AS THE labour movement's contribution to Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) drew to a close last night, the focus was not on hard policy.
Instead, it was on getting Singaporeans to care about each other and taking ownership of the future.
Fresh graduate Mah Yi Xin, 22, voiced a common call: "I hope we can... see other people as part of our larger community, to respect every elderly person as if they were our grandparents and treat every child as if they were our own sibling or child."
Respect for all workers was also a major theme among the 100 or so participants, all labour movement members.
Others hoped Singaporeans could play an active part in creating the future they want to see.
Said Madam Suseela A. Singaram, 54, a member of the NTUC Women's Committee: "Instead of saying 'the minister, the Government, Singapore must do this for me', we can look at how we can do it together."
These views cheered last night's guests, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat and NTUC secretary-general Lim Swee Say.
Said Mr Heng, who heads the OSC committee: "If we can encourage in our next generation... this great sense of ownership, this very constructive, positive energy... then I think we have a bright future."
Mr Lim was "proud" of the participants for focusing not on policies, but on the need to be a nation with heart, and for citizens to take action themselves.
The wrap-up session follows more than 25 conversations, with 950 participants, held under the OSC umbrella by NTUC since last year. After the official exercise ends later this year, it plans to continue such conversations, said Mr Steve Tan, who heads NTUC's OSC Secretariat.