PAP must fight at every corner to get its message across: Chan Chun Sing

The ruling People's Action Party (PAP) must continuously and strenuously defend the common space for people to speak up, because if it does not, then others will occupy the space and make them irrelvelant, said Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing as he highlighted three national priorities for the party at its convention on Sunday.


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Addendum to PAP Resolution 2013

In the last three months, the PAP embarked on a series of engagement sessions, led by the Party's three branches - the PAP Policy Forum (PPF), the Women's Wing (WW), and the Young PAP (YP). The Party sought views from members on the way forward. From these sessions, several themes were highlighted.

Our Cause: Our People

The People of Singapore have been, and will always be, our Cause. As a Party, we are dedicated to the service of our nation, and the progress and well-being of all Singaporeans. We uphold our democratic socialist ideals. We believe that we can achieve more through joint endeavours than individual efforts. We will continue to listen to, speak out for, and act on behalf of, our people.

A Singaporean Singapore

The Party stands for a Singaporean Singapore. We celebrate diversity and welcome those who share our collective values and purpose. At the same time, we want individual communities to keep alive their own heritages and ethnic identities. We will continue to promote trust, understanding and give-and-take among our different communities, and uphold harmonious relations in our multiracial and multi-religious society. We want a Singapore where people of different races and different faiths live peacefully together, as a cohesive society, and a nation of Singaporeans.

Opportunities for All

We aim to build a vibrant economy, offering abundant opportunities for all to work and prosper. We adapt and adjust to the realities of the global marketplace. We use market mechanisms to deliver services efficiently, but we also acknowledge its limitations. The market system must be complemented with active government and community action to avoid winner-takes-all outcomes. Every Singaporean who runs the race contributes to the progress of the nation, and deserves a share of the collective gains.

An Open and Compassionate Meritocracy

We firmly believe in a system of meritocracy where everyone has the opportunity to strive, and do well for himself and his family on the basis of ability and performance, regardless of race, language or religion. At the same time, we recognise that extreme competition can breed excessive rivalry and division, and undermine social mobility. So we must keep open paths and opportunities for all Singaporeans, regardless of their social backgrounds. We must give every child an equal chance to excel and lead a full life. We do not want advantages to be fixed at birth. Ours must be an open and compassionate meritocracy that benefits all, consistent with our ideals for a fair and just society.

A Singaporean Model of Social Welfare

We must develop a social welfare system that addresses immediate concerns, but is also sustainable over the long-term. Our ageing population makes this an urgent task. We should learn from the experiences of others and avoid their mistakes and problems. Our focus should be to help those with less, especially the poor, the disadvantaged, and those with special needs. We should give the elderly a sense of security, and honour the Pioneer Generation who built this nation. Our model of social welfare must sustain a fair and just society not just for one or two electoral terms, but for generations.

A Fair and Just Society

This was the founding mission of the Party in 1954, and it is even more relevant today, as we confront the forces of globalisation and rapid technological change. Our society will always have some who are less successful and others who do better, be it through hard work or good fortune. But all of us must feel that we are one people belonging to one nation with one destiny. So we must continue to ensure economic progress, and to share the benefits of progress with the less successful. We support a progressive system of taxes and benefits, and the provision of good housing, affordable healthcare, and quality education for all. As a fair and just society, we judge ourselves by how we treat our weakest members.

A Democracy of Deeds

We believe that collective responsibility and community solidarity - a shared sense of belonging and a willingness to work for the common good - will create a better life for all. We welcome diverse views and robust discussion from all Singaporeans to devise solutions for the good of all. We strive for a society where Singaporeans actively give of themselves to others. We aim for a nation where we feel a duty to one another, and not just a right to the benefits of citizenship. We stand for a State that is dynamic and positive, one that works to catalyse and support community action for a fair and just society.

A Responsive and Responsible Government

As a Party in Government, we will be responsive in addressing immediate concerns, and responsible in ensuring the long-term sustainability of our policies. We will tackle immediate challenges, to build more flats, improve our public transport, ramp up infrastructure provisions, and manage the inflow of foreign workers and immigrants. We will also look beyond the immediate and create long-term sustained success for Singapore. We eschew money politics in Singapore. We govern with integrity, and will never tolerate corruption.

Engage and Empower our People

The Party must reach out to Singaporeans from all walks of life, to make common cause with the broad mass of citizens. The values and objectives of the Party and the people must be at one. We must improve the way we communicate our intentions and actions to the people, and involve citizens in decisions that shape our nation and our shared future. As a Party, we need to get our messages out more effectively. We also need to counter distortions, falsehoods and half-truths, wherever we find them. We must lead with our values and objectives, and with concrete action that delivers results.

Transform the PAP

The Party must evolve and succeed under constantly changing conditions. We must stay in step with the young to help them realise their dreams and aspirations. We must do more with the old as valued members of our society, and tap on their collective experience and wisdom. Within the Party, we need to equip and train our members, and tap on their diverse range of skills, expertise and experience. We must also press forward with self-renewal, by systematically identifying capable and passionate young men and women of all backgrounds, including from the Party rank-and-file, and giving them opportunities to contribute and serve. This will keep the PAP fresh, enthusiastic and relevant, so that it can best serve the people of Singapore.

People's Action Party Resolution 2013

We, members of the People's Action Party, dedicate ourselves to upholding our democratic socialist ideals, serving our nation and improving Singaporeans' lives.

We resolve to strengthen our Singaporean identity, where people of different races, religions and backgrounds live harmoniously together, embrace one another as fellow citizens and work together for a better Singapore.

We resolve to create Opportunities for all Singaporeans to build a better life. We must sustain a vibrant economy, enabling quality jobs and improving living standards for all.

We resolve to uphold an Open and Compassionate Meritocracy, where everyone has the opportunity to fulfil his or her potential. In Singapore, a child's family circumstances or social background must not determine his or her success in life. We will strive to preserve social mobility so that all Singaporeans, regardless of social backgrounds, can succeed in diverse fields.

We resolve to build a Fair and Just Society, which shares the benefits of progress with all Singaporeans. We rely on free markets to grow the pie but will moderate its excesses. We will complement individual responsibility with government action and community support to uplift those with less. We support a progressive system of benefits and taxes to enable all to enjoy quality education, good housing and affordable healthcare. We will honour our seniors, and will help them to stay active and achieve greater security.

We resolve to develop a Democracy of Deeds, and nurture a sense of collective responsibility and community action. We strive for a society where citizenship embodies a duty to one another and our community.

We resolve to be a Responsive and Responsible Government. We will be responsive, to tackle immediate challenges; and responsible, to look beyond the immediate and create long term, sustained success for Singapore. We represent the diverse aspirations of Singaporeans. We govern with integrity and will never tolerate corruption.

At this 2013 Party Convention, we pledge ourselves anew to our Cause - to build a better Singapore, for Singaporeans and with Singaporeans.