The Citizen’s Agenda
How do those who never have a chance to have a direct conversation with candidates and party leaders get their concerns on the agenda? New Naratif’s The Citizens’ Agenda is a space for people to voice their concerns and increase their political engagement. If you’re based in Malaysia or Singapore, scroll down to participate in our public survey and share with us what issues you consider important to your country. Using this public survey, we will help ensure that our coverage focuses on the issues that you, our community, care about.
Your voice matters to shape the future of your country.
As an independent, member-funded movement for democracy, we will find out what you, our community, care about. Your concerns will then be used to guide our coverage, alongside our existing evidence-based, in-depth articles on Singapore and Malaysia. We believe in our community and we will report faithfully and honestly on the issues that matter to you.
Participate in the survey.
Share your thoughts on what issues you consider important to your country and have your voice heard. Your submission will be anonymous and we’ll share selected responses on our social media platforms.
Cast your vote.
From 18 July to 5 August 2022, help us rank the top 5 most important issues facing Malaysia or Singapore. In 2019, we heard from Singaporeans and this is what they think are the most important issues facing Singapore.
Discuss the topics with your peers.
We will prepare a reading list to fuel discussions and host Democracy Classrooms for participants to discuss the most important issues facing their countries. New Naratif’s Democracy Classrooms is a space to articulate thoughts that you might not have had the opportunity to voice before.
Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to be a part of the conversation and to vote for the top 5 most important issues facing Singapore or Malaysia. For updates on the results and upcoming Democracy Classrooms, sign up for our weekly newsletter.
What Do you Think Is
The most important issue in Your Country?
In your opinion, what issues do you consider important to your country?
New Naratif’s The Citizens’ Agenda was launched in 2019 to address the question of “How do those who never have a chance to have a direct conversation with candidates and party leaders get their concerns on the agenda?” We received over 400 responses from the people of Singapore and summarised them into a list of 28 most important issues facing Singapore. Soon after, we commissioned articles shaped by these issues across all of our formats. These included in-depth, evidence-based longform journalism, research, explainers, podcasts, comics, and videos. Before the 2020 Singapore General Election, we launched a collection of articles in a single book, The Singapore Citizens’ Agenda. We also invited every political party to address these issues and listed all their responses.
The Citizens’ Agenda 2022 Results
This year, we’re expanding The Citizens’ Agenda to include Malaysia. Scroll down to learn more!
Singapore’s PAP government is gambling that unrestrained economic growth can outpace the rising cost of living. Its policy is thus to subsidise incomes in the short term while waiting for prices to stabilise. But this strategy rests on flawed assumptions, exacerbated by its questionable calculation of the Consumer Price Index, creating a self-reinforcing blind spot.
New Naratif’s The Citizens’ Agenda Malaysia 2022 found that the cost of living in Malaysia is the most pressing issue for the country’s citizens. How should Malaysia manage this issue? What should the people in Malaysia demand from their government?
Inequality is a growing problem in Singapore, threatening the country’s social stability. The government’s focus on economic growth and individual accountability in tackling inequality, however, means that their policies may not reflect peoples’ actual experiences.
In Stage 2 of The Citizens’ Agenda, we asked Singaporeans to pick the top 5 biggest issues facing their country. They responded loudly and clearly. Here’s what they said!
The Citizens’ Agenda Malaysia
History was made in the 2018 General Election with Pakatan Harapan winning, ending the 60-year reign of Barisan Nasional. However, Malaysia is currently experiencing a political crisis with the inability of Pakatan Harapan to form a stable majority government, the Sheraton Move shifting power to Perikatan Nasional, and a protest demanding then-Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to resign. The Citizens’ Agenda Malaysia aims to highlight the concerns of Malaysians so that citizens play an active role in the electoral process.
The Citizens’ Agenda Singapore
The 2020 General Elections in Singapore signalled a huge political turn for Singapore amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. The incumbent People’s Action Party saw a sharp drop in votes, more opposition parties and members made inroads in previously uncontested GRCs and voter margins between the PAP and opposition parties grew narrower. The verdict was clear: More and more Singaporeans were looking for alternatives and ready for change. The Citizen’s Agenda Singapore hopes to build upon this momentum and further empower Singaporeans for the next election cycle.
