Playing With & For The Community
Dear friends in the arts,
For 21 months I was a Nominated Member of Parliament, ‘representing’ the arts and creative sectors but also speaking for the ordinary citizen on diverse issues, from pre-school education to loansharks. It has been an enriching experience, not only the privilege of being able to participate in the highest decision-making body of our nation, but also gaining insight into how government works, how politics is organised in our nation, and how policy is made. In addition to being in the Chamber, I had the opportunity to speak for arts workers and artists ‘on the ground’, in dialogues and meetings with policy-makers, and generally my views were taken seriously.
Change takes time, and hence it will be good to continue to have an ‘arts voice’ in those channels where decisions that impact our lives are being made. So, I’ve been talking to various people, searching for potential new ‘arts representatives’ who could apply for consideration as NMPs. In this search, I have been working with a group of volunteers – arts practitioners, directors, arts managers. Parliament is inviting citizens to apply to be NMPs – the deadline is 8 Dec 2011.
I will not be going for a 2nd term, but Janice Koh has stepped forward for consideration as an ‘arts’ NMP.
Since our group of volunteers cannot claim to be in contact with everyone in the arts in Singapore, we are open to the possibility that arts groups whom we are not acquainted with, may want to propose names to Parliament for consideration as well. Any candidate who wishes to be NMP, may apply directly to Parliament (using the official forms now available from Parliament House). Organisations who wish to propose names, may contact their ‘functional group co-ordinator’. For the Arts, Media and Sport functional group, the co-ordinator is Mr Edmund Cheng, chairman of National Arts Council.
If you or your colleagues are considering a stint as arts NMP, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org is is my direct email address).
Potential candidates for NMP may wish to seek the support or endorsement from a broader cross-section of the arts community. Janice has chosen to do this, as I did in 2009. Again, if you or a colleague are considering applying to be NMP and would like visible expressions of support from the arts community, do contact me directly. We are calling for a gathering of the arts community on Sat, 3 December, at TheatreWorks from 2 to 6 pm to put down their signatures to show their support for candidate(s) including Janice, seeking this endorsement. The signatures collected will be sent with the candidate(s)’ applications and also sent to the functional group co-ordinator.
Another email will follow shortly with more about the signature campaign. The offiicial email address for the 2011 Arts NMP campaign is: email@example.com, please write to me there if you wish to receive updates. If you wish to support our sole candidate so far, Janice Koh, please send your full name and IC /Passport Number, and if you like, a statement of support, to the same email address.
‘Arts’ Nominated Member of Parliament 2009- 2011