singapore PAP to create 2 new groups to address cross-cutting issues of mental health, climate change

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SINGAPORE – The ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) has promised to engage more widely with Singaporeans, including through new channels, to foster two-way dialogue.

Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said on June 8 that the PAP will create two new groups within the party to address cross-cutting issues of mental health and climate change, while he will personally do more in his public communications.

The party will also step up its engagement efforts through its government parliamentary committees (GPCs) – party organs organised along ministry lines – he said at an event to cap a six-month exercise to refresh and strengthen the PAP.

PAP MPs want to engage not just within the party but also with wider community groups and stakeholders, PM Wong told a 400-strong crowd of party activists and partners at the event at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre.

This is so that the PAP can better represent Singaporeans’ views, and have more effective discussions and debates in Parliament, said PM Wong, who is also the party’s deputy secretary-general.

While the PAP has various groups such as its Women’s Wing, Young PAP and PAP Seniors Group which actively engage their respective communities, PM Wong said the key challenges facing Singapore increasingly cut across traditional demographic lines.

Thus, the party will set up a new mental health group to be led by Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Health Janil Puthucheary, and a climate action group under Senior Minister of State for Manpower and Sustainability and the Environment Koh Poh Koon.

“These happen to be, amongst other things, two key national issues and also priorities for the PAP Government,” said PM Wong.

“As a party, we want to use these groups to better engage our activists and also all stakeholders, be it healthcare professionals, environmental groups, community organisations or individuals.”

The climate action group will integrate efforts under the PAP’s Action for Green Towns initiative – which has been rolled out at all 15 PAP town councils – and take on board the Young PAP’s 2020 position paper to advance the vision of Singapore as a green hub.

The mental health group, meanwhile, builds on a 2022 mental health survey by the Young PAP which found a strong public call for increased mental health support.

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