Showing posts with label YP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label YP. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Aljunied GRC MPs Walkabout in Eunos


18 July 2010

The 5 MPs of Aljunied GRC conducted a walkabout at Eunos Constituency on a bright Sunday morning.


Many residents were surprised to see the MPs in full force.


The MPs also graced a grassroots event after their interaction with the residents.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chinese New Year Reception @ Istana Lawn


28 February 2010


This is my second time to the Chinese New Year Reception @ Istana Lawn but I'm still equally excited about entering Istana. Shuttle buses ferried us from the Revenue Building to the Istana.

I always look forward to the CNY Reception because it is one of the rare moments where the Prime Minister will deliver a speech that will not be put on record. As such, the PM would share very insightful information on international relations and the government's stance on certain policies.

At the Istana Lawn, the Members of Parliament and Advisers to Grassroots Organisations would sit together with their fellow grassroots leaders. At the Eunos table, the former MP Sidek Saniff was also present. Around the lawn, everyone part of a big family.

After the buffet dinner, at about 9pm, everyone returned to their seats as they awaited for the PM's speech. PM Lee Hsien Loong spoke in Bahasa Melayu, Mandarin then finally in English. The main theme of his speech hovered around harmony, immigration and the economy. He also shared insights on our relations with neighbouring countries. Huijing said she learnt a lot from the speech. PM Lee ended his speech at 10.30pm. How I wished he could talk more.


The Istana building looked grand and serene at night. Had my photo shoot with my Member of Parliament Zainul Abidin Rasheed.


After the reception, we gave Huijing a birthday surprise with a lo hei cum steamboat supper!



Thursday, February 25, 2010

MPS Volunteers Lohei


22 February 2010

Meet-the-People Session (MPS) Volunteers at Eunos Branch had a Lo Hei at close to midnight after all the residents had returned.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

MPS Volunteers Gathering

28 January 2010

Volunteers with the Eunos Meet-the-People Session (MPS) had a gathering at Velu's Family Restaurant. Volunteers come from various backgrounds, from undergraduates to lawyers, to serve the residents residing at Eunos constituency.

The MPS provides a platform for residents to seek help from the Member of Parliament. Issues and concerns can also be raised up to him directly. In the recent financial crisis, needy residents and jobless residents found help from the relevant agencies via the MPS.

And behind MPS, there are a group of volunteers who stayed back after their long hours of work to help the residents by listening to their plight, write appeal letters, typing them out and ensuring that letters are sent out as soon as MPS ends.


Sunday, January 03, 2010

YP International Relations Social Gathering Nite

23 December 2009

It had been some time since I met up with the Sichuan Kakis. Early this year, a group of us went to Chengdu, Sichuan, China for a bonding trip.

Bumped on to Hwee Ping while figuring out my way to Tori Toma, One Fullerton. What a coincidence.

Joel the Santa Claus did a surprise wedding proposal, and of course the answer was "I do".

MPS Christmas Gift Exchange

21 December 2009

He is a Singaporean citizen with a foreign wife. She is now 9-month pregnant and owns an expired visa. No airline will allow her to travel.

He was retrenched by his company and promised a repayment sum, which had not been paid. Heavily laden with debts and having to pay for divorced wife's alimony, he is struggling to tide through each day.

They are among the residents who came to see the Member of Parliament to seek help at the weekly Meet-the-People Sessions (MPS). Being able to listen to their woes, make them feel better, and pushing their cases to the relevant agencies make my Mondays a satisfied one.

After all the residents had returned home, MPS volunteers stay back late, way past 12am, to ensure that appeal letters are promptly sent out.

MP Zainul Abidin Rasheed reads every letter, before signing them. He would always be the last person to leave the place.

In celebration of Christmas, some of us held a Christmas gift exchange.

Jasmine does the honour of labeling the gifts for balloting.

Received a glue stick as a gift....

Saturday, November 07, 2009

PAP Party Convention 2009

1 November 2009

The PAP Party Convention 2009 was held at the D'Marquee, Downtown East on a Sunday morning. The PAP Policy Forum and the Young PAP jointly organised the convention. For the first time ever, this year's convention is wired up to the internet - there is live commentaries, live photo uploads, twitter, facebook and videos viewable on the convention website @ http://convention09.pap.org.sg/.

The New Media team started setting up their gadgets as early as 7am (event starts at 9am). No matter which corner on earth you were, you would be able to find out what is happening live, with just internet access.

