RELEASE OF FORWARD SINGAPORE REPORT: 4G UNVEILS ROADMAP TO BUILD OUR SHARED FUTURE
1. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong launched the Forward Singapore (Forward SG) Report and the Forward Singapore Festival today. The Forward SG Report articulates how the Government will work with Singaporeans to refresh our social compact for the road ahead. The recommendations and key policy shifts were built on suggestions from Singaporeans and stakeholders during the Forward SG engagement sessions.
2. The Forward SG exercise brought together over 200,000 Singaporeans over the last 16 months. Singaporeans contributed their ideas through 275 partnerships and engagement sessions, as well as via surveys, roadshows, and digital platforms. See Annex A for more information on the Forward SG engagement journey.
3. Across the Forward SG engagements, Singaporeans shared that they wanted a society that is:
a) Vibrant and Inclusive, filled with opportunities for all to learn and progress across diverse pathways, and where everyone is valued and respected for who they are, and what they do.
b) Fair and Thriving, where Singaporeans are assured of access to basic needs through every life stage, and can pursue fulfilling and dignified lives, with more help given to fellow citizens with less.
c) Resilient and United, with a strong sense of shared identity and collective responsibility amongst all Singaporeans to do their part for the common good, and for future generations.
4. To achieve this, all members of society will have to do their part. The Government will do more to provide opportunities and assurance, while people, community and businesses will contribute in their own ways. The Forward SG Report outlines the shifts and the areas of focus, whereby working together, we can create the Singapore we envision.
Seven Key Shifts to Achieve Our Shared Future
5. The Forward SG Report outlines seven key shifts that will ensure that the broad middle of society and their children see improvements in their lives and that we continue to care for society’s most vulnerable:
a) Embrace learning beyond grades, so that Singaporeans pursue lifelong learning instead of grades, to fulfil their potential and realise their dreams. This requires us to:
o Give every child a good start; paying more attention to children from lower-income families.
o Broaden the definition of merit and develop more diverse pathways, such as the move to Full Subject-Based Banding.
o Provide a significant boost to SkillsFuture to help mature mid-career Singaporeans reskill and upskill. This includes a substantial top-up of the SkillsFuture Credit, training allowance for mature workers to take on full time long-form training, and support for Singaporeans to obtain another publicly-funded diploma.
b) Respect and reward every job to support Singaporeans’ growing desire for meaningful jobs, and provide them with the opportunity to develop mastery of skills. We will also empower Singaporeans to build career agility and resilience. This shift requires us to:
o Further reduce wage gaps, via recognition and better pay for those in ‘hands’ and ‘heart’ jobs. We will also enable more Institute of Technical Education graduates to upskill and upgrade early by defraying education costs, and better recognise their efforts for doing so.
o Support job transitions by providing personalised recommendations on careers and skills pathways, through digital tools and career guidance services. There will also be a new support scheme to help involuntarily unemployed jobseekers in the lower and middle-income groups bounce back stronger.
o Work with employers and industry associations to nurture local talent to become specialists and leaders in their fields, especially for top regional roles in multi-national corporations.
c) Support families through every stage of life, so that Singapore becomes the best place to start, grow or nurture Singaporean families. This means giving more assurance to families, helping them balance work and family commitments, and supporting them in raising their children while caring for elderly parents. This requires us to:
o Ensure that HDB flats remain affordable, fair and with a good social mix, such as through the new classification framework for HDB Build-To-Order projects (Standard, Plus and Prime).
o Provide more support for parents of infants. This includes exploring further increases to paid parental leave, and expanding centre-based infant care places and childminding service options.
o Support Singaporeans’ mental well-being and work-life harmony, through a set of Tripartite Guidelines on Flexible Work Arrangements to be released in 2024 and the National Mental Health and Well-being Strategy.
o Enhance support for caregivers by increasing the affordability of early intervention, education, and care services for families with children with developmental and special educational needs.
d) Enable seniors to age well, so that they stay active and socially connected, retire with peace of mind and enjoy fulfilling golden years. This requires us to:
o Encourage active ageing in the community by expanding the network of Active Ageing Centres and revamping their operations.
o Strengthen the community-based aged care system; making seniors’ care journey simpler and more seamless.
o Improve our living environment for seniors, by incorporating more senior-friendly features and offering more housing options integrated with care provisions.
o Ensure seniors retire with peace of mind, through enhancing existing schemes (e.g. Silver Support Scheme, Matched Retirement Savings Scheme) and the Majulah Package.
e) Empower those in need by uplifting lower-income families towards sustained progress, closing early gaps for children from lower-income families and making our society more inclusive for persons with disabilities. This requires us to:
o Work with community partners to provide additional support to empower these families to sustain progress in improving their life circumstances.
o Enable children to enrol earlier into preschool and attend regularly, by making preschool education more affordable and accessible.
o Strengthen support for persons with disabilities’ lifelong learning and create more inclusive environments where they can participate and live independently.
f) Invest in our shared tomorrow, so we can deal with today’s challenges while providing a strong foundation for the future, despite limited resources. This requires us to:
o Plan for the long term to optimise limited land and secure a climate-resilient future.
o Strengthen our food and water security.
o Uphold fiscal prudence and responsibility by taking care of today’s needs while ensuring a better future for the next generation.
g) Do our part as one united people, as the collective strength of Singapore’s society depends on our unity and how well we care for each other. This requires us to:
o Nurture a stronger culture of giving, especially among those who have done well, and better connect donors and volunteers to local community needs.
o Strengthen our multi-racialism and Singaporean identity, by encouraging more interactions between different groups.
o Create more avenues for civic participation.