The previous iteration of The Citizens’ Agenda was highly successful.
- It successfully predicted the top five issues that were the focus of the Singapore 2020 General Elections.
- The handbook, published just before the elections, sold out its entire first print run and is in its second printing.
- Democracy classrooms were held every night during the election period on the various issues, and drew large crowds who participated enthusiastically.
Following the elections, the Institute of Policy Studies, a Singapore government think tank, found a correlation between people who changed their vote to an opposition party and people who were “politically active”, defined as taking part in online political activities such as attending online meetings like New Naratif’s democracy classrooms. A few months later, the Singapore Prime Minister’s Office filed a police report against New Naratif. Investigations dragged on for over a year before it was finally dropped, just a few days before the PAP government introduced legislation specifically targeted at New Naratif operations. Clearly, the Citizens’ Agenda hit a nerve.
How Will The Citizens’ Agenda Be Conducted?
In 2022, we will be running The Citizens’ Agenda in Singapore and Malaysia. To ensure a wider and more representative reach we plan to conduct two separate surveys across both countries.
As of 18 July 2022, we’re currently in stage 2 and we would like you to help us rank the top 5 most important issues facing Malaysia or Singapore.
In Stage 1, we use an online survey platform to ask 1,200 people each in Singapore and Malaysia: In your opinion, what issues do you consider important to your country? What do you think the candidates should be talking about as they compete for your votes in the upcoming or next general elections? Using a professional survey company means we will get statistically representative samples across both countries that accurately reflects our great diversity.
At the same time, we also want to hear from our New Naratif community. We will invite you to answer the same questions via a public survey.
In Stage 3, we publish our findings from both surveys. We also commission and produce articles, podcasts, and explainers in order to help people better understand these issues.
In Stage 4, we use our findings and resources to create a series of Democracy Classrooms to educate and empower our community to take action for the next elections.
Find out how we ran the first Citizens’ Agenda in 2019:
In Stage 2, 678 people voted and picked the top 5 most important issues facing Singapore. Our community had access to the results and analysis of all the results as well as the breakdown of location data (by constituency).
In Stage 4, we ask the political parties about their views on the issues highlighted by The Citizens’ Agenda.
FAQs about The Citizens’ Agenda
What is The Citizens’ Agenda?
The Citizens’ Agenda is a survey that creates space for people to voice their concerns and increase their political engagement. Your concerns will then be used to guide our coverage and Democracy Classrooms to build pathways for citizens to be politically engaged/to make it easier for Southeast Asians to participate as citizens in their communities.
What’s the purpose of The Citizen’s Agenda?
The Citizens’ Agenda is to find out what you, our audience, care about.
Who can participate in The Citizen’s Agenda?
For this year’s iteration, people of Malaysia and Singapore. As New Naratif continues to grow, we plan to expand to the entire region of Southeast Asia.
Can you give me a brief explanation regarding how The Citizens’ Agenda is conducted?
You can learn more here.
What do I have to do to participate in The Citizen’s Agenda?
- For Stage 1 (13 June to 4 July 2022), you are invited to fill out our public survey for your country. You can learn more at the respective pages for Malaysia and Singapore.
- For Stage 2 (18 July to 5 August 2022), we will publish a list of all the issues that respondents in your country have identified in stage 1 (for Malaysia and Singapore), and we’ll invite you to pick the top 5. You can learn more at the respective pages for Malaysia and Singapore.
- Participate in our democracy classrooms.
- Stay up to date by signing up for our weekly newsletter.
How would the survey responses be used?
All survey responses and any identifiable information will be kept confidential and can only be accessed by the Research teams at New Naratif.
We may wish to highlight some of the most interesting answers from the stage 1 public survey. In the survey form, you will have the choice to opt in to allowing us to highlight your answer on our social media channels.