The theme for this year's convention is "Turning Challenges into Opportunities". Year 2009 marks the 50-year rule of Singapore by the People's Action Party. Comrade Ellen Lee, MP for Sembawang GRC, was the Master of the Ceremony.

Party Chairman Lim Boon Heng led the recital of the party pledge before delivering his opening remarks. In his speech, he highlighted the importance of the strong links between the PAP and the unions. Several NTUC brothers and sisters were also present in the convention.

Several party activists spoke on various issues revolving around the theme in English, Mandarin and Malay languages.

The Young PAP recruitment video was screened for the first time. Videos can be viewed at the Young PAP Youtube Channel.

Secretary-General Lee Hsien Loong delivered his speech and the dialogue session began. Party activists can SMS their questions to the panel, which consisted of Sec-Gen Lee Hsien Loong, Assistant Sec-Gens Wong Kan Seng and Teo Chee Hean, PAP Policy Forum Chairman Satwant Singh, Women's Wing Chairperson Mrs Lim Hwee Hua and Young PAP Chairman Teo Ser Luck. All the dialogue questions and responses were also recorded on youtube.

I was quite excited when my SMS appeared on screen. Fellow comrades raised many critical questions. Some were even emotional when posing questions. Party activists volunteer their time and service to the residents during Meet-the-People sessions and they know the ground issues concerning the people.

As Sec-Gen pointed out, the party is able to be in government all this while, thanks to all the dedicated party activists serving at the individual branches. These are the people that garner support from Singaporeans and channel their feedback up to the government, ensuring that policies are for Singaporeans.

Friday, November 06, 2009

PAP Party Awards 2009

31 December 2009

PAP Party Awards 2009 was held at D'Marquee, Downtown East. The event is held annually to appreciate the dedication and efforts of party activists and branches.

There was a thunderstorm and lightning was striking when activists were making their way there. Anyway, the red lightning in the PAP logo represents Action. The award recipients had taken action and dedicated their effort and time to the community.

It's like one big family inside the D'Marquee. Everyone seized the opportunity to catch up with fellow activists before the ceremony begins.

PAP Chairman Lim Boon Heng addressed the audience and led fellow activists in reciting the party pledge. I like the pledge because it's simple but yet very meaningful.

"We, the members of the PAP,
pledge ourselves to build a strong united Party,
to create a vibrant, just and equal society,
through achieving excellence by all,
so that every citizen,
regardless of race, language or religion,
can enjoy a full and happy life."

Many awards were given. They are the Commendation Medals, Dedicated Service Medals, Long Service Medals, Youth Medals, Women's Medals, Outstanding Branch Awards and Sustained Performance Awards. The citations for the respective awards were presented by Assistant Secretary General Teo Chee Hean.

The award recipients are proudly cheered by their fellow comrades, who brought party poppers, clappers, whistles, drums and banners to show their appreciation.

During the entire ceremony, the MPs and Ministers, all of whom are also Branch Chairmen, cheered alongside their branch activists. Managed to photograph SM Goh Chok Tong and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam cheering along.

Everyone rose and sang "Stand Up for Singapore!" together and took shouted the Party Cheer.



Refreshments were served after the Party Awards. Some of us took the opportunity to speak with our MPs and Ministers and had some photographs with them.

With Comrade Liang Eng Hwa

With Comrade Lim Swee Say

With Comrade Goh Chok Tong

With Comrade Mrs Lim Hwee Hua

With Secretary General Lee Hsien Loong

& with FRIENDS!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SyMBIOSIS 2009

24 - 25 October 2009

PAP Eunos branch sent Hock Rong and myself to attend SyMBIOSIS 2009, "a combination of Young PAP Leadership School and Uth! Campus with a strong leadership focus that seeks to empower young leaders for greater ownership and responsibility".

SyMBIOSIS 2009 was held at Downtown East for 2 days 1 Night. YP Vice-chairman Christopher de Souza officiated the commencement of the programme.

It was a really long time since I last had to brainstorm for a team name and participate in group cheer. The vibrancy of Young NTUC (YN) leaders helped pumped up the atmosphere for team bonding activities.

In one of the plenary sessions, YP and YN leaders get to understand more about each other's organisation and how the strong links between the PAP and the NTUC had benefited Singapore's economy.

Many Singaporeans know the NTUC as NTUC FairPrice and NTUC Income. Through the session, we got to understand how the leaders are elected and that how NTUC functions like a "United Nation" of Unions. In conversations with YN leaders, I learnt that as unionists, they represent their fellow workers to negotiate with employers. They are the unsung heroes!

