Photo from BERITA HARIAN, KUA CHEE SIONG FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

During a dialogue session, Minister of Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu said that Singaporeans should understand the “deeper issues and trade offs” of government policies by participating in activities organised by the government.

Along with Minister Chan Chun Sing, the duo called for more Singaporeans to volunteer and “take a more active role in making this island a better home”. Minister Chan Chun Sing called for Singaporeans to take “more ownership” by volunteering:

“Nobody feels a sense of ownership or attachment to a country just by taking things and receiving things that are given to them. But everybody feels that sense of ownership when everybody participates in creating that country of ours.”

The Singapore population is generally apathetic of politics and national policies because the government have little consideration over public opinions. Under a single party rule, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made decisions without consulting the public and punishes critics who express dissatisfaction with his policies. The Prime Minister actively uses defamation lawsuits, contempt of court charges, sedition laws and strict media censorship laws to control public discourse. In response, the populace are largely apathetic to politics while the minority who voices out are oppressed.