We must forge a new way forward together

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Our New Way Forward, A Call To Action

Secretary-General Lee Hsien Loong
Fellow Party Activists
Friends from the NTUC

In the past 12 months since the last Party Awards Presentation Ceremony, our Party has continued to make progress in its mission to provide a better life for all Singaporeans.

We have strengthened our capacity at Party HQ. We have reviewed and enhanced our internal processes. We have expanded our outreach and support for our Branches. We have intensified branch engagement. We have increased our party membership, especially among the young. We have stepped up training for party activists and up-skilled our branch capabilities. All these efforts are necessary to ensure that our Party remain responsive to the needs and aspirations of Singaporeans.

Our Singapore Conversation has provided a new approach to engage Singaporeans. It has received a very positive response. Many Singaporeans came forward to share their concerns, their dreams and their aspirations. Our party activists played an active role in contributing to the national conversation.

We are doing all these because the world, and in turn, Singapore, is at a turning point. The world is changing rapidly. So we must reassess our position and refresh our strategies. As emphasised by Comrade Lee Hsien Loong at his National Day Rally, we must make a strategic shift in our approach to nation building. We must forge a new way forward together. As we attend to current problems, we must still plan ahead, pre-empt future problems and create new possibilities for our future generations.

PM's National Day Rally sketched out the main policy changes. We are diligently putting them into action. Just as an example, MND is implementing and adjusting significant housing policies. As a result, the housing market has greatly stabilised. But we need to stay nimble and respond as needed. For instance, as supply and demand return to balance, MND will begin to start tapering off its massive home construction programme. We will however do so in a measured way, allowing the market to adjust.

Managing these policy changes is an important function of our party leadership as we are the governing party with the mandate to run the country. Singaporeans look to us, the PAP, to ensure that their welfare is protected. While we change our approach to nation building and evolve to stay abreast of external changes, our Party's purpose and our Party's basic values remain unchanged. We continue to act for the people of Singapore and to build a fair and just society. PAP continues to maintain high standards of integrity.

Another constant for our Party is the strength and dedication of our party activists. Our strong party activists help ensure that our Party win elections and secure a strong mandate from the people at every general election.

Tonight, we recognise 353 of these party activists. The Party holds these activists in high regard as role models who are trusted, committed and reliable. Without such loyal and outstanding members, there can be no PAP.

Commendation Medal

Topping the list are three activists who will receive the Commendation Medal. They are Mr Kuek Chiew Peng of Boon Lay branch, Mr Samuel Ling Teck Seng of Changi-Simei branch and Mr Lim How Kim of Jalan Kayu branch.

Together, they have rendered nearly 70 years of significant services for the people. They are veteran PAP activists who carry themselves with sincerity and humility while they tirelessly toil the ground. All three are known to have gone the extra mile to resolve residents' problems and to hold their hands through the toughest journeys. This is how our party activists touch the heart of Singaporeans. This is how our Party cultivates the ground and gains the trust and respect from the people we serve.

Dedicated Service Star & Other Medals

Another loyal activist is Mdm Tay Kwee Huay from Geylang Serai branch. She receives this year's Dedicated Service Star award.

Mdm Tay has served the party for 50 years. During her younger years, she volunteered as a videographer helping our party candidates win elections. Now at 81, she continues to serve diligently at her branch, supporting her other comrades and residents.

This year, there are 14 recipients of the Dedicated Service Medals. These are members who have each put in more than 35 years of contribution for the party. The most senior amongst them is Mdm Clara Beatrice Roberts. At 76, she has served 37 years in Marine Parade branch.

The other award recipients will receive the Gold, Silver, Bronze long service medals, Youth and Women Medals. The oldest recipient of the Gold Medal is Mr Ng Chee Tong who has served 26 years in Hougang branch. At 85 years, Mr Ng is also the oldest award recipient for tonight.

The youngest recipient tonight is 27-year old Mr Fong Yoong Kheong, from Eunos branch. Mr Fong is active both at the grassroots as well as in the party and is already a mentor to other even younger activists. He will receive the Youth Medal. The Party welcomes such young and passionate members, so that we can nurture them for more important roles at the branch later on.

As in previous years, we will be awarding the top 10 outstanding branch awards. 5 branches have been consistent in doing well and will be conferred the Sustained Performance Awards. This year, the recipients are Hong Kah North, Nee Soon South, SengKang West, Teck Ghee and Yuhua branches.

May I invite all the 353 award recipients to stand up for us to acknowledge their contributions!

District Achievement Awards

Besides these Award recipients, there are 208 activists who are honoured with the District Achievement Awards. These were given out over 5 District Events recently. These are for members who have served shorter stints with the party but have already distinguished themselves.

Conclusion

All of our award recipients have given their best efforts and personal sacrifice of service to the PAP. They set new precedents for us as role models, carrying the party flag high in their respective communities and serve the nation with total selflessness. I would like to commend and congratulate each and every one of them for making the PAP and Singapore proud.

Comrades. We have come a long way, but our best years are ahead of us. We have the power to shape our destiny and write the continuing Singapore story. Let us stand together, and dedicate ourselves to building in Singapore a brighter future for all.

Over the past few months, many of you have actively participated in a series of pre-Convention dialogues organised by the Party's three branches: the PAP Policy Forum, the Women's Wing and the Young PAP. Many have put forth strong and passionate views about how you think the party must chart a new way forward, so that we can better achieve our political cause. Some of you will present the main recommendations at the Party Convention. I look forward to the discussions tomorrow.

Meanwhile, let's congratulate all of the award recipients tonight. Tonight is your night. The PAP is deeply grateful for your service to the Party and to Singapore.

Thank you, and your families too, for the hard work, commitment and support.

This speech was delivered by Party Chairman Khaw Boon Wan at the Party Awards 2013 on December 7, 2013.

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