Nearly a year ago, we embarked on the Citizens’ Agenda: our quest to find out what our Singaporean community thinks are the most important issues facing Singapore, and then to write and commission journalism features, research, comics, podcasts, and videos on those subjects.

We summarised the answers from Stage 1 into 28 issues. In Stage 2, we asked our community to vote on the top 5 issues. In the months since, we’ve commissioned and released those articles, discussed them in democracy classrooms, and published them all in a book (The Singapore Citizens’ Agenda, available for sale now!).

Now, with Singapore’s General Election looming, we complete this iteration of the Citizens’ Agenda by telling you how the political parties responded to the issues. We reproduce our email to the parties below, and produce all their answers verbatim.

Our thanks to the parties who responded, and to everyone who took part in the Citizens’ Agenda. This has been a tremendous experience for us, and we hope it has been educational for everyone, Singaporean or otherwise. We plan to run an improved version of The Citizens’ Agenda in Malaysia next, and then to run it again in Singapore next year.

Summary Results

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Thum Ping Tjin

Thum Ping Tjin (“PJ”) is Managing Director of New Naratif and founding director of Project Southeast Asia, an interdisciplinary research centre on Southeast Asia at the University of Oxford. A Rhodes Scholar, Commonwealth Scholar, Olympic athlete, and the only Singaporean to swim the English Channel, his work centres on Southeast Asian governance and politics. His most recent work is Living with Myths in Singapore (Ethos: 2017, co-edited with Loh Kah Seng and Jack Chia). He is creator of “The History of Singapore” podcast, available on iTunes. Reach him at

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New Naratif is a movement for democracy, freedom of information, and freedom of speech in Southeast Asia (see our manifesto). Our articles report on issues that are often overlooked or suppressed by the mainstream media in Southeast Asia. We rely on our members for their support. Every cent of your membership fee goes to supporting our research, journalism, and community organisation activities. Your support enables us to be editorially independent and to conduct hard hitting independent research and journalism. It allows us to give a voice to the powerless and to hold the powerful accountable. Our members are active participants in our movement, helping us to create content and informing us about important issues, which shapes our coverage and content. Join our movement and let us, together, build a better Southeast Asia. Please subscribe to New Naratif—it’s just US$52/year (US$1/week) or US$5/month—and it only takes a minute. If you’d like to learn more, and read more articles, please start here! Thank you!


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