To acquaint themselves with the aspirations and problems of Singaporeans, more Cabinet Ministers of the Lion City will be undertaking ‘Ministerial Community Visits’ outside their constituencies to give residents the opportunity to engage them on various issues including job, education and housing.
The visit is an endeavour of the fourth-generation (4G) leaders to reach out to more Singaporeans.
In one such visit, Ong Ye Kung, Education Minister of Singapore, Josephine Teo, Manpower Minister and Lawrence Wong, National Development Minister visited Jurong Central Division and interacted with the citizens.
Speaking about the importance of such visits, Ong Ye Kung, said, “This would allow ministers to exchange notes and give us a more holistic understanding of the issues that residents face.”
“Having more than one minister on such visits will give residents the chance to raise specific concerns with the relevant ministers,” he added.
Pointing out that this is a platform for engaging Singaporean people, Ong said, “As we were walking just now, you can see residents with children (who are in) school, they’ll come and talk to me, about their school work, about tuition, about applying for poly.”
“Those who are looking for work, they’ll talk to Minister Josephine Teo, those who are facing issues with Housing and Development Board (HDB) will talk to Minister Lawrence Wong. So I think it is useful,” the Minister added.
Each year, about 10 ministerial community visits are being conducted in Singapore. In previous visits, only one minister was involved but this time, about three ministers directly interacted with the people.
Heng Swee Keat, Finance Minister of Singapore, had earlier pointed out in May that 4G leaders and other Members of Parliament will be leading a series of discussions on charting the country’s future.
Speaking about the new format of 4G leaders engaging with people, Josephine Teo said, “The new format for ministerial community visits is part of a team approach that the 4G leaders are trying out. The pace of visits could be adjusted to allow residents time to engage with them, and relevant ministers could visit constituencies that have certain topical interests.”
During the visit, Teo also participated in an hour-long, closed-door dialogue with residents at Jurong Green Community Club.
Speaking about the meeting, Teo said there was a “lively discussion”, with a lot of interest around the “future of work”.
“The residents had asked about how those about to enter the workforce could stay skills-relevant, how older workers could stay employable, and if business owners could transform quickly enough to keep pace with today’s changes,” she added.