TC congratulates Singapore on the new Cabinet and Parliament that will take the city-state into the next chapter of nation-building. Singapore's social policy must be kind and compassionate to ensure everyone has decent living and working conditions when they are in need.
Think Centre (TC), Singapore's oldest political NGO, congratulates Singapore on the new Cabinet and Parliament that will take the city-state into the next chapter of nation-building.
With the passing of 2011 watershed elections and the consequential retirement of Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) will be constituting a younger and renewed leadership team. MM Lee has been the chief architect of the Singapore success story and will be lauded in history not only by Singaporeans, but the world. From pre- to post-independence, he left hard and indelible marks on the political development and socioeconomic progress of Singapore.
If MM is the clinical architect who put in place the Singapore hardware, SM Goh is without doubt the builder who put in place the software of post-modernist Singapore. His much acclaimed softer and kinder style of governance gave heart and soul to Singapore Inc. He laid the foundations for public consultation, active citizenry and civic participation - all of which indirectly fostered the growth of a more inclusive society (for the record, TC was formed in 1999). As such, TC thanks MM and SM for their lifetime contributions which wrote the earlier chapters of the Singapore story today.
As Singapore moves into fourth generation since independence, the Singapore story is being led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his leadership-in-transition government towards 2020. While PM Lee continued to grow Singapore Inc towards a first-world economy,he has taken bold and at times radical steps in opening up the landscape for greater citizenry participation in political and socioeconomic areas. The policy mis-steps of his government however has affected segments of Singapore society in particular on housing, transport, home affairs, health care and education.
Singapore's social policy must be kind and compassionate to ensure everyone has decent living and working conditions when they are in need. The time has come to seriously consider social security insurance for those without work and minimum wage for those earning low wage which is not enough for the needs of their family.
While TC looks to PM on his new Cabinet and transformation of PAP rule, we urge the new political leadership to take new consideration of human rights recommendations made by civil society groups in Singapore's first universal periodic review. Such human rights issues are indeed ground-up initiatives by civil society groups and impact the peoples' lives. As member of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights(AICHR), Singapore's new Foreign Ministry leaders as well as incumbent AICHR representative must further Mr George Yeo's legacy of opening up to more inclusive engagement with civil society and concern individuals to better promote and protect human rights.
Together, we can transform Singapore into a truly first world country with respect for human dignity and rights.