YDs lead the way in regional youth politics

Singapore Democrats

The SDP’s Young Democrats (YD) continue to take the lead in developing democracy among young leaders in Asia. Mr Muhd Khalis, YD’s Programme Director, was elected into the governing body of the Young Liberals and Democrats of Asia (YLDA).

Mr Khalis was elected into YLDA’s Executive Committee during the organisation’s 6th AGM held in Bandung, Indonesia. Mr Heng Chee Wey of Parti GERAKAN (Malaysia) and Wahyu Andre Maryono of National Awakening Party (Indonesia) were elected President and Secretary-General respectively.

YLDA espouses a society where liberal ideals and principles as well as democratic practices are established, one where the younger generation and their organizations are empowered, responsible and active participants.

Among some of the activities planned for 2011 by YLDA is an election observation mission to Singapore. Other activities in the pipeline are workshops on communication strategies as awell as seminars on ethnicity, religion and culture in the region.

Mr Khalis was tasked to spearhead the groups online presence and communication.

YLDA had conducted a 3-day workshop in May this year in Singapore focusing on strategic organizational management

Meanwhile, YD Honorary Secretary Mr Jarrod Luo was in Strasbourg, France from 23-29 Nov 10 to attend a 7-day study session on human rights education organised by the International Federation of Liberal Youths(IFLRY). He was the only Asian representative among the 30 youth leaders selected to participated in the event.

This is the second time the YD has been selected to participate in this forum. Mr Teoh Tian Jing was the first one.

The session, attended by youth leaders from states as diverse as Brazil, Denmark, Ghana and even Siberia, focused on the importance of education and training within an organization, as well as on setting up a non-formal educational framework in order to meet organizational objectives.

The intense programme included sessions that required participants to discuss topics like human learning and to brainstorm the various methods that facilitate such learning. From this participants were then delved into the subject of “what makes a good trainer” through the creative use of debate and role-play simulations.

Case studies were used where participants were encouraged to distill the essential processes behind and leading up to a youth organization conducting its own education and training programmes. The participants were had to design their own training programmes to meet specific needs of their organizations.

The various sessions culminated in a final presentation where participants presented a realistic, workable action plan that would improve the capacities of their own respective organization.

One highlight of the event was an exciting evening of debate and impassioned speeches as the participants gathered in a political café setting to engage in a no-holds-barred dialogue session on topics they have a passion for.

Mr Luo raised the issue of the Singapore ‘model’ and cautioned that the economic ‘miracle’ did not benefit all segments of society and that it came with a price: the media are subjugated, the law is weaponized against the opposition, and civil and political rights are undermined.

But, of course, all work and no play makes Jarrod a dull Democrat. Participants were brought to town for one memorable dinner at a rustic restaurant right beside the grand Strasbourg Cathedral, hosted by the Council of Europe.

They also took in some sights in the quaint city of Strasbourg and visited the various important international institutions there, such as the European Court of Human Rights, and the Council of Europe headquarters.