The People's Association (PA) needs to focus anew on its core mission of serving residents, deepen emotional bonds with them, and involve more organisations as community partners.
Charting the direction he wanted the grassroots movement to take at its annual seminar, PA deputy chairman Lim Swee Say called on volunteers to change their mindset to a more "residentcentric" one, so as to better fulfil the association's mission of building a cohesive community.
There was a mistaken perception that grassroots leaders and organisations existed to help the PA, its advisers who are drawn from Members of Parliament, and the Government, he told more than 1,000 grassroots volunteers at Orchid Country Club.
That was not the core mission, said Mr Lim, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Office.
In reality, the PA and advisers are helping grassroots leaders to serve the citizenry.
"Let us invert this grassroots triangle. Instead of the Government on top, now we put Government below, people on top," he said. "So... your main focus must be resident-centric. PA advisers, we are here to support you, not the other way round."
The PA, he added, should also work with more partners, such as non-governmental organisations and voluntary welfare organisations, to serve the community. And it was important, he said, for grassroots leaders to deepen their emotional connection with the people.
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