Calling Singapore a “sampan in a big ocean”, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) Grace Fu said Singaporeans should be united behind the government to avoid “upheavals” like British exit from the European Eunion. The Minister said she has three key “thrusts” for 2017 and all of them are centered around uniting Singaporeans.
The three “thrusts” are however ambiguous and the Minister did not explain in details what new policies or new changes will be implemented:
1. Building up trust and goodwill between individuals and communities so that Singapore becomes more cohesive and resilient
2. Make Singapore a compassionate and inclusive society, and promote volunteerism to Singaporeans to commit more time and money
3. Building “confidence in the nation” by building a memorial for Lee Kuan Yew
Minister Grace Fu also claimed building a Founders’ Memorial for Lee Kuan Yew will impart values like determination and resilience to Singaporeans:
“The process of setting up a Founders’ Memorial has sparked discussions among Singaporeans on the values that went into the past five decades of nation building, such as determination and resilience. It has given us confidence… that we too can be, in a way, the pioneering generation for the next 50 years. So we intend to use that to engage Singaporeans.”
The Minister then praised her ministry for being unique:
“What we have been doing in MCCY is really to build the heartware of the nation, it’s what distinguishes us from other countries.”
MCCY has been hit by multiple corruption scandals in recent years, with one being a S$880,000 bin center built for the National Art Council, and the S$10 million bill from a private company managing the national stadium Sports Hub. The Founders’ Memorial is not endorsed by popular demand, and is rather a pet project of the Prime Minister to glorify his father.