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Chee Siok Chin
The aim of the SDP’s Training and Development (T&D) Unit is to build the party’s capacity through personal and professional development of our members.At the thank-you dinner in May 2011 following the general elections, we got together with several hundred of our campaign helpers and, thereafter, managed to significantly expand our membership base.
Since then, we have held various training and social programmes to help our members and volunteers learn more about the party’s philosophy, policies and operations.$CUT$
In October, the Unit conducted a workshop (below, right) to introduce the party to new members and familiarise them with the work that we do. It was also an opportunity to impress upon the newcomers the expectations the party has of each and every member. Our members are constantly reminded of the decorum expected of all who don our party colours.
This was followed by a leadership training workshop (above photo) for our leaders and key members. The aim of the workshop was to help the participants develop self-awareness, effective communication, and leadership qualities.
Such training programmes will benefit individual members which will, in turn, lead to a more competent and effective SDP.
Of course, not everything had to do with work. The T&D also organised social and recreational actvities for our members. Cook-outs and barbecues were especially popular as our members came together to relax over good food and great company. Our New Year’s Eve bash at East Coast Park was a particular hit associates, volunteers and members gathered to usher in 2012.
The T&D is also responsible for the development of the pasrty’s Women Democrats (WD) and Young Democrats. The WD, in particular, has grown with many Singaporean women joinng the party.
It held its first inaugural event in March this year. Titled What Women Really Want, the event featured speakers such as Delphine Kang, a secondary school advisor/councillor; Ms Dana Lam, the former president of Aware; Ms Hazel Pao, the Sec-Gen of the National Solidarity Party; Ms Surayah Akbar, a business woman and Ms Chong Wai Fung, a healthcare professional.
At SDP’s recent May Day Rally, Ms Regina Chin who holds a Master’s degree in early childhood education from a university in the UK and has spent her career in social work and in education, took to the stage to speak about the challenges facing women in Singapore. Another WD member, Dr Juwita Rahmat who holds a doctorate in medicine, also spoke at the Rally about the educational system in Singapore. (Watch the video).
The YD continues to expand. Since GE2011, it has recuited several new members who have since been actively engaged in the party’s activities. The YDs perform a wide range of important functions including providing technical support for our Communications and Ground Operations teams.
It also helped to organise the SDP Football Carnival as well as facilitate the party’s adoption of a football team, the Fushan Warriors.
The YD also represented SDP in various overseas training workshops and events in the past year, including conferences in Belgrade, Budapest, Taipei, Colombo and Manila.
Extensive networking was also done at all of the events and YD will kickstart a more comprehensive partnership between CALD and IFLRY for future workshops and seminars in the region.
Chee Siok Chin is a member of the SDP’s Central Executive Committee and Head of the Training and Development Unit.