Review policies that are no longer valid

Office workers in the central business district.
Office workers in the central business district.PHOTO: ST FILE

The Government has always been very pragmatic about what is best for the country, and clear-minded about how to achieve the desired targets.

It should be just as proactive and bold in monitoring important policies and fundamental practices which have become obsolete or, worse, have backfired.

The announcement by the Public Service Division to abolish differentiation between graduate and non-graduate employees is a positive development that is long overdue ("Civil servants no longer grouped by education level"; Jan 5).

The elevated track for graduate civil servants was necessary 50 years ago, when Singapore needed to draw every possible talent into the civil service to create an effective and efficient government.

Also, it made sense to incentivise the then generally undereducated population to invest in education, so as to enable them to advance into sophisticated industries and high-value businesses.

Both objectives have largely been met.

The practice of differentiation has given rise to negative effects, such as resentment among non-graduates and an unhealthy paper chase.

It is clear that no policy is permanently valid, and constant monitoring and review are critical.

Ho Chee Khuen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2017, with the headline 'Review policies that are no longer valid'. Print Edition | Subscribe