Feedback Group on Arts and Culture

Notes of third meeting of the Feedback Group on Arts and Culture held on 9 May 2001, Wednesday, at 7:15 pm at Conference Room (4th floor), Singapore Institute of Labour Studies, Trade Union House.



1.                  Prof Yu Chun Yee (Chairman)

2.                  June Kwah (Secretary)

3.                  Dr Kee Poo Kong

4.                  Mr Leong Chun Hong

5.                  Mr Leong Yoon Pin

6.                  Mr Li Guosheng

7.                  Mdm Mei Mei Michele Lim

8.                  Mr Ong Eng Bing

9.                  Mr Poh Siew Wah

10.              Mr Robert Casteels





Confirmation of minutes of the second meeting held on 7 March 2001




The minutes were confirmed with no amendments.




Matters Arising




New Curriculum of Music Lessons in Secondary Schools


The meeting was informed that MOE had indicated that they were not able to hold a discussion meeting with our Feedback Group on the new music syllabus.



Suggestions for Further Discussions




On the issue of promoting Arts Education, Mr Casteels commented and the meeting agreed that Singaporeans seemed to lack confidence in showcasing their achievements in arts and culture as compared to their economic achievement. We tend to forget that we have good Chinese music and Indian music rather than just Western music to show the world. One member explained and the meeting agreed that Singapore’s historical background as a British colony could have contributed to Western music being emphasized.



On the issue of who plays an influential role on the importance of music and arts, the meeting discussed and agreed that school principals are the key in this.





The Chairman agreed that apart from schools, professional and credible free-lance artists could also play an important part in promoting arts.



Mr Casteels expressed a disappointment over MOM’s decision to reduce the no. of graduates from NAFA and Lasalle-SIA College of the Arts. He thought this was not encouraging to the art scene.



Mr Leong Yoon Pin suggested that we instigate Mediaworks to have programs like “An Introduction to Song and Dance” and “Performance of the Week”.



The meeting agreed that we were never taught nor encouraged to be free in our thoughts and deeds. As a result, singing and dancing do not come naturally to us.



On the issue of how to get our voices heard by the MOE on the music curriculum, Chairman concluded that while it was still good to have MOE officers briefing us, we might want to consider bypassing the system to get good ideas heard. One possibility suggested was to be proactively presenting our suggestions to Dr John Chen who is the Chairman of the feedback units.






The Chairman explained that we could not rely solely on NAC for funding as they must adhere to strictly defined parameters.



Members suggested the following potential target markets to approach for funding:


Ø      Companies with CEOs who believe in publicity

Ø      Companies with CEOs who personally identify with arts

Ø      Clans, although scope of support could be limited








The Chairman concluded that the next meeting should discuss the following:


Ø      How to increase the audience pool

Ø      Further discussion on funding


The next meeting is to be held on 4 July, Wednesday at 7:15pm.



The meeting ended at 9:30pm.


Prepared by: June Kwah

Vetted by: Prof Yu Chun Yee