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Singapore starts new public engagement initiative, looking at SG100
PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday encouraged Singaporeans to voice their views on what they hope Singapore will be like over the next few decades, and called on all to work together to help shape that future.
To strengthen national unity in the process, the government is launching a new public engagement initiative called "SGfuture", to solicit ideas to attain that vision.
Mr Lee made the announcement on Sunday after taking part in two major events - the SG50 Jubilee Big Walk and the launch of the exhibition "The Future of Us" - that brimmed with significance in celebrating the 50th anniversary of Singapore's independence.
Said Mr Lee: "I hope you will step forward to work with your fellow Singaporeans to shape our future - the future of us. So by SG100, we'll have another celebration as happy and satisfying as this one."
The SGfuture series is expected to run until the middle of next year, and will build on ideas solicited through the year-long Our Singapore Conversation, a similar government initiative that kicked off in September 2012.
The SGfuture series will be led by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing.
Noting that there are now "new fault lines" appearing, Ms Fu told reporters that the launch of SGfuture will be integral in helping Singaporeans maintain a sense of unity as the country charts its way forward.
"This is a crucial point for us to look beyond SG50 towards SG100, and among the challenges that Singapore will face is how to keep the society united as we find new fault lines in a very new nation," she said.
This new series of engagement will take inspiration from the possibilities presented in "The Future of Us".
Through focused discussions and dialogue sessions, organisers hope to attract Singaporeans to share their views for the future.
In addition, Singaporeans are also encouraged to turn these ideas into reality by taking part in workshops and embarking on projects.
The first SGfuture session, organised by the National Youth Council, was held on Sunday.
One hundred youths aged between 16 and 35 took part. They discussed issues such as security, the environment, and how to build an empathetic society.
Members of the public can visit www.singapore50.sg/sgfuture to sign up for upcoming sessions.
"The Future of Us" exhibition, held at Gardens by the Bay, will open to the public on Tuesday.
The three-month-long free exhibition draws upon government research papers and masterplans as well as ideas collected from youth seminars and Our Singapore Conversation.
It comprises six interactive zones, four of which will be housed in four purpose-built domes.
Gardens by the Bay was the end point of a 5km walk that PM Lee took part in earlier on Sunday.
In the SG50 Jubilee Big Walk, organised by The New Paper and People's Association, Mr Lee and some 25,000 participants walked past key landmarks and sites that mark significant events in the nation's development, including the Padang and Parliament House.
He also launched the 220-metre Jubilee Bridge that connects Merlion Park and the waterfront promenade by the Esplanade.