New book gives inside look at 50 PAP pioneers
THE seniors' wing of the People's Action Party (PAP), the PAP Seniors' Group (PAP.SG), launched a book yesterday featuring personal stories of 50 of the party's pioneer activists.
Younger Singaporeans and PAP activists grew up in very different times and did not live through the tumultuous years when Singapore's survival as a nation was uncertain, said party secretary-general and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the launch of PAP Pioneers: 50 Ordinary Stories.
"Books like this will give (younger Singaporeans) a chance to read about the journey we travelled, to appreciate how much our pioneers sacrificed, and inspire them to do the same for themselves and their children," he added.
Mr Lee also lauded the efforts of pioneers who contributed to the PAP since its formation in 1954, and to Singapore.
He paid tribute to one of the country's founding fathers, former social affairs minister Othman Wok, for steadfastly upholding a multiracial, multi-religious and meritocratic Singapore.
Although he was denounced as a "traitor to the Malay race" and received death threats when Singapore was still part of Malaysia from 1963 to 1965, he stood firmly by party founder Lee Kuan Yew and the PAP, "and that made all the difference to Singapore", said Mr Lee.
PAP.SG itself also contributed to the PAP's victory in the recent general election by campaigning, helping with election activities and giving the party their votes, said Mr Lee.
Going forward, the group will play an important role representing seniors, he added, by understanding their needs and championing policies that benefit them while understanding the need to be fair to all groups.
PAP.SG was formed two years ago and now has chapters at 47 party branches, and its chairman Halimah Yacob urged the other party branches - there are 89 in all - to set up chapters to better represent seniors' views.
The launch, held at the Fullerton Bay Hotel, was attended by more than 200 party activists, as well as deputy prime ministers Teo Chee Hean and Tharman Shanmugaratnam.