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Series to discuss ideas for S’pore’s future launched

SINGAPORE — Picking up on where the Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) series left off, a new series of engagement sessions to get Singaporeans to talk about their ideas for the future was launched today (Nov 29).

Series to discuss ideas for S’pore’s future launched

Guests watching the film Theatre of Generations during the opening of The Future of Us exhibition. Photo: Don Wong

SINGAPORE — Picking up on where the Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) series left off, a new series of engagement sessions to get Singaporeans to talk about their ideas for the future was launched today (Nov 29).

First announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong when he unveiled the Cabinet line-up after the Sept 11 General Election, the SGfuture series will be led by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu and Minister in the Prime Minister’s office Chan Chun Sing.

Speaking at the official launch of the Future of Us exhibition at Gardens by the Bay today, Mr Lee said Singapore was coming to the close of SG50 and “beginning a new chapter of the Singapore story”. 

“Our future depends on what we make of it together and it’s up to each one of us to voice our hopes and our future dreams, to make the choices to realise these dreams, to help one another and work as team Singapore to shape our own destiny, so that we can build a Singapore that is inclusive, diverse but united,” said Mr Lee.  

The SGfuture sessions, which began today, will be held till to the middle of next year. They will be organised by various agencies and non-profit organisations, and will explore areas such as fostering a caring community, building a sustainable home, creating opportunities for learning, and strengthening community and national resilience.

“I hope you will step forward to work with fellow Singaporeans to shape our future, the future of us, so that by SG 100, we will have another celebration as happy and satisfying as this,” said Mr Lee. 

The OSC series, announced a year after the 2011 General Election, was a year-long exercise led by then-Education Minister Heng Swee Keat. 

About 47,000 Singaporeans were engaged in 660 sessions, with the feedback culminating in a report that set out ideals Singaporeans wanted for their government. The report found that Singaporeans wanted a government that was ready for diverse views, had empathy and was open to engaging with citizens.

Speaking to reporters today, Ms Fu said Singapore faces the challenge of keeping society united “as we find new fault lines in a very new nation”. “So getting citizens involved, engaged (is) the objective of SGfuture and Future of Us, (allowing us) the platform to engage many, many Singaporeans.”

She urged Singaporeans to think about the future and “pledge to do something” with their family and friends for Singapore. “This is not just about giving your ideas,” said Ms Fu. “It’s about putting your ideas into action and together ... as a united people really striving forward to bring about a better future for Singapore.”

The OSC, she said, provided a “very good idea” of the aspirations of Singaporeans, and the next phase is to “bring action into reality”. “It can be a small project to encourage recycling, a small project to volunteer to look after the elderly in the neighbourhood, it can be across many many sectors.” 

Asked about the timeline and scope of the series, Ms Fu said time was needed to work out the details and it was “a bit early” to talk about “concrete numbers” for now.

Meanwhile, the Future of Us exhibition will run till March 8 next year. The exhibition opens to the public Tuesday, but some Singaporeans were invited to a preview today. Among them was Mdm Shermeen Ng, who liked the futuristic concepts that were featured, like the cars of the future. “It will be excellent for my children,” said Mdm Ng, who is in her 30s and works in human resources in a bank. She visited the fair with her mother-in-law and two children.

Admission to the exhibition is free, but visitors are encouraged to register for tickets in advance at www.thefutureofus.sg. Tickets for January will be made available Tuesday.

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