Transitioning.org is pleased to see a nice turnout of around 200 Singaporeans yesterday – coming out in unity to support our jobless Singaporeans. Many of you also turned up in black to protest against the pro-foreigner labour policies here.
Rain threatened the event very early in the morning but the weather softened towards the later part in the afternoon. One speaker told me that if the rain persisted it would be better to cancel the event – I reluctantly concurred as lightning might endanger those attending the event if the rain continued.
Three speakers also withdrew during last minute and I was down with only four speakers…I was praying hard that there wouldn’t be anymore last minute withdrawal as I do not have the time to hunt for speaker anymore.
The four of us finally took to the stage…
Personally, I was heartened to see such a good show of Singaporean support for the Employ Singaporeans First as it was held very close to the recently-concluded General Election.
I was also very touched when I realised that more than half of the people turning up are already employed – they were there simply to show support for our jobless Singaporeans. Kudos to you!
Many people have actually asked me to postpone the event the night before – more so when it was held on June 4th – the 22rd anniversary of the Tianamen massacre. I deliiberated on the thought a little but decided to carry on with the event anyhow.
Arriving very early at about 4.20pm together with Steve Chia, my NSP colleague, we began to recee the place on where to place our two huge 15 by 3 foot banners.
Our helpers came soon after and together they managed to hang one right next to the MRT exit and Steve erected one up on the mould from where the speakers would speak from.
Credit must be given to Mr KC Lau, one of our die-hard supporter, for doing up the banners for us. Thanks KC!
Iris – one of the helpers who brought along all the blank cardboards for participants to draw up their frustrations – attracted a small crowd when the finished cardboards were displayed on the ground for people to view. Many could identify with the frustrations displayed on the cardboards and a few teared up when they felt what the drawers were trying to imply.
I also want to thank all my other helpers for ensuring that the event was a success and it was!
The event came and went very fast but I felt that we have achieved quite alot from the occasion:-
1. I realised that Singaporeans now want a safe credible platform to exchange views on issues that affected them very much - our government has along neglected to engage the public and they are craving for any platform that provides them this opportunity. Transitioning.org will try its best to provide such platform either via similar public arena at Speakers’ Corner or a forum-style event that will allow the people to interact more on events that matter to them. Many also commented to me that a quarterly event is too long and want the next one to be sooner – we will see to that and details will be out in a week or two on this.
2. A think tank session will be organised shortly as promised during yesterday’s event and interested parties can emailed me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. The session will be solution-based rather than going through the issues/problems again. Interested parties invited to the think tank seesion need to really come prepared with solutions. A paper will then be drafted out and sent to the relevant ministries for their attention. Participants need not be scholarly or very capable but they need to really think out of the box here. If too many people apply for the think tank session, we will probably open it up into a forum dialogue seminar-style.
3. We collected close to a hundred signatures endorsing Employ Singaporeans First and I will personally hand the signatures to our DPM Tharman who is also the Minister for Manpower. Let us hope that the minister will engage us on another occasion directly.
We also want to thank Straits Times and the Chinese Daily for putting up stories for the event. Thanks alot!
Most of all, we want to acknowledge Temasek Review for being our direct partner in this event. Without their support and publicity effort, we will not be able to garner such a good turnout for the event. Thanks guys!
Lastly, Transitioning.org is run on a shoestring budget with a few volunteers, we ask that if you can donate your time do sign up with us at email@example.com.
We require writers, event helpers, speakers, logistical assistants, coaches and counsellors to help move the organisation forward.
Thanks again and hope see you next time for our soon-coming event!