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Paying more attention to the ground to uphold good governance

Published on May 23, 2014 6:23 PM
 
Singaporeans will be better served by a first class public service that pays closer attention to the ground, if all goes according to the Government's plans. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans will be better served by a first class public service that pays closer attention to the ground, if all goes according to the Government's plans.

This will start with delivering municipal services, including keeping public areas clean, cutting grass and maintaining walkways and drains, and assisting families who have multiple social service needs which cut across agencies.

The Government will also nurture in public officers a greater appreciation for diverse needs of Singaporeans and give them more exposure to the ground.

Along with making sure finances are sustained, and rules and laws remain fair and consistent, these are part of the ways in which it plans to keep up good governance.

Upholding good governance was unveiled on Friday as the final of five broad goals for the Government's remaining time in office.

Throughout the week, ministries have been releasing their addenda to President Tony Tan Keng Yam's address on May 16.

These were grouped according to five themes: a nation of opportunities, a caring society, a liveable city and endearing home, safe and secure Singapore, and good governance.

Among the new plans, the public transport industry will undergo the biggest overhaul. Under a new contracting model, the Government will plan bus service routes and own all the bus depots and buses, while local and foreign companies will bid for the right to operate the routes.

Another big announcement was that the current Central Provident Fund savings and CPF Life annuity schemes will be reviewed, to better provide for Singaporeans in their retirement years.

A highlight of the ministries' plans also included making Singapore a "Smart Nation" by using more new technology to make urban living more pleasant and more green.

The Defence Ministry's key proposed measures to strengthen support for National Service included more generous monetary rewards for national servicemen, a voluntary corps for women, first generation permanent residents and new citizens, and removing the need for the operationally ready to notify the authorities of their overseas trips if they are shorter than 14 days.

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