A total of 47,000 Singaporeans from all walks of life shared their perspectives and aspirations at one of Singapore’s biggest conversations. Called Our Singapore Conversations (OSC), it was first initiated in August 2012 and aimed to find out what Singaporeans thought and felt about their values, their priorities, their preferences. Topics were wide but the most common ones were education, health, transport, and job security.
Around 660 dialogue sessions were held at 45 different locations in Singapore. Held in four main languages and three dialects such as Cantonese, Hokkien and Teochew, the OSC clearly honoured the opinions of the young and old alike.
All the various views gathered in this interactive space to be conveyed to policy makers for changes in planning for the future. We asked RP students about the five core aspirations listed in the OSC and here’s what they had to say:
Ong Mei Ting Belmain, 22
School of Applied Science (SAS)
Diploma in Biotechnology (DBIO)
How do you build better bonds with your neighbours?
The neighbourhood is a safe, friendly and a comfortable place to live in when you share great bonds with neighbours. I lived in a HDB flat therefore, I am aware of the shared walls between each house. So during the nights, if my television gets too loud, I will choose to plug in headphones to completely reduce the sounds so as not to disturb them. When there is an event or notice from the HDB Town Council, my parents and I will be sure to let our neighbours to know and keep them up to date. Usually when there is an event held at the nearest community centre, my parents and a few of my neighbour living in the same block, will meet up and go to the event together and meet people from the other blocks. Communication is the key to having a better relationship with all my neighbours. Not only do I create a conversation with them regularly.
Arandip Singh Hardip Singh, 21
School of Engineering (SEG)
Diploma in Digital Entertainment Electronics (DDEE)
What makes a trustworthy citizen?
A trustworthy citizen, in my opinion, is someone who abides by the rules and regulations of their country, knows what is right and wrong. But when I say ‘trustworthy’ I am referring to those who are trustworthy to other citizens as well and not just their government. I often ask myself, if I would trust a person who gets into a “cuddling” session with their government in or someone who goes out of their way to help others like them. Definitely the second option for me.
Kellsie Chua, 20
School of Hospitality (SOH)
Diploma in Customer Service and Management (DCSM)
If given the chance to make a change in your own community, what would you do and why?
f given the chance to change the community, I would promote compassion (kindness, forgiveness, empathy). I sometimes think we lack empathy. Too often, we get caught up in this fast paced world chasing ideals, blinded by the real problems people face daily.
Be it minor or major, I quote William Allen White who said: “If each man or woman could understand that every other human life is as full of sorrows, joys, base temptations, heartaches and remorse as his own, how much kinder, gentler he would be.’’
The small acts of caring such as smiling, a listening ear, a compliment, offering a stranger tissue or giving up your seat in the MRT etc. will make a difference in the long run.
Pariiza Mahbub, 20
School of Applied Science (SAS)
Diploma in Environmental Science (DEVN)
How do you wish to achieve a purposeful career once you start working?
To me a purposeful career is when I can make the lives of other people better. What may seem a purposeful career to me might not be the same for another individual. But I feel that if the career I choose can make someone smile or improve their life that would be an achievement. Though it might not be a big deal to some, it may mean more to the individual, whose life has changed. It could even mean the world.
Sheik Mahathir, 24
School of Infocom (SOI)
Diploma in Business Information Systems (DBIS)
What does assurance mean to you as a Singaporean?
As a Singaporean I believe that assurance, stability and security go hand in hand. Look at any fast moving society and you would see that assurance is a crucial element and thus a backbone of support. When I am assured of safety and stability, I am assured to move on and contribute in any way I can to the society.
You can still have your say at: https://www.facebook.com/OurSGConversation