6. We have started implementing some of these key shifts and will announce more details of other Forward SG initiatives in the coming months and at Budget 2024. We have also launched the Forward Singapore Festival where the public can learn more about the Forward SG initiatives in the report and contribute ideas on how we can build our shared future together. The first Forward Singapore Festival will be held at Gardens by the Bay from 27 to 29 October 2023. Thereafter, the Festival will make its way into various heartland locations until 28 January 2024. Details on the Forward Singapore Festival and roving exhibitions are in Annex B.
7. To view more ideas proposed by Singaporeans during the Forward SG exercise, and explore opportunities where you can engage or partner the Government, visit the Forward SG website and the various Our SG social media platforms.
1. The Forward SG exercise engaged over 200,000 Singaporeans over the last 16 months on a wide range of issues. Singaporeans contributed their ideas through 275 partnerships and engagement sessions, as well as via surveys, roadshows and digital platforms. It builds on the work of engagements in recent years, including the Singapore Together Emerging Stronger Conversations, the Conversations on Singapore Women’s Development, and the Long-Term Plan Review.
2. Engagements were designed to be inclusive to reach and engage Singaporeans from all walks of life. They were held in different languages, every neighbourhood, via both in-person and online formats. Some engagements also took place over different time zones to cater to overseas Singaporeans.
3. The engagements also adopted various formats and methods, to cater to different interests and profiles. We wanted to encourage Singaporeans to exchange their differing perspectives on issues, reflect on the trade-offs involved, and arrive at an agreement of the policy direction that works best with the society in mind. Formats used included:
a) Open Space Technology enabled participants to choose and lead conversations on topics they were most keen to discuss.
b) Focus group discussions delved into a specific area of interest for groups most affected by the issue.
c) Role-playing enabled participants to stand in the shoes of a demographic profile different from their own and understand it better.
d) Intergenerational conversations brought together people from different ages to share their perspectives on issues, to build mutual understanding across generations.
e) Marketplace for action/partnership for people to learn about and sign up for community initiatives in their neighbourhood.
4. There were also opportunities for Singaporeans who wanted to lead and take action. Some submitted policy proposals for discussion with the Forward SG Workgroup, such as the Ngee-Ann Kongsi – Institute of Policy Studies Citizens’ Panel on Employment Resilience, and via platforms such as the NTUC’s #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations, and Forward SG Engagements with Post-Secondary Education Institution (PSEI) students. Some Singaporeans also kickstarted their own ground-up initiatives in their neighbourhoods, schools, and workplaces to tackle various issues.
5. The Government’s commitment to engage citizens on its policies and programmes will continue beyond the publication of the report.
a) Beyond inviting feedback, the government will continue opening avenues for Singaporeans to offer ideas and take action. Some examples of these platforms include Citizens’ Panels and Alliances for Action.
b) To galvanise efforts in partnering citizens to shape a better Singapore, the Singapore Government Partnerships Office (SGPO) will be established to take the lead in engaging and partnering Singaporeans. The SGPO will facilitate interactions between contributing citizens and the relevant government agencies, and strengthen partnerships to shape a better Singapore.
7. For more information on how to engage or partner the Government, visit the Forward SG website and the various Our SG social media platforms.
1. The Forward Singapore Festival is a series of roadshows that highlights the key recommendations from the Forward SG report and encourages Singaporeans to actively do their part to build our shared future. The Festival was launched today at Gardens by the Bay. It will subsequently move to various locations across Singapore, including the heartlands, until 28 January 2024.
2. The Festival comprises three key highlights:
a) Exhibition Booths – The seven informational booths will spotlight the key policy shifts highlighted in the Forward SG Report, as well as feature a vignette of experiences and stories shared by those who took part in Forward SG engagements.
b) ‘Our Shared Future’ Booth – Visitors are invited to be part of our envisioned shared future through an interactive booth. After creating their customised avatars, visitors will travel through seven key settings and discover what this shared future holds.
c) Holographic Pledge Booth – Visitors will be invited to make their pledge for Singapore at a unique holographic pledge booth. Our virtual host, River, will prompt visitors to choose a pledge that resonates with them. Pictures and selfies are welcomed, and visitors are encouraged to share their pledges on social media with the hashtag #ForwardSG. A small exclusive token of appreciation will be available for enthusiastic participants.
2. The Forward Singapore Festival will kick off at Silver Garden – Silver Leaf at Gardens by the Bay from 27 to 29 October 2023, 9am to 9pm daily, before making its appearance at various heartland locations (details in the table below). Visit the Forward SG website for the latest updates on the roadshows.
|27-29 Oct 2023||
9am - 9pm
|Silver Garden - Silver Leaf at Gardens by the Bay|
|4-5 Nov 2023||Toa Payoh Hub|
|11-12 Nov 2023||Sports Hub: 100Plus Promenade (Gates 2 to 5)|
|18-19 Nov 2023||Punggol Oasis Terraces|
|25-26 Nov 2023||Keat Hong Community Centre|
|6-7 Jan 2024||Our Tampines Hub|
|13-14 Jan 2024||Yishun Town Square|
|20-21 Jan 2024||Devan Nair Institute|
|27-28 Jan 2024||Heartbeat @ Bedok|
Other related content that might interest you