Party Convention 2013: Speech by Young PAP

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Speech by Mr Rahul Shah

Good morning Comrades.

As we prepared for our presentation this morning, we brainstormed many ideas on how best to put forward the views and opinions of our party youth.

We had close to 120 -150 youth activists from 15 regions at the pre-convention dialogue expressing their vision for our new way forward.

Our sharing encompassed our vision for PAP as the ruling party, as the connector between government and people as well as the choice platform for aspiring change-makers.

We were reminded during the session that the true potential of the youth lies not merely in the potential energy and dynamism we posses to drive the nation forward but also in our potential to dream, imagine and aspire without limit. This potential cannot simply be harnessed without first being nurtured.

Just like plants in nature, the youth too will only grow in the direction that they see light. What we shared was the desire for the party to be medium that aids in making this light more accessible. To provide the environment, the empowerment and all, the possible means to enable us to dream, imagine and aspire freely. The possibility of materializing them not only in sight but very much within reach.

To facilitate this, YP will continuously strive to be the avenue to highlight and air the diverse aspirations of the Singaporean youth. The pre-convention dialogue was a start.

We therefore decided to let the youths speak for themselves and present their messages as they are so that form does not blanket the substance.

Therefore Comrades, the Young PAP presents to you the voices of the Youths.

(YP video montage)

Speech by Ms Hamidah Aidillah Mustafa

Re-igniting the vigour of youth through working together with the old Comrades, the voices of youth featured in the Young PAP video earlier encompass the shared hopes and aspirations for the Party and for Singapore.

The youth at the Young PAP aims to re-ignite the passion of servant leadership, to re-establish the emotional connect with Singaporeans and to re-enforce our heritage that we are the Party for all Singaporeans.

During my time serving the Party, I've had the pleasure of working with many older PAP Activists who exemplify grit, tenacity and dedication in serving their residents. I am humbled by their resolve to serve the residents but I am even more touched at their warmth and willingness to include younger members positively.

What I admire most, is the close working relationship between the younger and older members of the Party heading towards a common goal.

There is a Malay saying which goes, "Yang Tua dihormati dan yang Muda disayangi"- meaning that the old should be respected while the young should be cared and loved. I strongly believe in this resolve because the young in the Party can only progress if we are embraced, and mentored by the older Party members.

The Young PAP, thus cannot function in silos. For It is only through working together, that new frontiers can be forged and a stronger Party bond, achieved.

The need to evolve in our political approach

Comrades, I believe that each and every one of you in this hall today, has cared for your residents, neighbours and fellow Singaporeans.

However, we may have forgotten how to fight and win a political battle in the midst of searching for practical and sound solutions. We have been associated with being rigid, unforgiving and harsh, perhaps. While this may be the perception, I know that such is far from the truth.

Hence, it is the wish of the Young PAP to see the Party evolve to becoming more approachable, attractive and - if I may say - a sexier Party.

Thus, it is not a change in policy or governance that we want, but rather, a change in the way in which we approach matters and a change in the way we engage our fellow party activists and fellow Singaporeans.

We feel it takes moral courage, humility, and the ability to know that political success may not always come to us every time.

But we must still continue trying our best to the very end for Singapore. Bak kata pepatah Melayu (Or as the Malay proverb goes), "alang-alang menyeluk perkasam, biar sampai ke pangkal lengan."

Together, we can become the more attractive Party. The Party with a heart, and the Party trusted to bring Singapore forward!

Thank you.

This speech was delivered by Mr Rahul Shah and Ms Hamidah Aidillah Mustafa at the Party Convention 2013 at Kallang Theatre.

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