Clearer, faster communications a priority for Govt

Dr Yaacob Ibrahim with Mr Lawrence Wong during the unveiling of the SG50 Mural Wall at the joint National Day Observance Ceremony held at the Old Hill Street Police Station yesterday.
Dr Yaacob Ibrahim with Mr Lawrence Wong during the unveiling of the SG50 Mural Wall at the joint National Day Observance Ceremony held at the Old Hill Street Police Station yesterday.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Plans, policies to be conveyed with Whole-of-Govt perspective: Yaacob

The Government must respond faster, with fewer words and in customised ways, to better communicate with people in this fast-paced digital age, Minister for Communications and Information (MCI) Yaacob Ibrahim said yesterday.

To do so, his ministry has, over the years, developed communication tools which it will "continually adapt and improve".

He said: "Today, we serve a diverse public that is more educated, with complex needs and greater expectations of Government. Therefore, government communications professionals and policymakers must work together as one, to better understand the need of citizens and communicate programmes and policies using a Whole-of-Government perspective."

One example is the series of short, catchy videos on the Pioneer Generation Package that was shown recently in different languages and dialects, so as to better reach out to pioneers in their native tongue, he added.

He was speaking at a National Day Observance Ceremony jointly held by MCI and the Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) at the Old Hill Street Police Station yesterday.

HIGHER EXPECTATIONS

Today, we serve a diverse public that is more educated, with complex needs and greater expectations of Government.

MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION YAACOB IBRAHIM

In his speech, Dr Yaacob also paid tribute to Singapore's founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who he said believed firmly in clear, simple and effective communications.

He said: "Mr Lee's dedication to good communications is a strong reminder not just to the public service, but (also) particularly to MCI, as communication is our core business."

During the event, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong also said the Jubilee Walk - an 8km-long trail comprising 25 historic and iconic markers in Singapore's civic district and Marina Bay area - will be launched on Nov 29.

The walk, first announced in March during MCCY's Budget debate, will take participants to places rich in history, such as the Padang, where the people of Singapore gathered to mark the end of the Japanese Occupation on Sept 12, 1945, and the National Museum of Singapore, the country's first purpose-built museum.

But unlike heritage trails, the Jubilee Walk will also highlight modern icons such as Gardens by the Bay, the National Gallery of Singapore and the Helix Bridge.

The aim is to provide a commemorative trail that connects the past, present and future elements of the Singapore story during the country's Golden Jubilee.

The trail will be launched together with the 5km SG50 Jubilee Big Walk, an event jointly presented by The New Paper and the People's Association. The walk will start at the National Museum and end at Gardens by the Bay.

Said Mr Wong: "The walk will end at the venue where we'll be having an exhibition on Singa-pore's future... to show what life could be like in the coming decades, and highlight the hopes and aspirations of Singaporeans for our next 50 years...So I think this would be a fitting round-up to our SG50 celebrations."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 07, 2015, with the headline 'Clearer, faster communications a priority for Govt'. Print Edition | Subscribe