Citizens’ Workgroup presents a welcome letter to new citizens – a report on understanding what it means to be Singaporean
Following seven months of dialogue and deliberation, the Citizens’ Workgroup for the Singapore Citizenship Journey has submitted their report, “Being at Home: A Welcome Letter from Singaporeans”, to the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY).
28 November 2020
- Following seven months of dialogue and deliberation, the Citizens’ Workgroup for the Singapore Citizenship Journey has submitted their report, “Being at Home: A Welcome Letter from Singaporeans”, to the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY). The report contains content that the Workgroup members want to share with all naturalised citizens, including findings from their in-depth discussions of the question, “What makes us Singaporean?” Singaporeans can view the report and share their responses with MCCY at https://www.ideas.gov.sg/public/cwscj by 28 December 2020.
- Launched in 2011, the Singapore Citizenship Journey (SCJ) is a mandatory programme for naturalised citizens to enrich their understanding of Singapore’s history, deepen their appreciation of Singaporean norms and values, and provide opportunities for meaningful interactions with the community. While the SCJ has been updated regularly over the years, MCCY wanted to invite perspectives and ideas from citizens themselves in this round of review. MCCY will use content from the Workgroup’s report to enhance the SCJ next year.
The Citizens’ Workgroup for the Singapore Citizenship Journey
- In January 2020, MCCY invited Singaporeans through an open call to join the Citizens’ Workgroup for the Singapore Citizenship Journey. The Workgroup was to propose content that they considered was essential for all naturalised citizens to appreciate. More than 200 members of the public responded to the call. The Citizens’ Workgroup convened its first session on 25 April, with 93 members from diverse backgrounds, including local-born and naturalised citizens.
An entirely digital journey
- The Workgroup members conducted their discussions over nine half-day sessions (about 27 hours in total) in two phases. To ensure safe-distancing due to COVID-19 restrictions, Workgroup members used video conferencing tools for discussions, as well as messaging apps and social media platforms to engage one another between the sessions.
In-depth discussions, broadening viewpoints
- In Phase 1 (25 April to 4 July), Workgroup members discussed various topics to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be Singaporean, including values, norms, roles and responsibilities. Building on these conversations, 69 participants continued into Phase 2, which took place from 15 August to 7 November 2020. The Workgroup members designed a survey to seek the views of more than 3,000 Singaporeans outside the Workgroup, representative of Singapore’s demographic make-up. The findings were consolidated into a report titled “Being at Home: A Welcome Letter from Singaporeans”. The report is written as a Welcome Gift from Singaporeans to naturalised citizens. It was presented to Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong on 7 November 2020.
The spirit of Singapore Together
- Commenting on the Workgroup’s report, Minister Edwin Tong said, “The Citizens’ Workgroup members stepped forward because they care deeply about Singapore and Singaporeans. Amid COVID-19, the Citizens’ Workgroup adapted to the digital sessions and dedicated their personal time and expertise to this project. I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the Citizens’ Workgroup for their effort and contributions. They exemplify the ethos of Singapore Together by working with the government, and one another, for the common good. We will continue to partner and engage Singaporeans in building our shared future.”
- Shereen Mohd Idris Bin S Ali, a member of the Workgroup, said, “Being part of the Workgroup and reflecting on what makes us Singaporean has been a meaningful journey that allowed me to share my multicultural identity and deepen my relationship with fellow Singaporeans. The experience reveals how Singaporeans are culturally rich and hold an incredible repository of social capital that is always respectful, inclusive, and ever welcoming to others. It was an honour to contribute back to the nation with other Workgroup members.”
- MCCY’s statement on the Workgroup’s report is in the Annex. To find out more about the Citizens’ Workgroup and view their report, visit https://go.gov.sg/cwscj.
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth
For media queries, please contact:
Ms Jade Chen
Corporate Communications Division
Tel: +65 91185742
Last updated on 30 November 2020