The report card on YSA’s first year is out. And many would agree it gets an “A” grade, considering that it is a newly born organization of the Sikh community.

At the first Annual General Meeting (AGM) held the Sikh Centre on 30 April 2005, YSA president, Mr Hernaikh Singh, spoke of the key challenges faced by the Association, including the need for another association, when the idea was first mooted. He stated that the previous year has shown that YSA is a relevant and important part of the Sikh community and the Singapore society. It initiated or was involved in close to 20 activities or programmes in 2004 alone, making it almost two events a month. At the same time, we have been asked to represent the Sikh youth at the national level through invitations by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, and the National Youth Council. He added that YSA is blessed with dedicated and committed members in the Executive Committee. With a strong belief in the founding principles of YSA, they have tirelessly and passionately set out to translate its values into tangible programmes.

Hernaikh also spelt out several key challenges for the new organization. The first was the need to reach out to more Singaporeans, both Sikhs and non-Sikhs. He felt that we have made a good start but we should make a concerted effort to bring on board more members. The second challenge was to ensure that YSA has the financial capability to continue to organise its planned programmes. He noted that YSA did very well in the first year, due to its financial prudence. We should build on that so that we are able to do more and bigger events.

The AGM witnessed the passing of several amendments to the YSA constitution. These included: the reclassification of YSA membership to just “Ordinary” and Associate” membership so that non-Sikhs would also have voting rights; the opening of the YSA Executive Committee to non-Sikhs and; the extension of annual membership to a six-year term membership. The details of the changes will be forwarded to the members shortly.

The last one year has been a rewarding and enriching one for YSA and its members. It has been able to achieve so much in such a short span of time. With the constitutional changes in place, the Association is certainly poised for even greater things in the years ahead.

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