Singapore in 25 years

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To envisage Singapore's future, the Young PAP and PAP Policy Forum jointly organised a dialogue to gather insights from members on their aspirations for Singapore in the next 25 years.

For the dialogue to be effective, they must be representative of the national demographics. Held on May 31, the dialogue was titled "The 60-minute challenge: Build our Singapore", during which participants came up with their aspirations.

The 33 of them were divided into specific age groups - youth, young working adults, working adults and seniors. Aspirations were segmented into three levels based on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: Basic level (housing, transport, education, income level, etc), the Intermediate level (community, family development, arts and heritage, etc) as well as the Advanced level (self-actualisation, national identity, etc).

It kicked off with participants discussing their ideas with fellow activists of the same age group. After the hour-long discussion, each participant was given three different coloured Lego bricks to choose from, as part of the Build Our Singapore exercise. The Lego coloured bricks represented different levels in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. To show how we have infinite wants but finite resources, participants could choose only one brick that they would like to build onto a Singapore in the year 2040.

What surprised the organisers was that a vast majority chose a blue brick that denoted an advanced level of need. What this signalled was that at all ages, participants trusted that Singaporeans and the government would have the capability and capacity to fully meet their basic and intermediate needs within the next 25 years.

Aspirations of each demographic group

The youths aspired for transparency of information, a society that's open and accepting towards diversity and a cosmopolitan culture. Singaporeans would fully embrace the borderless world of globalisation to fully reap its benefits.

A happy, open society which is inclusive is what the young working adults wanted. Local talent would be nurtured and a flexible education system would be developed to suit each individual's strengths. Singaporeans would all be viewed as equals in nation-building.

The working adults aspired for their children to study under an innovative education system which would create a community of innovators and thinkers instead of just doers. They wished for a Singaporean heart and soul, and for Singaporeans to feel so proud that they want to remain here to contribute to nation-building.

Growing food on rooftop gardens, an engaged citizenry and a community imbued with a kampong spirit were the seniors' aspirations.

MP Ms Penny Low, who is a member of the Culture, Community and Youth GPC, observed the outcome showed that participants have aspirations for the country, as one that's worth investing in.

She too shared her aspirations - a smart city which is technologically organised, enabling us to make more intelligent decisions.

Ms Low wished for Singapore to be more environmentally-friendly, for fellow Singaporeans to be socially connected and most importantly, that decisions are not made in isolation but with the power of free flow of information.

These insights will be further analysed by the PAP Policy Forum team, which will produce a report for the Culture, Community and Youth GPC's consideration.

Zizie Zuzantie is a member at Tampines West branch. She is the head of YP Political Discussions and takes charge of the Culture, Community and Youth Committee in the 5th PAP Policy Forum.

This article was first published in the July 2014 issue of Petir Magazine.

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Published by and at the directions of People's Action Party
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