints into opportunities - that is the spirit that should be nurtured within the PAP as well as among Singaporeans, said Mr Heng Swee Keat, Finance Minister and First Advisor to the PAP Policy Forum (PPF).

The PPF, he noted, has played an important role in nurturing such a spirit through the collation and generation of ideas among the party's rank-and-file.

"What is this pioneering spirit? The pioneering spirit is to dream of a better future, and to make our own Singapore way towards it. How do we act on this pioneering spirit? We stand for our Singapore principles and values and people, all that we hold dear," Mr Heng told the audience of about 300, including PAP Secretary-General Lee Hsien Loong, who were gathered at a dinner on June 2, 2015, to mark the PPF's 10th anniversary.

He called for a generation of new pioneers to create a better future for Singapore amid challenges such as accelerating global competition - much like how founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and the other founding fathers forged the way forward half a century ago.

He said that for the PAP to fulfill its responsibility of taking Singapore forward, it must continue to be the "champion of great ideas".

He lauded the PPF for embodying such a spirit by pioneering a new organisation structure that focuses on specific themes and develops specialised knowledge in certain policy areas.

PPF chairman Benjamin Tay noted in his speech that the PPF was set up 10 years ago to be the PAP's key platform for the rank-and-file to share their views with policy-makers in order to shape better policies.

He highlighted the part played by the PPF in putting together a Party Resolution in 2013 whose key ideas, such as a fair and just society and an open and compassionate meritocracy, were enshrined in the Party Constitution last year. It was the first amendment of the charter in more than 30 years.

Going forward, the PPF will continue to do its best, Mr Tay said. "We will gather your views with the aim of serving Singaporeans and making a better home for one and all."

The event also saw the unveiling of the PPF's new logo, and ended with a closed door dialogue during which PPF activists asked Comrade Lee about Singapore's and the PAP's future.

This article was first published in the October 2015 issue of Petir Magazine.

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