YouthSpeak: A series of SG50 conversations organised by National Youth Council Singapore on 10 April 2015

Thank you National Youth Council Singapore and Edelman for the invitation to this Youthspeak: A Series of SG50 conversation. This is the first of 50 conversations for the Youths to be held in Singapore.

This inaugural session of YOUTHSPEAK as we reflect on the opportunities and challenges ahead, and exchange stories on how we as youths can shape Singapore’s future. For this session of YOUTHSPEAK, it focuses on Youths and Social enterprises and Passion. This event was held at Barber Shop by Timbre @ The Arts House.

This event was hosted by Greta Georges. Guest-of-honour for this event was Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Chairman, National Youth Council. The 2 Guest Speakers for this events were Ms Kuik Shiao Yin, Nominated Member of Parliament and Creative Director and Co-founder of The Thought Collective,  and Mr Edward Chia, Co-founder and Managing Director of Timbre Music Group.

The 2 speakers are social entrepreneurs. Mr Edward Chia hires ex-convicts and delinquents in his company as well as provide a platform for local singers (such as Jack and Rai, Goodfellas) and dancers (lindy hop) to perform and showcase their talents. Ms Kuik Shiao Yin

The youth participants were given cards to pen down their thoughts and aspiration and what they can be as the pioneers of tomorrow. All the written cards will be showcase in an exhibition in November 2015. At least of 1 of written cards will be mentioned during the conversation and my written card was selected.

Here’s what I had written down:

What I had written down was from the bottom of my heart. We are all unique individuals, with different strengths and skills.

小人物的心声 (Xiao Ren Wu De Xin Sheng) –

The lyrics of this song really reflected on what I felt then. Of course, as part of the pioneers of tomorrow, this is part of my aspirations.


Reflections for the conversation:

Singapore has changed a lot over the past 50 years.

From this


To this

Singapore is a small place with limited resources. It was not easy for our pioneer leaders to turn Singapore from a 3rd world nation to a 1st world nation over a short period of 50 years. Our government had to find ways and means to innovate ideas to find solution to solve water shortage problems.

IMG_1619And voila – NeWater is 1 of the greatest innovations in Singapore. We need it, we drink it, we use it. It became part of our daily lives.

Recently, our founding prime minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew had left us. However, we will not forget about what his team and himself had worked together to build Singapore into a better place.

This is one of the songs that represents that SG50 and what our pioneer leaders overcame a lot of things to fulfil their dreams.

There were quite a lot of discussion going on during the conversation.

I totally agree with the speakers that people do deserve second chances in their lives. It is not easy for people to accept people with records. It is also not easy for people who failed or given up their lives after hearing bad news. If special people put in special effort and attention on them, they may change into a better person. Why not?

Life choices is like a forked road.We have choices and paths to choose from. Sometimes we have to make decisions to choose the path that we wanted to go. Such as after PSLE, we have to make decisions to choose the secondary schools. We are humans and we may err. Sometimes when we choose the wrong path, we regret and some may learn from the mistakes and look forward. Sometimes, we may get condemned and no one gives the support. Sometimes, with people supporting and guiding you, you may become strong and move on. Failure is the stepping stone to sucess.

I do have passion and hobbies. However, I do not pursue my passion as my career. Passion can be our hobbies that we can do during our free time. Why not? Do not give up passion just because of obstacles. Life still have to go on. We can figure out a way to intergate our passions into our careers somehow. Or join a hobby association to make friends with similar hobbies.

I felt that Ms Kuik said something very good about life and resilence. Sometimes it is good to expose the tough side of life to make people understand situations and with the setback, this will help to mould and grow into a better and stronger person.

It reminds me of the chorus of A1 – Like a rose.


Life is not always smooth sailing one. Sometimes, people do break down over incidents. Some may reactive very negatively and unable to move on over failure. Some may become strong.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew had been through the Great Depression in the 1920s and World War II in the 1940s. With the hardships that he experienced and his near escape from the Japanese troops, these incidents made him to be a stronger person. Even if people trampled or look down, we should not .give up. We still have a lot to learn from people.

The lyrics of Jason Mraz’s I won’t give up song is very meaningful. It reflects very well about what I thought about the conversation. We should not give up hope.

Jason Mraz – I won’t give up lyrics video:

Here’s the summary of the discussion:

So what is your life story? A person who sparkles and does well in life? Or a person who just play, sleep and eat? Or s person who is willing to step out of comfort zone to make a difference in life? You decide your story.

I would like to end off with Dick Lee’s Life Story song:

There will be more upcoming YOUTHSPEAK SG50 conversations soon. Do visit National Youth Council, Singapore for more updates.


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