One of the most memorable experience in the camp was the activity "Retrenchment Experience". Through games, we learnt how it feels for a worker to be retrenched during bad times.

After dinner, all of us sat by the bonfire at Pasir Ris beach and became musicians!

While party activists address each other as comrades, unionists address each other affectionately as Brothers and Sisters. After the retrenchment experience, Brother Anthony (my roommate) shared with everyone his real life retrenchment experience. His perseverance and against-all-odds attitude earned my respect! He is constantly upgrading himself and is going to be a full-fledged teacher soon. His determination is shown when he let us see his class photo, which he carried at all times to motivate himself.

SyMBIOSIS 2009 is not a programme to indoctrinate political ideologies into the participants. Instead, it provided us a wonderful opportunity to get to know our counterparts in YN, mingle with our YP comrades and also to understand the challenges ahead for Singapore.

Our finale for the leadership camp was the dialogue session with Brothers Lim Swee Say & Benjamin, Sister Josephine, Comrade Ser Luck & Christopher.

During the dialogue, Brother Lim Swee Say shared that unions have worked towards increasing the wages of low-paid jobs by job restructuring. For example, security guards used to earn about $800 a month. After restructuring their jobscope and job training, security guards now bag about $1,200 a month. Now, NTUC is looking into reducing the long working hours for security guards to ensure that they have sufficient family time.

Receiving our graduation certificates:


Team Champion:
Criticism can be constructive, but without ACTION, it's pointless. Glad to know many people thru SyMBIOSIS who put words into ACTION.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Straight Talk: Is Singapore = PAP?

23 October 2009

From left: MP Christopher de Souza, Dr Reuben Wong, Mayor Teo Ser Luck, Moderator Dr Bradley Williams, NMP Assoc Prof Paulin Tay Straughan, MP Zaqy Mohamad, Dr Federico Ferrara

The forum is organised by the NUS Political Science Society and held at the NUS Shaw Foundation Alumni House auditorium.

Participants who arrived early got to watch a short documentary film on the history of Singapore. After 50 years of governance by the People's Action Party, participants want to know: Is Singapore = PAP?

As one who is keen in local politics and as a member of the Young PAP, this is a talk I can't resist not attending. The 2-hour session saw many questions and interesting sharings from the panel, which consisted of Post-65ers PAP MPs, lecturers from the department of Political Science of NUS as well as a Nominated Member of Parliament.

I recorded some of the questions to share here with everyone.

Pre-Questions

Assoc Prof Paulin Straughan said that youths should not be afraid to make constructive views. She said that she pays more attention to online comments made by individuals who are not anonymous.

Q: Hypothetically, if a PAP Minister decides to leave the party and form an alternative party to provide check and balance to the PAP, would the panel MPs join him?

MP Zaqy said that asking a Minister to leave the party is equivalent to leaving your girlfriend to breathe fresh air.

MP Christopher mentioned that in Singapore's context, when a MP cross the aisle (quits the party and join another), he/she has to give up his/her seat in Parliament. This is because voters have voted him/her based on his/her party.

He also shared why he has high respect PAP Ministers. As a young MP, he seeks advice from his seniors. When he sends out an email to Ministers Vivian Balakrishnan and Lim Swee Say at 11pm, they will reply him at 1am. When he SMS the Ministers at 11pm, they will reply at 1am.

Q: Is Singapore = PAP?

Dr Reuben Wong believes that it is a conditional equation. When the economy is performing well, Singapore ≠ PAP. When the economy is performing badly, Singapore = PAP.

MP Zaqy illustrated the point that when he makes a mistake in his workplace, only the boss will know. But when he makes one in Parliament, everyone knows.

Dr Frederico Ferrara, who appeared to be very critical of the PAP, said that if you had an alternative view, it's more useful to be a minority within a dominant party than being in a political party with just 2 MPs.

NMP Paulin Tay Straughan warns against voting by dissent. Using the AWARE saga as an example, she advised participants to exercise our votes carefully because we never know that we might just vote in a new government.

YP Chairman, Mayor Teo Ser Luck, said that he believes Singapore = Singaporeans. The critical success of the PAP lies in the hard work of the party activists and volunteers. Every week, activists help out at the Meet-the-People session, assisting Singaporeans to get out of their difficult situations. At forums, he observed that the party activists ask the sharpest questions. Cabinet Ministers have differing views, but once decision is made, the Cabinet stands united as one.

