Third speaker for the day, Yaw Shin Leong, ex-President of the NUS Democratic Socialist Club (DSC).
Politics can make a difference many of young people are under the impression that politics is boring, and nothing can be done to change things. Come on! If politics don't make a difference then why would we pay millions of dollars to the Ministers and Members of Parliament each year? I sincerely believe that as a youth, political action is fun and that we can actively change things through our participation.
Practical solutions to difficult problems
Politics should be all about being respecting people, sharing what we can and helping each other out. Long-term political change is not achieved by chaining ourselves to fences and screaming about injustice. Nor it is about hunger strikes! We're not crazy radicals; we're normal young people who want things like quality jobs, schools, hospitals and roads.
Having a good time
Politics is fun. Working in a committee, talking to people in the community, and coming up with solutions to challenging problems is by no means boring. Never mind the competition, the thrill and excitement of being part of a movement for change, and the comradeship with fellow like-minded individuals is sufficient for you to be involved in politics.
Politics is about power; both winning it and exercising it. It's also about changing things for the better. Good politics involves the election of suitable candidates who are backed by a diverse group of people. This is where you come in. Being involved in a politics means that you have a say in who runs for political office in your single seat ward or GRC, and on a larger scale you help shape the policy of the government.
People power, not money power
Change can only occur if you get involved and fight for it. Youth generally speaking are not rich people and most of us don't have the resources to run expensive election campaigns. However, Youth participation in politics increases public awareness, we rely on both our activism and our word of mouth. Money may control and constraint the efforts of Youth in politics, but ultimately we all have our vote, and it's our responsibility to use it wisely and to urge others to do the same. Money should not control the political agenda.
Who controls the Government?
The voters do, and the Youth has an influence in politics. There are many young people at every level of society, who in one way or another will shape the future of political climate in Singapore
Whom we need?
We need active young people who are willing to stand up for Singapore and who are willing to strive towards the goal of Fear-free society. You can make a difference by dedicating a small amount of your time toward a non-partisan cause, a party event, or any one of the many activities involving Youth in politics. By getting involved in politics, you can help shape the future of our nation. With political action, there will be no Production of FEAR,
Fear is a cyclical thing. Once you legitimize fear, you reproduce fear.
Citing a famous quotation of JBJ, he once said, "Fight the FEAR!"
I was with the DSC for 2 years - Instrumental in shaping my political perspectives and ideology. Being non-partisan enables me to see both side of the fence really clearly.
Chief Objective: Crusade against political apathy (During my term of office) Being in the business of fighting political apathy, we held Public Forums/ Publications (Peoples & the Demos)/ Debates
While DSC strives really hard to fight apathy by providing platforms for students to air their views. However there are 2 major forms of obstacles
Firsty: Top-down Secondly: Bottom Up
PM Goh's challenge - Reaction test kit:
Concept paper- Opposition 21 Students Association in NUS OSA predictable response
In NTU we tried to set up PASS (Political Awareness student society) However, the SAO laid several obstacles along the way.
At the beginning of my speech, I mentioned the "Politics? Sian Ah Why bother?" mentality
Now let me offer 2 more "ISD is watching" "Politics? Dun play play"
My question is what's the rationale of these words? It is apathy & fear.
Let me end off by offering this piece of advice to anyone out there who has the slightest inkling of interest in politics:
Apathy & fear are the unsuspecting cancerous cells of the Singaporean Youth.
Fight them before they consume you!