Speak up now for your future, urges minister By Winona Wee My Paper Monday, Apr 08, 2013 SINGAPORE - With the next generation set to run the country in about one or two decades, it is important now for Singaporeans to say what directions to take, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen. This is why Dr Ng, who is a Member of Parliament (MP) for the Bishan-Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency (GRC), called the Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) a "crucial exercise". He was speaking to reporters at Colourful Life, an event organised in conjunction with the People's Association's PAssionArts Month 2013. It was held at an outdoor amphitheatre in Bishan Street 13. "I hope Singaporeans will lend their voices to it because this is going to decide their future," he said, referring to the OSC. Dr Ng's comments came after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that a clearer picture will emerge by August on the measures the country will need to take in its new phase of development. The OSC's second phase involves taking a deep dive into specific policy areas: health care, housing, education and old age. Dr Ng noted that one challenge Singapore faces is how it will continue to ensure it remains relevant and that it continues to be regarded as a hub, even as Asia grows. He said: "By and large, Singaporeans want to make sure that Singapore continues to succeed." Other MPs from the GRC, including Mrs Josephine Teo, Mr Wong Kan Seng and Mr Hri Kumar Nair, also attended the event. Artistic works from residents and professional artists were displayed, including a photography exhibition and a structure in the shape of the Singapore map made with canned food. PAssionArts Month this year will feature 47 events held at "PAssionArts Villages", or common spaces such as community clubs and parks, in various heartland estates. PAssionArts Month was introduced last year, as part of the Arts and Culture Strategic Review implementation, to offer residents a platform to experience and interact through the arts. This year's instalment, launched on March 30, will go on for five weekends until April 20. For details, go to www.facebook.com/PAssionArtsSG [email protected] Get My Paper for more stories.