SMC is a unique conference which synthesises various aspects of established simulation conferences such as Model United Nations and Singapore Model Parliament. The conference offers students an extraordinary opportunity to simulate the cabinet of Singapore with like-minded peers. Participants will take on the roles of Ministers or representatives of Statutory Boards, and they will be debating and discussing the policies that they have crafted with other participants in response to given scenarios in the various topic cabinets.
The conference begins with Opening Speeches on the topic. All delegates are given the chance to speak during opening speeches.
General Speakers’ List (GSL)
Delegates can then request to give another speech by being added to the GSL, usually taking into account the comments from the opening speech. At any points in time, if none of the following below (in bold) are happening, the cabinet returns to the GSL, where they can speak anything (in general) about the issue.
“With the opening speeches fresh in mind, the first round of GSL went well, each of the 6 delegates who came up to speak gave insightful speeches.” – Chair, Economic Cabinet
“Most of the debate however contained both breadth and depth, as Ministers realised the far-reaching consequence terrorism caused. The debate was far-ranging, touching on hostage resolution, social cohesiveness, public calm and preparedness, prevention of radicalisation, the legality of an enhanced Internal Security Act, and the beefing up of homeland security.” – Chair, Security Cabinet B
Directives and Draft Cabinet Memos [Solutions]
In a non-crisis cabinet, the main policy paper are Draft Cabinet Memos (In Crisis, it is a directive), where delegates propose solutions to the problems discussed. Once one have been introduced, debate on it begins before moving to a vote on it.
“The first directive was introduced by the Minister of Finance. The Minister of Foreign Affairs (MFA) then requested for a 10 minute moderated discussion on MOF’s directive. This provided the delegates further opportunities to debate on and refine the first directive. During a subsequent unmoderated discussion, the MOF took into account the different perspectives of other ministries and amended the directive accordingly.” – Chair, Economic Cabinet
“Initially, the passing of the DCM seemed to be fraught with challenges due to the diversity of opinions that were aired during open debate. Gradually, several representatives begun to realise the importance of compromise and made attempts to consolidate their stances and even out their differences between various ministries and statutory boards through moderated and unmoderated discussions. Their efforts eventually paid off, as the DCM passed after the lunch break with an overwhelming majority of the ministries voting for the DCM.” – Chair, Environmental Cabinet
Sometimes, a second Draft Cabinet Memo/Directive is introduced in the middle of debate on the first one.
“During the GSL, the Minister of Education (MOE) introduced a second directive. This allowed for a diverse debate between the directive of MOF and the directive of MOE. Many delegates highlighted the directive(s) in their speech. The two directives encouraged the ministries to pitch their differing opinions about the matter at hand and council moved in a favourable direction. After several rounds of intense debate and careful refinement, the directives of both MOF and MOE was successfully passed.” – – Chair, Economic Cabinet
Cabinet Discussions can be narrowed to focus on one specific topic.
“Discussion made Ministers realise the weight that each potential decision carry and as such the nuanced stance that had to be taken. Such a nuanced stance was crafted only because we had ideas building upon each other. For instance, after the conclusion of one discussion on whether negotiation should or should not be considered, a subsequent discussion focused on how it can even be used as part of a larger strategy: to distract the terrorists or to monitor the their whereabouts.” – Chair, Security B Cabinet
Usually this mean delegates are given the chance to lead the council in discussing ways to mitigate one aspect of the issue.
“With Ministries and Statutory Boards having their own perspectives and interests to consider, there were times where debate seem to cover a large breadth, but little depth. But such moments were rare, and whenever it popped out, were quickly rectified. This was in part due to two reasons: Ministers taking the initiative to steer the debate via moderated discussion on a specific issue at hand, and Ministers then pinpointing the exact Ministries and the Statutory Boards that had the jurisdiction to carry out executive actions once it was agreed upon by the rest of the council.” – Chair, Security Cabinet B
Many times this lead to concrete solutions, as delegates concur with one another.
“It was heartening to hear Ministers substantiate their points with relevant real-world examples. On one discussion on how to ensure social preparedness among the public, one Minister praised the 2010 Exercise Times Square simulation as a good example to follow. This led to comprehensive solution. For instance, a joint military operation with Indonesia to rescue the hostages was agreed by delegates to involved a combination of strategies, combining Tactical Aid, Intel database sharing and surveillance.” – Chair, Security Cabinet B
What happened in the councils?
In this cabinet, participants will explore a scenario in which a large number of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar are requesting to enter Singapore. In the event of such an influx, social issues will invariably arise.
“Monetary and developmental aid would be provided for countries willing to accept these refugees, so as to enable these countries to better provide for the refugees. Efforts to raise awareness about the plight of the refugees in Singapore were also brought up. In the long run, there are plans for integration of these refugees into Myanmar’s economy.” – Chair, Social Cabinet
In the conference, the cabinet will simulate a meeting to address a large-scale terrorist attack that happened the day before the conference. The attack killed hundreds of people, including Singaporeans. Additionally, Singapore citizens were kidnapped by the terrorists, who have not identified themselves as any members. After the attack, Singapore will be warned by the terrorist group responsible for the attacks, as of yet unnamed, that it will be next.
“Their acknowledgement of considerations such as how actions taken would affect the social fabric of our nation….proved to be an integral to this our cabinet’s discussions, since the issue of terrorism and religious extremism is being discussed.” – Chair, Security Cabinet B
Topic 1 (Konfrontasi): “While some representatives felt that a combative, retaliatory approach towards Indonesia, featuring reciprocal commando raids and societal subversion, would be appropriate, other more moderate representatives vouched for restraint and de-escalation of the conflict. After some back and forth discourse, cooler heads prevailed and it was unanimously agreed that self-strengthening measures were a better deterrent than Malaysian retaliatory assaults.” – Chair, Historical Cabinet
Topic 2 (1964 Racial Riots): “While many in UMNO fought to keep and expand affirmative action as enshrined in Article 153 of the Constitution, many PAP ministers sought to introduce a “Malaysian Malaysia”, a racially equal Federation which did not take into account a citizen’s ethnicity or faith when the aforementioned individual applies for employment or placement in educational institutions.” – Chair, Historical Cabinet