Platform to be set up for young Singaporeans to discuss policies with Government

Platform to be set up for young Singaporeans to discuss policies with Government
PHOTO: Instagram/Edwin Tong

Young Singaporeans will be given more opportunities to have a voice in national issues, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong told Parliament on Friday (April 21).

This is through the creation of new youth-led panels later this year, Tong said during the debate on the president's address to Parliament.

Supported by the National Youth Council (NYC), the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and other relevant agencies, Singaporeans aged 15 to 35 will develop and recommend policies to the Government.

"These recommendations will be taken seriously," Tong said, adding that the suggestions may be presented in Parliament "if they merit further discussion".

Tong shared that he had met several young Singaporeans after the President's Address on April 10.

"They hoped for greater transparency on how their feedback and suggestions on policies were being considered by the Government," he said.

""We agreed that instead of taking an adversarial approach to policy suggestions, we could perhaps engage on these trade-offs and share views on opportunity costs, develop a deeper understanding of considerations that would be helpful when making policy suggestions."

Panels to be set up this year

With the new youth panels, young Singaporeans will work on a topic or policy which resonates with a broad section of youths, Tong said.

The Government will share its policy consideration and trade-offs and exchange data points with them, he added.

MCCY and NYC aim to set up two to three panels this year, comprising of youths from diverse backgrounds with experience and interest in the identified policy topics.

"Against this backdrop, we will create space for our young people to take the lead in the deliberations and formulate suggestions," Tong said.

The ministry said that more details will be shared in the coming months.

In his speech during the fifth day of debate on the President's Address, Tong also shared his ministry's plans - such as the recently-refreshed Racial and Religious Harmony Circles, and promote inclusivity by stepping up support for the creative and sports industries.

The country's diversity and harmony has allowed Singaporeans to chase their dreams and fulfil their ambitions, Tong said. 

"So let us not throw out what has worked well for us," he added.

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