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Parliament: Lily Neo asks if government contributes to inflated public expectations

Published on May 28, 2014 3:17 PM
 
MP Lily Neo (Tanjong Pagar GRC) kicked off the third day of the Parliamentary debate on Wednesday by asking if the Government's habit of highlighting its good performance has contributed to inflated public expectations in recent years. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - MP Lily Neo (Tanjong Pagar GRC) kicked off the third day of the Parliamentary debate on Wednesday by asking if the Government's habit of highlighting its good performance has contributed to inflated public expectations in recent years.

She pointed to studies that have shown how prior perfomances are positively related to expectations of future performances. And providing information about "excellent performance", she said, frequently raises public expectations.

"Good reputation usually results in little tolerance for error," she added.

But these expectations, said Dr Neo, "cannot exceed available resources, statutory responsibilities and institutional capabilities."

She cautioned that when inflated expectations go unmet, there could be an erosion of trust in the Government.

What could mitigate the negative consequences of an over-expectant public is a shared decision-making process involving citizens during the formulation of policies.

She also highlighted the importance of communication for good governance and policy making.

"A paradox arises because the public does not believe or does not know about the objective improvement in service quality.. Policy needs to be supported by a well designed communication strategy," she said.

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