On 28 July 2019, some 109 Young PAP (People’s Action Party) activists and Young NTUC (National Trades Union Congress) union leaders came together for the Bicentennial-themed Amazing Race-style event. Setting off at the PAP Headquarters and ending at the NTUC Centre, the participants visited various locations that had special meaning for the PAP and NTUC, and solved challenges along the way.
The event aimed to strengthen greater camaraderie between the two youth groups and served as a platform for them to learn more about the symbiotic relationship between the PAP and NTUC.
Starting off on a Fun Foot
NTUC and PAP have been working closely together since Singapore’s independence. This relationship is reaffirmed every year during the May Day Rally. In line with that, the youth wings from both sides decided to build on this unique relationship.
Young PAP’s Samuel Kwan shared: “The YP [Young PAP] Exco was having a brainstorming session one evening on ideas to commemorate Singapore’s bicentennial and we thought we could include YN [Young NTUC] to co-organise the event so as to further strengthen the ties between YN and YP.”
Andy Ang, Chairperson of Young NTUC, added that this collaboration was a way for “both groups to get to know each other’s functions and complement each other.”
They agreed on a theme highlighting the country’s bicentennial year. They also agreed that it should be a friendly race.
“The aim of the race was not exactly a competition per se but rather an avenue for our members to bond with each other, to learn about YN and YP, as well as Singapore, in a fun yet challenging way,” said Andy.
“The main idea was to connect the YP and YN members so that they can make contacts and learn from each other's experiences and further enhance what they are doing in their own influence circle,” shared Samuel.
Overcoming Obstacles along the Way
Race stations were carefully selected. Aside from their historical value, these venues hold special significance for both PAP and NTUC.
The ‘Tanjong Pagar PAP Branch’, for instance, is where Singapore’s founding Prime Minister, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, stood for elections his entire political career. The ‘ReUnion Exhibition’, which lasts till November this year, at the National Museum of Singapore features NTUC’s Modernization Seminar – a turning point for the Labour Movement that set the stage for tripartite efforts between the unions, employers and the Government.
Other stops included Chinatown and The Singapore Bicentennial Experience Exhibition at Fort Canning Park. According to race participant Timothy Lim, it wasn’t exactly a walk in the park.
“It was tough running up the Fort Canning hill and say The Pledge in four different languages but it reminded us why we are Singaporean,” explained Timothy.
Working together, YN and YP conquered the challenges thrown their way. Beyond the race, they hope to harness their strengths to help address the younger generation’s concerns. Race participant, Justina Lee, said: “Some common problems faced by youth today are things like being unsure about what career to pursue in the future. YN and YP can provide avenues for them to seek career counselling and mentor them in terms of navigating the job market.”
At the end of the day, the participants from YN and YP shared a fun journey of friendship and discovery and are looking ahead to more collaboration in the future.
“I look forward to our youth leaders from both YN and YP taking charge to suggest and plan more signature joint events together so that our symbiotic relationship can continue to grow for many more years to come. After all, the youths are the future of our nation and together we hope to grow Singapore into an inclusive and prosperous country for all,” said Andy.