Opening Speech by Minister Indranee Thurai Rajah, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister For Finance And Second Minister For National Development, At The Launch Of The Singapore Together Short Films
a. Through the movement, we have opened up more opportunities for Singaporeans to play an active role in shaping Singapore’s future together.
a. One example is the Youth Stewards for Nature AfA. It started in 2021, and since then, more than 240 youths aged between 18 to 25 have undertaken 38 projects. Under the mentorship of NParks staff, the youths studied and tackled issues relating to urban greenery, wildlife management, nature conservation and climate resilience. One project is about “Responsible interactions with Wildlife”. Through surveys, the youth better understand people’s perception of wildlife and wildlife feeding, and help raise awareness of how to interact responsibly with wildlife.
b. A second example is the AfA for Lower-wage Workers. It focuses on the whole-of-society effort to uplift the well-being of lower-wage workers. The AfA has created 13 projects so far. One of them is called “Makan & Shine” – volunteers learn about the lives of lower-wage workers over casual meals, and guide them on employment and upskilling opportunities.
c. A third example is the AfA on Sustainable Spaces. It brings together stakeholders across sectors to create and enhance sustainable spaces. As first steps, the AfA launched the ‘Low Formaldehyde Commitment Statement’ in April 2022, to raise public awareness on the need for lower formaldehyde emissions indoors. More than 70 partners have pledged to supply or adopt low or no formaldehyde products and solutions, from real estate developers, consultants, and contractors, to furniture and furnishing suppliers. The statement also presents new opportunities for suppliers of sustainable products and services that can improve wellness and quality of living.
a. Through the creative lenses of our four filmmakers, these films shine a light on some of the stories of SG Together.
b. Each one is inspired by Singaporeans who were passionate and willing to step forward, to co-create and implement solutions on significant issues.
a. One of the films, titled “A Bridge”, is about how two rough sleepers were able to rent an HDB flat together, through the guidance of a volunteer from the PEERS Network.
b. The film is inspired by an actual case.
c. The PEERS Network is a wide network of community groups, social service and government agencies, that befriend rough sleepers and the homeless. PEERS stands for Partners Engaging and Empowering Rough Sleepers, and it takes a whole-of-society approach to tackle homelessness – PEERS partners lead the Network’s efforts, and the Government plays a facilitative role.
d. These partners include the Catholic Welfare Services, Kassim Mosque, Yio Chu Kang Chapel, The Homeless Hearts of Singapore, and the Singapore Scouts Association. Some partners such as Kassim Mosque and Yio Chu Kang Chapel open their premises to shelter rough sleepers, others such as the Scouts and the Homeless Hearts of Singapore befriend rough sleepers they meet on their night walks.
a. It is not about what we can do for Singaporeans, but what we can do with Singaporeans, together.
b. This is not the Government’s aspiration alone because Singaporeans have told us that you want to play a greater part in policymaking and charting the way forward for Singapore.
a. It is a national effort to refresh Singapore’s social compact and set out a roadmap for the next decade and beyond. How might we grow opportunities and provide better assurances for Singaporeans, in the midst of uncertainty? How do we steward our resources so that both today’s and tomorrow’s needs can be met? And how might we increase a sense of shared ownership in Singapore?
a. We will engage deeply to understand concerns, explore the issues and trade-offs involved, and develop new ways to partner and turn our ideas into joint action.
b. I am one of the Ministers overseeing the Care pillar. This explores how we might enable every Singaporean to lead a dignified and fulfilling life, and to better care for themselves and others around them.
c. Importantly, we expect this process to result in policy change, and in new partnerships with stakeholders to design and implement the changes.