Francis Yuen Kin Peng

Looking forward to a better year ahead

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As 2021 draws to a close, it is an opportune time to reflect on PSP’s progress this past year.

It was indeed an eventful year both in and out of Parliament. Significant milestones were achieved despite the Covid pandemic posing challenges to the economy and changing the lives of many.

The Party elected a CEC with many fresh faces. A new Sec-Gen was elected, with founding Sec-Gen Dr Tan assuming a different role as Chairman. The new CEC lost no time in pursuing three key priorities mapped out at the strategic planning session earlier in the year – the need to continue working the ground, engaging the electorate on social media, and voicing concerns of the people in Parliament.

Our ground operation has gained traction despite the Covid constraints. In our outreach, we witnessed the hardship of families during this difficult time. Clearly more must be done to help this underprivileged group. It was troubling to hear of the frustration of people losing jobs and unable to find employment despite months of trying. But it was also heartening to note their positive attitude and eagerness to look ahead to better times.

We reached out to the community with initiatives such as free legal clinics, tuition for students and food distribution. The Progress Singapore Community Fund was founded as a separate entity and registered as a Charity. Our first project “Give A Treat” (GAT), reached out to the poor elderly and needy children while at the same time helped hawkers badly impacted by the pandemic.

On social media, we focused on addressing bread-and-butter issues of Singaporeans and on consolidating the 7 beliefs of PSP. Our Facebook has been actively engaging the public, with Instagram and TikTok in tow. The newly launched PSP App is an excellent one-stop platform to engage with the public. We encourage you to download this App to stay in the loop.

In line with our belief in diversity and free contestation of ideas, we started a PSP forum series. The kick-off session “Beyond the Jobs Debate”, featured our friends from another political party and a non-partisan organization. The forum was well received and more of such are in the pipeline. There were other online sessions too, that covered topics like mental health, sustainability, and a session by the Women’s Wing (“Accelerating Women into the Future”). These forums aim to stimulate healthy discussions on current and future challenges and project PSP’s views on these issues.

In Parliament, our NCMPs have had a busy year. We are proud of their commitment and tenacity to speak up on various issues, from livelihood to socio-economic challenges, and their active participation in budget debates. They stood steadfast to our Party’s principles of transparency and accountability when articulating their views in Parliament.

The major highlight of the year in Parliament, without doubt, is the debate on jobs and FICA. The debate on jobs has put a spotlight on the plight of our PMETs and the need to alleviate both unemployment and underemployment of Singaporeans. This debate is not about PSP being xenophobic or racist, nor are we against free trade agreements or an open economy. It is about nurturing our Singaporean core and keeping a healthy balance of foreign talent with the local core to keep our workforce nimble and economy humming.

So where should we be heading in the new year?

If there is one thing that is constant in life, it is change. It’s time that our country hit the reset button and make adjustments amidst the current challenges. We have to decide strategically which direction our economy should head given the new normal.

In doing so, there are a few key imperatives.

We need to narrow the huge income gap and strengthen the social safety net, to drastically improve the livelihood of the lower income group and make housing and healthcare more affordable.
We have to move toward a more holistic education system to help our young develop character and life-long learning skills instead of focusing and overemphasis on academic achievements.

A country should not be run like a company, focusing just on growth and profit. The government must serve the interests of all stakeholders, especially our people.

We can do with less extravagance for example on showcase projects and exercise more prudence and frugality. We should cultivate a mindset of curbing costs, replacing the convenient approach of passing down costs to the people. More taxes, levies and GST increases is not the answer. A relentless pursuit of productivity and prudent spending to lower costs is the answer!

There should also be less of the entitlement mentality and more of a mindset for shared prosperity. We are a first world country. Our people should live like first world citizens. Most relevant of all, less obsession with the relentless drive for higher GDP and material wealth at the expense of welfare and happiness of our people.

PSP is committed to pursue these imperatives and collectively we hope to see positive changes moving forward.

The year ended with two key events – the launch of our commemorative book “The Future is in Your Palm” and the virtual fundraising concert. The book captures historic and memorable events of the Party from its inception through the 2020 General Election to recent developments within PSP. We encourage you to get a copy for keepsake and your reading pleasure. Into its second year, the fundraising concert turned out to be a resounding success. Our team, in a display of passion and teamwork, put up an amazing programme and performance.

We are indeed grateful for the strong support and kind donations from many. The year couldn’t have ended more special!

As we transit into the new year, we are confident that, with your support, PSP will continue to grow from strength to strength. As a party, we are here to stay and we will always be driven by our motto “For Country For People”.

On behalf of PSP may I wish all a very happy and safe 2022. May the pandemic be behind us. May there be a brighter future for Singapore in the coming years!

