S'pore youths can share views, influence policies on cost-of-living & mental health later this year: Edwin Tong

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Youth panels are being set up later this year, to involve young Singaporeans in developing policy recommendations that will be considered by the government.

But how would the government allow for a wide range of youth voices to be heard? How much of a say would youths have in deciding the issues to be discussed?

Additionally, what assurances do youths have that their ideas will make a difference?

These were some of the questions addressed at the sixth session of the National Youth Dialogue series, titled "Together, We Make Singapore" on May 24, 2023.

The dialogue series is also part of the Forward Singapore exercise, that brings Singaporeans together to have conversations about creating a new social compact.

The dialogue was held at the National Gallery, and was helmed by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong.

Edwin Tong with some youth participants at the dialogue. Image courtesy of Stanley James Ng.

Panels to make recommendations on issues relevant to youths

In Tong's speech, he provided more details about the youth panels, which were initially announced at the Debate on the President's Address earlier in April.

Tong said that the National Youth Council hopes to set up two to three panels this year, each comprising at least 20-30 members.

They will be working on issues that resonate with youths, which are identified through other engagement platforms such as focus group discussions, dialogues and online polls.

These could include bread-and-butter and wellbeing issues, such as cost of living, jobs and the economy, and mental wellbeing.

A board where participants could indicate using stickers, which issues they were concerned about. Image courtesy of Daniel Seow.

Additionally, Tong noted that many youths are invested in other issues that affect our lives, such as inclusivity, technology and envi...

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