SingFirst held its first Members Only retreat on Saturday, 31 Jan 2015 to share our values, plans and strategies with our appointment holders and members. This inaugural event was conducted as a series of presentations by the CEC with breakout sessions with the members. Dr Ang Yong Guan, Mr Tan Jee Say, Mr Tan Peng Ann and with Mr David Foo as the MC, presented the Mission, Values and Goals of SingFirst. Mr David Tan and Mr Winston Lim facilitated the discussions during the breakout sessions.
Members tackled various topics ranging from attributes of good quality candidates to how political parties handle internal party conflicts, and from our reach out programmes to preparations for the upcoming general election. This event was a great success not only because it was intellectual, educational and engaging, there were lots of humour coming from the likes of Yong Guan and Jee Say. Some of our members shared their thoughts and views below:
“I went to the retreat with an intention…. To be a part of SingFirst where we place the heart at the centre of whatever we do. Also I want to see my goal for a better Singapore through the vision of Singaporeans First as a credible alternative party to lead Singapore. It was a worthwhile retreat where the spirit of SingFirst Manifesto was once again highlighted through the various presentations by SingFirst leaders, led by Secretary-General Tan Jee Say.
The presentations were well defined, focused, intelligently and humbly projected with a touch of humour and humanity. I was deeply impressed by SingFirst’s first retreat. Above all, we had a meaningful, enjoyable and fulfilling time at the retreat. I sense a strong desire and commitment to see Singapore stand tall and proud again!”
By Jane Teo
“In SingFirst we Think with our Heart. SingFirst is sure different from the other alternative parties.
Dr. Ang explained how the limbic system of the brain deals with the neurotransmitters. It normally sends the signals to the cerebral cortex to be interpreted. This is very good to know as only the neurologists and neurosurgeons are the experts dealing with this knowledge. But Dr. Ang made it possible for layman to understand such complicated information.
Mr. Tan Peng Ann shared with us the party’s detailed Planning Strategy. Mr. Tan Jee Say explained how the citizens get to benefit from a package especially tailored for all Singaporeans. With these 3 explanations we can comprehend how “Esteemed People, Strong Families and a Fair Society” can be achieved. It was a very enjoyable retreat as we responded to the humorous intellectual exchange. Surprised by the humility of the leaders to make a difference to our lives.
The energy showed by the members in response to the breakout sessions and the ideas that poured in are so selfless but spoke volumes. Looking forward to more ! Bravo !!!!”
“My feedback on the retreat is simply fabulous!
So enriching with great clarity and understanding. Truly showed SingFirst’s hearts for the citizens of Singapore in the proposed package to be given out. Most amazingly… is that even with so much financial goodies to the citizens we are able to protect and grow our national assets. Let SingFirst declare it to the whole of Singapore”.
“The retreat was a gathering of ideas, thoughts and actions.
We saw how the 3 speakers dived into the essence of their topics, be it the topics on SingFirst being a credible alternative or transforming Singaporeans into esteemed people and putting forth a strong case for social safety net with Singaporeans’ interest at heart.. This is why we join the retreat..To be the agents of change for Singaporeans future!!
“The programme was meticulously planned and organised to inculcate leadership through enthusiasm, motivation and participation without air of authority by the leaders.
Fundamentally, it is important for members to understand the meaning and objectives of SingFirst’s logo in its Vision, Mission and Values for Singaporeans. The constitution of SingFirst was explained by having members abide by a standard code of conduct.
Sharing of FAQs were selfless, very useful, interesting and professionally guided by the leaders. Details of SingFirst’s manifesto were unique, interesting and beneficial to Singaporeans regardless of race, language and religion.
Walkabouts: Members were reminded on the “do’s & don’ts”
Social Media Postings: Members were reminded to be mindful and respectful to upkeep SingFirst’s image.
How to get involved with SingFirst: Members were encouraged to contribute their time, knowledge and experience. On the whole, the day was well-spent as it was truly educational and inspiring. And not forgetting our tea break with unique finger food delicacies and set lunch (yum yum..) by the restaurant.
