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Singapore Conversation: Ball starts rolling for citizens' dialogue

Part of Our SG Conversation, the dialogue series sets out to draw public opinion on varied issues

Published on Oct 14, 2012 6:00 AM
Mr Heng Swee Keat (standing) engaged in a discussion with Mr Mohd Ismail Hussein, head of Islamic Banking at Maybank (in striped shirt), and well-known actress Daisy Irani at the first citizens' dialogue held yesterday. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

At this early stage of Our Singapore Conversation, minister-in-charge Heng Swee Keat is having to field questions on where it is all going.

He has no clear answers yet, though he is sure education will be one of the themes he, his team and Singaporeans will want to drill more deeply into, in the second stage of the process that starts next year.

On Saturday, Mr Heng, who is also Education Minister, told 60 participants at the first citizens' dialogue: "One thing I can promise you is that we will certainly have an education track." He went on to joke about why Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong might have chosen him for the job of chief facilitator for a conversation on Singapore's future. 

"I sometimes wonder whether the PM asked me to chair this because all problems originate with education, and all solutions," Mr Heng said to laughter. "I have seldom gone to a dinner conversation or a cocktail where someone did not complain about something and say, 'You see Mr Heng, that's because your schools are not doing a good job'," he added.

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