Has PAP rule led to apathy?
Youth Wing debates issue with great fervour
By Zakir Hussain & Rachel Chang
PROJECT engineer Alex Tan did not mince his words as he blamed the
ruling People's Action Party for the apathy of Singapore's youth.
He pointed his finger especially at the PAP's dominance and the lack
of press freedom. The 22-year-old also said the PAP may feel it is
helping the people but the people feel disadvantaged by its policies,
from foreign talent to national service.
His stark statements surprised, not for their content but for where
they were made. Mr Tan was speaking last night at a dialogue organised
by the Young PAP, and which was attended by 150 youths and two PAP
They were first-term Mr Sam Tan, who is six months into his job as
Parliamentary Secretary in two ministries - Trade and Industry, and
Information, Communications and the Arts - and Mr Christopher de
Souza, vice-chairman of the Youth Wing.
Mr Alex Tan was the most hard-hitting from among a dozen young people
who spoke during the two-hour dialogue titled, 2010: How Can Our
Youths Serve Singapore?
The issues raised by the others include ways to get more youths to be
volunteers, how the political system discourages alternative voices
and puts opposition parties at a disadvantage, and that schools
discourage political discussion.