Francis Yuen
Secretary General
Progress Singapore Party


期盼更好的来年

随着 2021 年接近尾声,现在正是回顾过去一年新加坡前进党的付出与收获的好时机。

这确实是国会内外皆多事的一年。尽管严峻的新冠疫情对国家经济构成挑战并改变了许多人的生活,前进党在许多方面仍达到重要的里程碑。

前进党新一届的中央执行委员会出现了许多新面孔,包括新的秘书长,而党创始人陈清木医生则改任党主席。新的中委会自成立伊始就坚定不移的实践了在年初的战略规划会议上所制定的三个关键优先事项— 即继续不懈推行基层工作、通过社交媒体提升与选民的交流及在国会中为各民生议题提出质问表达关切。

我们的基层工作并没有因为新冠疫情的诸多限制而有所懈怠。在外展活动中,我们目睹了许多贫困家庭在疫情冲击下所面对的困境。显然,这个弱势群体需要更多的援助措施帮助他们度过难关。令人更不安的是,虽然经过数月各方的努力,我们还是听到人们因失业和找不到工作而感到沮丧。值得欣慰的是,尽管他们身处人生低谷,仍能以积极的态度面对及期盼未来更美好。

我们通过各种免费举措,在社区内提供法律质询服务、为学生补习及分发日需品。 并成立了前进新加坡社区基金(Progress Singapore Community Fund)为一慈善机构。我们的第一个项目“请您吃一餐Give A Treat”(GAT),在帮助了贫困的老人和有需要的孩子的同时,也为生计受疫情严重冲击的小贩增加了收入。

在社交媒体上,我们致力通过解决新加坡人的民生问题,贯彻党的七大理想价值观。通过脸书( Facebook), 还有Instagram 和 TikTok ,我们一直积极的与公众互动。另外,我们也还推出了前进党应用程序做为互动的一站式平台。请您踊跃下载此应用程序,通过它了解党的最新信息。

本着对思想多样性和自由争论的信念,我们开始了 前进党论坛系列。在此系列的第一个论坛 “国民就业之争论”中,我们邀请了来自另一个政党和一无党派机构的朋友参与。该论坛受到许多好评,更多此类论坛正在筹备中。另外我们还举办了其他主题的线上研讨会,包括关于心理健康、可持续发展和由党妇女支部发起的“加速女性走向未来的步伐”等议题。这些论坛激发了对当前各种挑战的良性讨论。前进党也在过程中发表了相关的立场。

在国会,我们的非选区议员也度过了忙碌的一年。他们针对各民生及社会经济议题,以坚韧和恳切的态度提出质问,并积极参与了预算辩论。我们为他们的出色表现深感自豪。他们在国会中表达观点时,都秉持我党提倡的透明和问责原则。

毫无疑问,今年国会的主要亮点是《关于国民就业与生计动议》和 《防止外来干预(对应措施)法案》(英语简称FICA ) 的两场辩论。关于国民就业的辩论深切阐述了国内中层及专业人士(PMETs)在就业方面所处的困境,也彰显了国人失业和就业不足等问题。这场辩论无关仇外或种族主义,我们也不是反对自由贸易协定或新加坡做为一个开放经济体。辩论真正的目的是维护国内中层及专业人士做为新加坡的中坚力量和骨干,并通过健全的人才政策引进外国人才作为补充,让新加坡的整体劳动力更富灵活性,经济发展能更生气勃勃。

那么新的一年,我们应该何去何从呢?

如果说生活中有不变的真理,那就是世事多变。国家目前面对诸多挑战,是时候按下重置按钮,为应对挑战做出适宜的调整。在国家步入新常态之际,我们必须战略性制定新的发展方向。

其中,有几个关键的问题迫切需要解决或处理。

这些问题包括了如何缩小国民收入差距,加强社会安全网,彻底改善低收入群体的生活,及减低房价与医疗保健费用。

同时,我们必须转向更全面的教育,以帮助我们的年轻人培养品德和终身学习的技能,而不是一味专注于追求学术上的卓越。

治理一个国家,不应如同管理企业,只关注业务增长和利润。相反,它应该照顾到所有利益相关者的利益,尤其是人民大众的利益。

例如,我们可以在奢侈的展示性项目上减少投入,同时在开支方面更加谨慎和节俭。我们应该培养一种控制成本的思维方式,而不是把高昂的成本随意传递给大众消费者。更多的税收和提高商品及服务的消费税绝非最佳的决绝方案。对生产力的不懈追求和谨慎的支出以降低成本才是应对的良策!

我们的精英也应该少一点寻求权益独享,而多一些共享富裕的心态。新加坡今天已是第一世界国家。我们的人民应该享有第一世界的生活品质。最重要的是,政府不应以牺牲人民的福利和幸福为代价,盲目追求更高的国内生产总值和物质财富。

新加坡前进党致力于追求实现以上诉求,并希望国家在未来的日子里能积极朝正确方向发展。

另外,前进党在2021年还实现了两个重要的里程碑——即出版了 “未来由你掌控” 纪念册和成功举办了年终线上筹款音乐会。该纪念册记录了与党从成立到 2020 年大选,再到党内部的近期发展所发生的历史性事件相关的图片。我们期盼您能通过党的一站式平台邮购,与您共享此极富纪念价值的图册。进入第二年,筹款音乐会取得了圆满成功。我们的团队展示了无比热情和完美的团队精神,使音乐会高潮迭起,并让我们收到来自各方可观的捐款,为党在2021年画上圆满的句号!

跨入新的一年,我们深信在大家的支持下,前进党会继续茁壮成长。作为一个政党,我们牢记 “为国为民”的使命。

我谨代表新加坡前进党恭祝大家2022 年平安快乐,疫情远离不复返,并祝愿新加坡前景似锦,一片光明!

阮健平
秘书长
新加坡前进党

Find out more about the team driving the Progress Singapore Party

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