Our National Young Leaders Fellowship Induction Programme kicked off on the first day with a plenary session from our keynote speaker, Mr. Dinesh Vasu Dash from the Ministry of Health.

During the session, he shared many of his personal experiences as well as key attributes that he thinks a good leader should possess, such as professionalism, courage, and more. He believes that leaders need to be professional and be knowledgeable of their craft. Leaders need to be able to stand their ground and have the moral conviction to say what needs to be said, even in the face of authority. However, they should think carefully about the words they use and speak sensibly.

He shared his views that as long as we remain as a cohesive, united, and coordinated entity, Singapore can punch above its weight and function as well as bigger countries. He also quoted our late Prime Minister Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, ‘The bigger fish is bound to eat the smaller fish’. Despite Singapore being a small country, Dinesh believes that we have the potential to grow much larger because of our highly educated, well-connected, and well-coordinated population.

In the final section, he discussed the future role of Singapore in international affairs. Historically, Singapore has played the role of an interlocutor. However, this role may no longer be relevant in the coming years, thus Singapore must start reinventing itself. Relevance begins with building relationships, and that is why it is critical to ensure that our youths build proper relationships at an early age.

Following his sharing, our fellows asked questions regarding how young leaders can balance their various commitments and how they can navigate through these challenging times. His answer was that time management is the key to balancing commitments. In addition, he reassured our fellows that Singapore has faced similar challenges in the past, so we do not need to worry too much about future obstacles since we will eventually overcome them as we did before.

Our fellows left the session with a stronger sense of motivation to take on the challenges that lie ahead in their upcoming leadership journey. If you’re interested to find out more about the National Young Leaders Fellowship, do check on this link!