SINGAPORE – After hearing from 16,900 Singaporeans across all ages and races, the two ministers guiding a mass public engagement exercise have once again repeated their call for people to partner the Government, promising that there will be more room for them to drive policies and changes.
The Singapore Together Emerging Stronger Conversations, conducted from June to December last year, have already provided the impetus for at least four public-private partnerships bringing together non-governmental organisations, regular Singaporeans, companies and public sector agencies.
These Alliances for Action will work towards improving work-life harmony, encouraging corporate social responsibility, promoting digital skills and literacy, and providing digital devices to those with fewer means.
Releasing the report on the conversation series on Tuesday (Feb 9), Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said in a statement: “Singaporeans can look forward to the opening up of policy spaces so we can work with Singaporeans to drive positive changes in Singapore.”
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah added: “I encourage Singaporeans to continue to step forward, listen and play a part.”
Springing from the pandemic, the ongoing conversation series, launched by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in June last year, canvassed Singaporeans on their experiences in the past year and their hopes for Singapore as it emerges from the crisis.
Ms Indranee said the pandemic had shone the spotlight on issues such as domestic violence, mental well-being and digital inclusiveness.
“Our conversations show that there is increasing awareness of these and other social issues, and that Singaporeans place high importance on being an empathetic and caring society,” she added.
A total of 88 dialogue sessions were held, mostly online, during which 4,400 participants came together to talk for two to three hours.
Surveys were also conducted to supplement this, netting 12,500 responses, said the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth which published the report.
From the discussions, 15 key themes emerged covering topics such as social support, governance and civic engagement and the environment.
In particular, three topics stood out, with many discussing social support for vulnerable segments of society, Singapore’s national identify and shared values, as well as the impact of Covid-19 on jobs and the economy, said the report.
Mr Lee, who is Minister-in-Charge of Social Services Integration, had hosted several of the conversations.
He said: “I…heard first-hand the stories and challenges of our fellow Singaporeans, and also the depth of passion to turn this crisis around for good.
“Our commitment is to work with Singaporeans to translate these aspirations into action.”
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