Eunos CC YEC Chairman, Hock Rong and Telok Blangah CC YEC Vice-Chairman, Alvin represented Singapore at the recent No East No West International Conference on Intercultural Dialogue: "Fostering Understanding and Building Bridges Across Cultures Among Young People of Asia and Europe" held in Melaka, Malaysia from 26th April to 30th April 2010.
This international conference saw youths from over 20 countries come together to discuss issues related to culture, religion, new media, education, leadership, business, and governance. Many participants were curious about Singapore's clean and efficient Civil Service. They also wanted to know how Singapore was able to become where it is now in less than 50 years of independence. During the 5-day conference, Hock Rong and Alvin shared the Singapore experience on promoting inter-racial and religious harmony. They also spoke at length on the People's Association Grassroots Network and how community activities helped promoted social cohesion and racial harmony.
Hock Rong and Alvin were honoured to meet several government, business and religious leaders. Among them were Malaysia's Minister of Human Resource, Hon Datuk Dr S Subramaniam, Chief Minister of Melaka, Rt Hon Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam, HE Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator in Malaysia, Chairman of Malaysia Tourism Board, Datuk Dr Victor Wee and Datuk Yong Soo Heong, Editor In Chief of Bernama Malaysia.
As part of the Conference, they also toured Melaka, Malaysia's historical city. They went on the river cruise, visited several tourist attractions, religious institutions and tasted local food.
Hock Rong found new friends and developed a greater understanding of the history and cultures of different countries. Most importantly, he realised how fortunate Singaporeans are and how important racial and religious harmony are to maintaining a peaceful and prosperous country.
He particularly liked what the Chief Minister of Melaka shared at the Conference's welcome dinner, "A global event has a local impact. Similarly, a local event has a global impact. One good example is the recent volcano eruption in Iceland."
The Chief Minister of Melaka was refering to how a volcano eruption can stop some European delegates from travelling to Malaysia and how an international conference can help delegates go back and make a difference in the society they live in.
PAYM provides many opportunities for YEC members to participate in international conferences and youth exchange programmes. Be part of the action. Be part of the Youth Movement. As the PAYM tagline says, "It's all about YOUths!"