July 27, 2006The man wants to be more "hip and happening". Gosh. This is the kind of line which I expect to hear from yesteryear's pop stars, like the Bee Gees or Barry Manilow. Or maybe even from the participants in Singapore Idol.
PAP wants 'hip, happening' image to click
with the young
Party's conservative style needs to be updated to get in sync with younger generation, says PM Lee
By Li Xueying
FROM 'conservative' and 'staid', to 'hip and happening': The People's Action Party (PAP) wants to update its style to connect better with younger Singaporeans.
Party secretary-general Lee Hsien Loong wants the PAP to 'get more in sync with the younger generations' culture and be on their wavelength'.
In an editorial in the latest issue of the PAP party organ Petir, he spelt out the challenge for the 52-year-old party: 'The party's style is conservative, even retro. But the values, perspectives and lifestyles of our young have moved on from those of our older generations, and will continue to change rapidly.'
So while the young had shown strong support for the PAP, more needs to be done to keep pace with them, he added.
He cited as an example the 'criticism' from his children, in their teens and 20s, after they all attended a PAP election rally.
On the way home, they told their 54-year-old father what they thought of the experience: 'Too staid, too logical, not 'lively' enough, not at all attractively presented to them'.
Said Mr Lee: 'I have heard the same criticism from other young people. It is not just our rallies, but the party's overall approach to putting our message out and involving our supporters in our activities.'
One 'great success' when the party connected with younger members was at the Young PAP's 20th anniversary rally in April, complete with balloon clappers and cheerleaders.
'But we need to do more,' he said. 'We have to build up more groups of active supporters who will contribute ideas and fight for our cause.'
Mr Lee has asked a team of new MPs, born after 1965 and called the P65 Team, to 'recommend ways to better connect with the young and to make fresh proposals for a more hip and happening PAP' ....
But I start to worry when I hear such a line coming from the Prime Minister of Singapore. And it terrifies me to hear PM Lee cite, as a positive example, a Young PAP's event with "balloon clappers and cheerleaders".
Behold - the future is in our pom poms.
The ST article tells us that the PAP wants to change from 'conservative' and 'staid', to 'hip and happening'. My goodness. Mr Lee, this is NOT quite the way to go.
Your party IS too "conservative" and "staid". But instead of striving to be "hip and happening", why don't you strive to be more "open & consultative"; "flexible & responsive"; or "innovative & dynamic".
The man has lost his way. He has really, really lost his way.
Technorati: Singapore; politics.