Singapore is also about the efficient civil service, grassroots volunteers and many other Singaporeans.

MP Zaqy pointed out that civil servants are not accountable to Singaporeans, unlike the government. In parliament, when questioning Ministers, MPs know how to "hit them at their hardest spot" because they know each other well.

Q: Who will be the next Prime Minister of Singapore?

MP Chris said that the number one quality that the next PM must have is 100% commitment to Singaporeans. He shared about his experience working with MM Lee Kuan Yew. When overseas, after meeting with their foreign counterparts, MM Lee will ask the younger MPs if they learnt anything. MM Lee thinks of Singapore all the time.

During luncheons with PM Lee Hsien Loong, the discussion is 50% on macro issues concerning the country and 50% on constituency matters.

The other qualities that a PM must have is Leadership, Experience and Integrity.

Mayor Teo pointed out that the 4th generation team of MPs will elect their own PM, and with their collective decision, they will support the PM. This has been the way MM Lee handed over to SM Goh and how SM Goh handed over the premiership to PM Lee.

Dr Reuben Wong said that if it's difficult for the PAP to scout for talents, it will be an even more daunting task for the opposition to find talented individuals, especially when they have to sacrifice their privacy and then lose, lose and lose in elections. He quipped that after subsequent losses, they have to even face rejection by the PAP if they want to defect to it.

Dr Wong continued to highlight that the PAP sources for leaders outside the party and bears one of the best succession system in the world.

Q: How does the government view the rising income gap?

Mayor Teo said that many long-term help programmes are available to those who need them. The government casts a safety net for Singaporeans to have basic needs but stop short at turning Singapore into a welfare state. They are encouraged to work and make a living through various job matching services. As Mayor of Northeast District, he says there is a need to ensure that the benefits given to the needy must not surpass the salary of the low-income worker, failing which the value of meritocracy will be eroded.

Q: Regarding the Internal Security Act and Operation Coldstore

MP Chris said that Operation Coldstore took place at a unique and unprecedented period where the threat of communism was high. 20 years later, students might ask him if he agreed that ISD should detain Mas Selamat. His answer would definitely be YES.

The Executive provides a check on the ISD and voters will decide whether they agree with executive decisions during elections.

Q: If you become the PM, what's the one thing you will change?

Mayor Teo said he would change the political system. He stood for election in GE2006 and believes in standing for elections and that if you lose, you should "get lost".

Dr Reuben Wong said that one way to allow all the PAP candidates to stand for election is to abolish the GRC system. He observed that Mayor Teo did not mention how he would change the political system.

MP Zaqy would revisit the Minimum Wage policy and focus on the cost of living.

Q: What's PAP scared of?

MP Zaqy said that in the 9 days of electioneering, there are only seats for the party to lose. As an MP, he conducts weekly block visits to meet residents, weekly Meet-the-People session at the branch office, attend grassroots meeting, and grassroots functions. The hard work of MPs over 5 years can go to waste within 9 days.


A book-signing session was also held for those who bought the "Men in White" book.

Other Anecdotes

Before the forum, I was fortunate to hear from a former Physics lecturer share his experience with MM Lee Kuan Yew.

In the 1980s, Mr Lee visited the NUS during a forum with NUS staff. Mr Lee told the audience that he is there to hear from them and not the other way round. One lady stood up and talked about unions (According to the former Physics lecturer, he described the lady as attention-seeking). Not allowing her to finish her point, Mr Lee banged the table with his fist and asked the lady to sit down and that he will not change his decision. So was the determination of Mr Lee.

In another meeting with medical students at the NUS, Mr Lee spoke for too long and the event was overtime. The students shouted "We want dinner!" in unison. And Mr Lee said to them, we might not have any dinner to eat if we do not get our country right.

Monday, August 03, 2009

PAddle Pop Outing

19 July 2009

The long awaited YP Eunos outing is finally here. The creative minds of the Young Activists gave birth to the title of "PAddle Pop", with the abbreviation of PAP. PAddle = Cycling; Pop = Popping Coconuts. The trip was planned and by Chee Lee, who also came up with a photo hunt game for us.


YP Eunos:

This is a real cheesy signage put up by a drinks stall.

After the photo hunt, we took a rest and did the "Pop"!

Pulau Ubin makes a good getaway from the buzzy island city dwellers. As we cycled around Pulau Ubin, we saw many ripened rambutans about to drop off from the fruit trees.

What a huge moniker lizard?

Prize Presentation: