The Social Policies Forum is a platform for undergraduates from various tertiary institutions to share their perspectives on local social issues with political leaders or relevant social experts. The theme for this year’s is ‘Our Families’. The forum aims to explore the diversity of family structures in Singapore and what it really means to be pro-family, given popular discourse both from the government and grassroots on the family being the bedrock of our society.
Lately, there have been strings of contentious social issues regarding ‘the family’ that has sprung up over the past few months. This includes the annual pink dot at Hong Lim Park that is opposed by the wear white campaign as well as the recent saga regarding the pulping of books featuring alternative families.
At the recent Ask PM Lee forum on Channel NewsAsia, PM Lee Hsien Loong highlighted the “very strong difference in views” between gay activists and those who position themselves as “pro-family” in Singapore”. With recent controversies over the National Library Board’s pulping of apparently non pro-family children’s books, the Wear White movement by certain Christian and Muslim factions and the turnout of 26 000 supporters at Hong Lim Park for Pink Dot 2014, Singapore appears to have become embroiled in a culture war over the definition of the family. So what exactly constitutes a family? Can there be a middle ground between these groups? What is the Singapore that we want as a nation heading past our 50th year mark? These are some of the questions that will be explored in this forum.