Looking forward to another retreat”.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the party gathering yesterday and am impressed by the quality of the presenters.
All CEC members have valuable experience, each an expert in his own field. Their ideas and strategies synergise into great actionable plans which is the forte of the party. Their humility, their positive spirit and great teamwork, peppered with the heart to serve with compassion will definitely be a threat to PAP. The sense of humour is contagious.
Pretending to be an idiot (being humble really) is always preferred than to show off like a smart alec. The kind doctor in Dr Ang always has a dose of the best medicine to prescribe – Laughter. Credit to his bald head which is the source of his inspiration and creative jokes which bring ‘light’ to his audience.
I liken the team as a VSOP in the making, and the fine liquor will be served to all in the next election. I am sure we all will continue with zest and enthusiasm to build and improve on the party structure and strength to bring about a better Singapore for Singaporeans. And I am proud to have the opportunity to associate with and learn from all the team members”.
“Much appreciated words of wisdom, Eric. Your presence and contributions at the retreat help to saturate and solidify the foundation that we are now constructing.
Thank you for being a good part of us”.
“Very meaningful remarkable retreat! The topics by Dr Ang Yong Guan on “ESTEEM” and by Encik Tan Jee Say on the “ECONOMIC PACKAGES” are the 2 powerful key “Antidotes” to end suffering for all citizens.
Highly Esteemed Warriors”!
“Was good to reinforce the values, pledge of SingFirst especially why esteemed people are necessary fundamentals for 1st world nation. The more differentiated a society like Singapore with roots of multi nationalities, multi races, religion etc, the more important it is to find a common denominator to bind people together, which is the basis on which the key value of SingFirst lies. These will also allow Singaporeans to engage the external societies at the global stage.
Repeating the message will also help new members or those who had missed the earlier sessions to get a refresher. Hope to have another series of topics for discussion in the next few sessions, but at appropriate times to come back and check-in on the earlier questions especially when new members join, in particular questions like what are the attributes needed to avoid internal conflicts.
Scheduled checking in on fundamentals, vision and direction will allow SingFirst to avoid the pitfalls of blindspots, avoid introducing policies that may cause a great affective divide between government and citizens”.
“The retreat is the best I have attended.
So much energy from the leaders who have put in great effort to share with members so that the retreat was energized spontaneously. Bonus was the laughter and light-hearted moments. I felt there was a high sense of openness, commitment, transparency and sharing.
For a new party, we have leapfrogged in our preparations for the moment of truth – GE. Let’s get started in our areas of responsibilty, above all, get more members.
It’s just memorable….”
“SingFirst shares its ideas and knowledge with members for their personal, professional and political development. And all that conducted in a humorous engaging manner, without fear of criticism by members.
This retreat brought various members and appointment holders together for the same goal – to discuss and create an alternative narrative for Singapore and Singaporeans. It also answered one of the most burning questions on everyone’s mind “How does SingFirst regain self-esteem for citizens, offer strength to families and fairness to society without breaking the bank?”
“It was a great day at the retreat.
The next step is to seek consensus on the policies. Jee Say has briefed on the Social Safety Nets. Yong Guan talked about esteemed people, fear and freedom. I covered the structure and the framework. I see that members are putting up more ideas. Ideas are good. But as rational people, while we oppose, and I am with you to oppose, please also think of alternative ideas. What improvements could be made? Let’s not be like other opposition parties.
We should go into Constructive Politics, and avoid being called Destructive”.
“Thanks for all the feedback regarding the retreat. The retreat allowed our leaders to share with our members on 3 key areas:
1) readiness as an credible alternative
2) esteemed people
3) social support / security economic programme.
It was an exercise on alignment of values, vision and mission. The members’ response was palpable. Everyone had an opportunity to speak and share. I can feel that the retreat had brought us closer on common vital grounds. We are now able to walk side by side; taller (nevermind the hair part!) because of higher esteem. The challenge now is to maintain the momentum and spread this to other members.
Thank you for taking time off to attend the retreat. See you at the next retreat!”