Ms Ng Ling Ling: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth what are the existing platforms or initiatives that the Ministry has created to promote inter-generational collaboration and actions in tackling the issues facing Singaporeans, including the ageing population and shift in workforce composition going forward.
Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Law:
- MCCY brings together Singaporeans from across generations to build consensus on issues that matter to them, and plan our future together. Some examples are as follows:
a. We engage Singaporeans to forge our shared identity, and to think about the values and legacy we want to leave behind for future generations. More than 80,000 people of all ages contributed their ideas and views to the Founders’ Memorial to date.
b. This year, in spite of the on-going pandemic, 74 Singaporeans aged between 17 and 73 are working together to create content to update the Singapore Citizenship Journey for new citizens.
c. In June 2020, DPM Heng Swee Keat launched the Singapore Together Emerging Stronger Conversations, for Singaporeans young and old to come together, reflect on the COVID-19 crisis, and contribute their views on how Singapore can emerge from it stronger and more resilient. The conversations will lead to Singapore Together Action Networks – collaborations formed around the salient issues that emerge from the conversations – these too will reflect inter-generational involvement.
- There are other initiatives to encourage meaningful connections between the young and the old, and which recognise how our ageing population can still be a force for good when coupled with the strengths of our youth.
a. Seniors have stepped up to be part of the Mentoring Alliance to mentor youths;
b. Youth Corps Singapore’s Eldercare Cluster has regular youth-led initiatives such as Cantonese classes taught by seniors to youths, as well as “Senior Superheroes” where seniors impart practical knowledge and skills including shopping at wet markets and cooking to youths;
c. NYC supports youth-led initiatives such as “Interlogue” aimed at strengthening relationships between grandparents and children through a museum programme involving conversation starter kits and activities.
d. Our Singapore Fund has also supported ground-up initiatives by groups such as the Cassia Resettlement Team, Empower Aging and ACE Seniors, which bring different generations of Singaporeans together to serve the community.
- It will be increasingly important for different generations of Singaporeans to work together to overcome our challenges – such as the ones brought to the fore by the pandemic – and to seize the opportunities ahead of us. This ability to work together, empathise with the experiences of different generations, and recognise each others’ strengths, will also make us a more competitive workforce as our workplaces will better harness the energies of a more diverse profile of employees.
- Therefore, MCCY will continue to work with other agencies to provide more platforms for Singaporeans of all ages to work together. However, fostering inter-generational collaboration is not something the Government can do alone. It ultimately requires all Singaporeans, young and old, to make the effort to listen and build relationships with one another. We encourage Singaporeans of all generations to step forward to be part of our democracy of deeds, and to work together to gift a stronger, better Singapore for future generations.