After he returned from his internship at the European Parliament in March 2010, Young Democrat Muhd Shamin wrote on the need for Youth Parliament in Singapore, citing that “youths in Singapore are generally ‘lost’ when it comes to politics.”
He called for the establishment of a parliament that would allow the younger generation of Singaporeans to voice their opinions, one that will “act as a tool for education of the democratic tradition” and where youth groups of various ideological leanings can participate in the political process.
Since then little has been said and done to build on the idea. Until recently, that is, when an Internet activist broached the subject again. (See here).
Given the present alienation of youth in Singapore where youth crime and violence are on the rise, this is an idea that is appropriate and urgent for Singapore. A youth parliament will be a good place for our youths to gain exposure to politics and the policy-making process, and for future leaders to come through the ranks.
Such being the case, the Young Democrats (YD) will initiate the process by organising a public forum to discuss such an initiative. The YD will be writing to the various youth wings of political parties as well as student leaders and other youth organisations to come together to work on the idea.
“The time has come for youths in Singapore to take a greater interest in our country’s politics and a parliamentary forum for young people seems to be a good way to go,” said Shamin.
At the same time, the YD will also work with other youth organisations in the region to push for an ASEAN youth parliament. Through its contacts built up through the years, the SDP’s youth wing will encourage ASEAN youths to come together for the project.