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MCCY's addendum to the President’s Address

11 May 2018
Ms Grace Fu
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth


1. The Ministry of Culture, Community, and Youth (MCCY) will focus on building a caring, cohesive, and confident nation that is enabled by an active citizenry and a vibrant arts and heritage, sports, community, and youth landscape. There are many challenges we will face as a country in the next chapter of our journey. These include economic and demographic challenges, which may affect social cohesion and harmony. To rise above these challenges, Singaporeans must have a strong sense of shared identity, trust and engage each other, and exercise their civic responsibilities for the common good. MCCY will do more to encourage these qualities, and grow a strong society.

A confident people with a strong national identity


Safeguarding our heritage to strengthen identity

2. Our culture and heritage is an important part of what makes us Singaporean. This year, we launched the Our SG Heritage Plan, a long-term comprehensive national masterplan to safeguard and promote our shared heritage for future generations. We ratified the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage on 22 February 2018. As a Member State, we will work towards listing an element on the UNESCO Representative List that reflects our multicultural and multiracial makeup, resonates with Singaporeans, and helps build a greater sense of national identity. We will continue our conversations with the community to define the intangible aspects of our heritage. This demonstrates Singapore’s commitment to safeguard and promote our heritage, which is important to strengthen our identity as a nation. We will also make changes to the relevant legislation within the next two years to better support the preservation of our tangible and intangible heritage, and to safeguard our archaeological history more effectively.

Building a vibrant and distinctive arts scene

3. The arts scene is more vibrant today, with more Singaporeans recognising the value of the arts to the individual, community, and Singapore society. We will continue to enrich and grow our arts scene, and support our artists in areas such as audience development, community arts, arts education, capability development, internationalisation, as well as research and documentation. We will also adopt the Tripartite Standard on Contracting with Self-Employed Persons in the arts and culture sector to promote fair and progressive employment practices. This will be complemented by the setting up of a national resource centre, to support freelancers in their efforts to excel and enjoy meaningful careers.

Rallying the nation as One Team Singapore  

4. Sport has the capacity to inspire and rally a nation. When we cheer on our athletes and celebrate their achievements, we reaffirm our identity as one people. Our contingents achieved their best away performances at the Southeast Asian Games and ASEAN Para Games in Malaysia last year, and put in commendable performances at the Commonwealth Games in Australia last month. The Government is committed to supporting our athletes’ aspirations, and will continue to develop and enhance Singapore’s High Performance Sport system, in areas such as talent identification, coach development, and sports science and medicine capabilities. We will work with key sports stakeholders such as the Singapore National Olympic Council, Singapore National Paralympic Council, and the National Sports Associations, to prepare our athletes and rally the nation as One Team Singapore.

A cohesive people joined by mutual trust


Growing common spaces to foster social mixing and inclusion

5. A society is cohesive when its members respect one another as equals regardless of differences, and when it works for everyone and not just a few. We will continue to grow the common space for interactions and shared experiences, and promote equal access for all to arts and heritage, sports, and youth programmes such as ArtReach, SportCares Champions, Saturday Night Lights, and Youth Corps Singapore. We will expand the range of affordable quality sports programmes at ActiveSG centres, and build on the momentum of Get Active! Singapore celebrations, to encourage more Singaporeans to bond through sport. Using programmes such as BRIDGE (Broadening Religious/Racial Interaction through Dialogue and General Education), we will increase our support for community-led initiatives that deepen understanding on sensitive issues of race and religion.

6. To further promote inclusivity, the Disability Sports Master Plan aims to expand access and opportunities for sports participation to all, regardless of abilities. We will launch two more inclusive gyms and more disability sports programmes, such as Wheelchair Tennis, in 2018. We will continue to grow awareness and outreach of disability sports through platforms such as the Inclusive Sports Festival, and partnerships with stakeholders like the Ministry of Education, Special Education schools, Social Service Organisations, and other sports stakeholders.

Youth participation

7. We embarked on the Youth Conversations to provide a platform for youths to engage one another and the Government, to build our future Singapore together. Youth Conversations provide opportunities for our young Singaporeans to understand important issues, appreciate one another’s views, negotiate differences, and find new solutions together. We will design conversations around wide ranging issues such as preparing for jobs in the future economy, bridging social divides, and helping the underprivileged, using various modes of engagement to provide safe spaces for dialogue. Conversations will also be conducted online, to reach out to more youths, and enable them to build and sustain connections with one another. Through the National Youth Fund, we will also support youths who want to initiate projects together to benefit the community and bring Singapore forward.

A caring people responsible for each other


Inspire a culture of volunteerism and giving

8. Communities that look out for and care for one another are the hallmark of a strong society. SG Cares seeks to have a person in every household who volunteers, making the values of care and contribution a norm. We will convene more platforms for givers, non-profits, and sector experts to build insights, co-create solutions, and achieve national impact together. As a start, we will provide greater support to local community stakeholders in Bedok and Jurong – community partners, religious organisations, schools, and merchants in the neighbourhood – to serve the needs of residents, and coordinate and mobilise resources. We will also encourage and support good neighbourliness through a whole-of-society approach, to strengthen a shared sense of responsibility and ownership towards the neighbourhood. This enhanced community model will complement efforts to strengthen social service delivery on the ground, and the expansion of the Community Networks for Seniors. A strong local ecosystem will support vulnerable families and enable our seniors who want to age in place to do so in the community.

9. Seniors have much to offer. We want to engage them early and help them to transit to new roles in the community as they retire. We will tap on their diverse experience and involve them in giving back to society through volunteerism. In the process, they can also grow their social networks and stay active and engaged.

A social movement towards a national culture of healthy living

10. To meet the challenges of an ageing society, we launched Active Health, a national social movement to spur Singaporeans to take ownership of their health and wellness, and support one another in sustaining an active lifestyle. To kick-start their Active Health journey, Singaporeans can visit an Active Health Lab to have their baseline health indicators assessed, and choose from a wide range of ActiveSG programmes to get active together with family, colleagues, and friends. We will roll out four more labs at Bishan, Jurong East, Sengkang, and Woodlands Sports Centres, and two Mobile Labs this year. Working with partner organisations such as the Health Promotion Board, People’s Association, and healthcare providers, we will progressively expand outreach to more people across Singapore.

Together, making Singapore home


11. A strong society is one that is caring, inclusive, and has a shared sense of past and future. A strong society is one where the Singapore spirit is strong, and where we work together to make Singapore a better home. In the face of a more complex and unpredictable future, we invite every Singaporean to build an even better Singapore together.
Last Updated: 11 May 2018

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