Model ID: 7c1aa5f6-a879-4b30-a5d8-2cf1b2f577ca Sitecore Context Id: e14dd2a5-e2b0-403a-9255-a3675bca3aca;

NTUC Labour MPs welcome new PAP groups to support mental health and climate change

Labour MPs Desmond Choo and Melvin Yong look forward to collaborating with the groups to improve workers’ lives in these areas.
for upload.jpg
Model ID: 7c1aa5f6-a879-4b30-a5d8-2cf1b2f577ca Sitecore Context Id: e14dd2a5-e2b0-403a-9255-a3675bca3aca;

NTUC will play a significant role in tackling mental health and climate change issues with the People’s Action Party (PAP), believe NTUC Assistant Secretaries-General Desmond Choo and Melvin Yong.


Their comments come after PAP launched its Climate Change and Mental Health Groups on 8 June 2024 at the #refreshPAP appreciation event. The event marks the party’s six-month journey to renew itself.


The groups will streamline the party’s ongoing climate change and mental health efforts.


Mr Choo said PAP’s new Climate Change Group will provide a bigger platform for youth to voice their aspirations and concerns.


The Labour Member of Parliament (MP) pointed out that NTUC and PAP can leverage their symbiotic partnership to help young workers thrive in the green economy.


“To plan for a just transition as we move to a greener economy, some jobs will be lost, some jobs will be created. We can work with a PAP-led government to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible and equip our people to seize opportunities and help those left behind.


“We can also expect to see more involvement of our Young NTUC members in dialogues and exchanges with parties of the house so that they can translate it into policymaking in the future,” said Mr Choo, who speaks up on youth issues in Parliament.


Mr Choo, who is also the NTUC Policy Division Director, added that NTUC can leverage its strengths to enhance national policymaking.


“We can [gather] ground issues and sentiments from the workplace and workforce and input these into the system.


“We also want our Young NTUC members and leaders to be part of future collaborative work with the PAP. This will be a multi-year process, and I think it opens new opportunities for the Labour Movement to play an even bigger role,” he added.


Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment and Manpower Koh Poh Koon will head the new Climate Action Group.


It will integrate efforts under the PAP’s Action for Green Towns initiative, which is currently rolled out at all 15 PAP Town Councils, and act on insights from the Young PAP’s 2020 position paper to advance Singapore’s vision as a green hub.


Tackling mental health


Meanwhile, the Mental Health Group culminated from a strong public call for increased mental health support, including from mental health advocates, interest groups, and MPs.


NTUC’s Mr Yong said: “Many Singaporeans view mental health as important as physical health. I’m happy that the PAP has formed the Mental Health Group to address mental health issues across a broad spectrum.”


As Labour MP, Mr Yong has repeatedly urged employers to adopt better-defined after-hours work communications guidelines to achieve better work-life balance. He added that he was glad to see progress made in this area.


“NTUC looks forward to collaborating with the new Mental Health Group to promote greater dialogue, education, and awareness of workplace mental health.


“Hopefully, our efforts can help to further destigmatise mental health among employers and co-workers,” he said.


Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary will lead the group.


Refreshing the PAP


In his speech at the event, Singapore Prime Minister and PAP Deputy Secretary-General Lawrence Wong referred to mental health and climate change as important national issues.


“As a party, we want to use these groups to better engage our activists and also all stakeholders, be it healthcare professionals, environmental groups, community organisations or individuals,” he added.


Mr Wong also called on everyone to join the groups to shape the Government’s policies in these areas.


He also unveiled the party’s plans to refresh itself. The PAP will enhance communication by refreshing and expanding its outreach platforms and creating new channels and formats for dialogue with Singaporeans.


It will also increase efforts to deepen engagements with Singaporeans, focusing on the youth, activists, and partners.


The party will also improve its organising abilities by strengthening its activists and partner networks, tapping into their collective expertise and resources to achieve a more significant impact for Singaporeans.