People's Association to focus on better communication of policies to the public

SINGAPORE - The People's Association (PA) will make a concerted effort to communicate government policies more simply and personally to residents, as part of its renewed focus on a broader and deeper engagement of the public.

PA deputy chairman Lim Swee Say said at its annual grassroots seminar on Saturday that grassroots leaders will work on strengthening quality communication with the public, as they have been doing with policies like MediShield Life.

The PA - an umbrella body of grassroots organisations, including residents' committees and other community bodies - will also act as a conduit between the people and the Government as the "voice of the silent majority", added Mr Lim, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Office.

The association will gather feedback from residents and provide it to the relevant government agencies.

"Our people are at the heart of nation-building and the grassroots," Mr Lim said in his address to some 1,200 grassroots leaders at the seminar at Orchid Country Club.

"As part of nation-building, we have to continue to deepen and broaden our grassroots efforts."

In a press release, the PA said that while many residents stand to benefit from major government policies such as the Pioneer Generation package, they may not be aware of how they can access the perks.

"Bearing residents' specific needs in mind, grassroots leaders communicate these government policies and schemes simply, widely, and more personally to residents and ensure that more of them are aware of programmes and schemes that they and their loved ones are eligible for," the association said.

Many members of the public also have good ideas and suggestions on government policies but may not know how to surface these to the Government, it added.

The association bridges this gap by constantly gathering feedback on municipal and policy issues through various channels - such as house visits, events, dialogues and focus group discussions - and then channelling it to the various government bodies. In many cases, this has resulted in improvements to existing policies or schemes to benefit residents, it said.