New PPF council has new as well as familiar faces
The 7th Council, which starts its two-year term on Jan 1, 2017, comprises 25 members. Petir speaks with four of them on their plans
Ang Mo Kio-Hougang Branch
Works in education sector
"I will not die an unlived life" is the principle that Yvonne Tang abides by, one
which she uses often to inspire others.
Passionate about the development of the media industry, she would like to see how the government can provide better funding and creative guidance to local film makers so that
Singapore can continue to thrive as a media hub.
Ms Tang obtained a Masters of Arts in Media from the UK, under a Media Development Authority scholarship and has created branding and content for international channels
such as BBC and National Geographic.
She started her grassroots involvement at the meet-the-people session in 2015. Since this year, she has been conducting communications and media training for grassroots leaders and volunteers of Ang Mo Kio- Hougang Branch. More such training is on the cards.
Citing a quote by international expert on learning and perception Dawna Markova, Ms Tang said she aspires to "… live so that which came to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which came to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."
Keat Hong Branch
Academic entrepreneur and political risk analysis consultant
David Koh's involvement in grassroots work and politics happened after GE2011 which convinced
him that he should step into the arena to make a difference.
He advocates open communication and feedback in the policy-making process because discussions and sharing of views and experiences are likely to ignite passion to bring about a better society. And the role of moderators in such a public discourse is also important to facilitate meaningful and fruitful exchanges.
Generally, Mr Koh does not foresee the need for a drastic change in policies but thought that some could be fine-tuned to accommodate more flexibility and discretion. He pointed out that as our society is getting more complex and diverse, we need to take a more calibrated approach when giving social assistance.
Mr Koh has a passion and flair for languages. He opted to spend an extra year in his A level due to his love of Chinese studies, even though he was in the English stream. Being fluent in Vietnamese, he is often mistaken for a native speaker. He advises a Vietnamese NGO that works with vulnerable and marginalised groups in that country.
Punggol North Branch
Entrepreneur in education technology and investments
Theodora Lai has been particularly active in youth development causes and mentorship of young women since 2009. She returned home recently on completion of her MBA at Tsinghua University, China. Since then, she has embarked on an entrepreneurial path, focusing on education technology and investments in Singapore and China.
An economist by training and having worked with family businesses, she hopes to see more in-depth engagement on policies that benefit SMEs, especially those which are grappling with technology changes.
Ms Lai said that technology disruption has presented us with opportunities as well as challenges. Our policies must cultivate the curiosity and provide access to learn and explore different domains of knowledge with breadth and depth, enabling more Singaporeans to harness technology changes.
A believer in social cohesion, Ms Lai thinks that an ordinary person like her, when working together with other ordinary people towards a shared vision, can achieve extraordinary things. With that in mind, she is looking forward to working with the 7th PPF Council to create a better understanding among PPF and party members to shape our collective future.
Lawyer and legislative assistant
Lawyer and legislative assistant Sujatha Selvakumar believes one should always dream, explore and discover one's fullest potential, because "being the best possible version of your self is the greatest gift to our loved ones and our country."
Her philosophy has prompted her to volunteer at the meet-the-people session since 2008 at Chong Pang Branch, and currently at Gambas Branch after it was formed in 2015.
With her experience in using tools like design thinking and hackathon to facilitate and moderate discussion and exchange of views, Ms Selvakumar hopes to enhance the level of civic engagement within the party, so that policies can benefit the widest spectrum of society. She hopes to see more companies and organisations adopt flexible hours and work arrangements to enhance the quality of life as Singaporeans juggle work, family and personal needs.
"I also look forward to the 7th PPF Council being able to provide greater support in the formulation of policies," she said.
An avid reader with an "insatiable appetite for travel", Ms Selvakumar also volunteers with the Law Society and SINDA Youth Club.
This article was first published in the December 2016 issue of Petir Magazine.