SINGAPORE — Ahead of the ruling People’s Action Party’s (PAP) leadership handover, a survey commissioned by TODAY has found that close to two-thirds of youths expect the fourth-generation (4G) leaders to be more willing to accept different views.
For future leaders to be seen as being more willing to accept different views, Mr Aamir believes the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) can begin by appointing more women in the 4G leadership team.
Sociologist Tan Ern Ser from the National University of Singapore said that the 4G leadership could move away from approaches that seem paternalistic.
“Don’t come across as judgemental, dismissive and defensive,” he said, adding that the Government should move towards a social compact centred on partnership instead.
However, whether an issue should be widely consulted with the public also depends on the issue at hand.
Dr Chew Han Ei, a senior research fellow at IPS, said: “For complex, high-involvement issues like, say, building an artificial intelligence hub, wide consultation may not be as useful as focused consultations with experts and industry players.”
Mr Clarence Ching, 28, said that one way the 4G leaders can show that they are more accepting of different definitions of success would be for the Public Service Commission (PSC), which doles out the prestigious PSC scholarships every year, to do more to reach out to polytechnic students and lower-ranking junior colleges.
The founder of social mobility non-profit Access Singapore added: “Schools also have the responsibility to encourage more students to apply and give more advice for potential PSC applicants.”
BREAD-AND-BUTTER MATTERS STILL TOP OF MIND
The survey respondents were also asked to select from options listing the most pressing issues that they thought the Government should focus on in the next three years.
Inflation and economic growth (75 per cent)Income inequality (55 per cent)Protecting jobs for locals (53 per cent)Climate change (48 per cent)Helping the less fortunate (38 per cent)
The survey showed that a majority (70 per cent) believed that the more well-off in society should pay higher taxes.
However, only 43 per cent of respondents said that they were willing to pay higher taxes to help build a more equitable society. Among this group, the majority of them were with the higher household income group — S$15,000 to S$19,999 (58 per cent were willing to pay higher taxes) and S$20,000 and above (63 per cent).
Associate Professor Tan from SMU said the results suggested that young people are seeking a socio-political compact that is grounded in both material and post-material concerns.
Mr Ching from Access Singapore said he was not surprised that inflation and economic growth came out tops despite the common perception that young people are less concerned about bread-and-butter issues.
“The economy in Singapore will always be one of the biggest concerns Singaporeans have especially when the economy isn’t at its strongest,” he said.
Hybrid webinars will be held on Nov 14 and 15 to discuss the findings of TODAY Youth Survey 2022. More details here.