Thursday, August 13, 2009

Young Democrats elect new leaders

Singapore Democrats

The SDP's youth wing, the Young Democrats (YD), met last week to elect a new set of leaders to bring the group forward to meet the exciting challenges lying ahead.

Under the YD Charter, the Council comprising of the President, Vice-President and Honorary Secretary are elected once every two years. The officers will lead the youth wing to further the aims and objectives of the Singapore Democrats.

Mr Priveen Suraj, currently serving his remaining few months in the National Service as a commando, was elected President. Mr Priveen will pursue a law degree after he finishes his army stint. He joined the SDP when he was still a junior college student.

"I am proud to serve as president of the Young Democrats," he said. "We are a motivated group of Singaporeans who will be actively reaching out to our fellow youths to get them interested in politics and involved with the SDP."

Mr Jufri Salim will deputise as Vice-President. A young father of three, Mr Jufri has shown exceptional courage and political maturity when he took part in the Tak Boleh Tahan protest outside Parliament House. He pleaded guilty to the offence because of work commitment but insisted on going to prison instead of paying the fine.

The Honorary Secretary's post was taken up by Mr Jarrod Luo, a biomedical science and microbiology graduate from Australia's University of Queensland. Mr Luo became active with the Singapore Democrats last year and has shown tremendous drive in helping to organise the YD.

The YD was formed in 2000 with just four members. The number has grown steadily through the years and is now an active component of the Singapore Democrats. Its members and associates provide the skills and know-how in the party's online work.

The YD is a member of the Young Liberals and Democrats in Asia (YLDA) as well as the International Federation for Liberal Youths (IFLRY). YD member Ms Surayah Akbar recently participated in a workshop for women in Hong Kong organised by YLDA.

There are already high expectations of the three leaders, all in their 20s. They are tasked with expanding the YD's membership and to promote the mother party's message of reform and political change in Singapore.

At the meeting, members expressed that it was important for the YD to conduct community service and extend a hand to those who have been left behind under the system. They also indicated that they would reach out to younger Singaporeans through social events.

Secretary-General Chee Soon Juan congratulated the leaders and called on them to demonstrate effective leadership by working with all YD members to bring about an organisation that will be the pride of not just the SDP but also the whole of Singapore.


ed said...

Great! I love how the racial hierarchy that has been constructed in singapore is mirrored in the picture. Keep it up SDP, you seem to be quite representative of the status quo you purport to oppose. Ever heard of a freudian slip mate?



Anonymous said...

They were elected by the way. The votes cast by the current Young Democrats led to the picture you see.

Anonymous said...

hi ed,

interesting point you offered. but what's your alternative and why?

Anonymous said...

I don't even see how his point is interesting in this case because the council was not selected but elected. It just so happens that it ended up with that kind of representation.

Robox said...

I do think that [ed] actually does have a point and I can vouch for him on the basis of visual communications theory. Why don't we just consider what he might have been referring to. He said:

Re: "I love how the racial hierarchy that has been constructed in singapore is mirrored in the picture."

First, why is the new head of the YD not positioned in the centre of the picture? That would normally be the case if you wish to convey power relationships.

Imagine if you will, a picture of a man surrounded by fawning women flanking him to his sides. What is a viewer likely to infer about the power relationships being comunicated between men and women?

Then, on another count, most of us learn to to read from left to right; it becaomes an acculturated trait and is also documented in visual communications theory.

The PAP's Straits Times actually puts this information into good effect. Which spot on the open pages of a newspaper are your eyes most likely to land on first? And if you don't want too much attention to a particular issue, but you want to be able to say that you have a free press and you reported a certain matter, where would the placement of such a news item be?

The picture in this article is guilty of the same: if you read from left to right, whose picture are your eyes most likely to land on last?

(Note: Visual communications thoery is not an exact science.)

Still, I don't think that the suggestion that the SDP is doing all of this deliberately is a completely fair one. The SDP doesn't comprise gods, and the sooner we accept this the faster the progress we will make.

SDP members are the product of the larger Singapore society and are not exempt from society's influences.

It is only through dialogue like this that the SDP can improve, and from my own reading the SDP is the most ready for such a dialogue even while they are unlikely to be perfect.

My suggestion is to communicate openly and directly with the SDP on these matters, and gauge their responsiveness from there.

I will also not agree with [ed] that this racial hierarchy is constructed only in Singapore; the hierarchy of skin colour - white on top, black at the bottom with intermediate skin colours finding their appropriate space/s within the hierarchy - is a worldwide phenomenon that's been replicated in Singapore.