SINGAPORE: Even as Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat’s committee gets down to work on the national conversation process, there have been calls to reach out to as wide a spectrum as possible.
Singapore’s parliamentarians say that the "Our Singapore Conversation" initiative requires the participation of many in order to hear the views about the kind of nation Singaporeans want to have in the next 20 years.
Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Yaacob Ibrahim said: "For the Malay community, it offers an opportunity for us to voice our concerns not as Malays but as Singaporeans first.
"Whether they are issues that are important to us, they must also be important to the national community. We have a stake in the future of this country."
Political observers emphasise the need for the right environment for the dialogue sessions.
Nominated MP Assistant Professor Eugene Tan said: "For all the different consultations, it is important that the environment is not seen as being hostile.
"You need different moderating skills to ensure that everyone would have a chance to express their views and express them without fear or favour."
And there will be a wide range of issues to be discussed.
Minister of State for Finance and Transport Josephine Teo said: "For some, it is the economy that matters more. For others, it is how society evolves, family structures, it is about education, it is about also the "kampung spirit", it is about heritage, it is about identity.
"Different Singaporeans feel that these different aspects of Singapore life are important to them. And it is not a matter of one being more important than the other, it is a matter of one working hand—in—hand with the other, and creating the overall, Singapore tapestry that we all feel connected to, we feel proud of, and we feel we own."
"And that is a rather interesting exercise, something that is not usually done because we tend to take a very pragmatic approach towards individual subject matters," Mrs Teo added.
MORE SINGAPORE NEWS
Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn
Despite the rain, stars such as director Roman Polankski, actress Jessica Chastain, actress Milla Jovovich and actor Zachary Quinto grace th... More Despite the rain, stars such as director Roman Polankski, actress Jessica Chastain, actress Milla Jovovich and actor Zachary Quinto grace the red carpet at Cannes.
Date 1 hr ago, Duration 0:45, Views 0