Let's talk frankly about talking frankly

It is admirable that there is an attempt to engage those who have actively aired their grievances about our Government (Has trust in the government been eroded? It's time to talk frankly; ST Online, Feb 1). However, I believe that more can be done than just talking frankly.

No government, no matter how efficient or how much in touch it is with its citizens, can expect to be without detractors. Perhaps we should not regard "vocal critics and cynics" as symptoms of a disease we seek an antidote for, but rather, as integral parts of Singaporean society.

The acknowledgement of diverse viewpoints as valid, as well as acting on any good suggestions offered, might be more effective in fostering increased trust in the Government, rather than simply listening and trying to explain one's vision.

We cannot assume the Government will understand the people simply because its members are younger. Singaporeans, even those of similar ages, have different experiences and opinions. No single person can expect to understand the situations of both the supposed elite and the people who feel the Government has turned against them. All they can do is sit down, talk without the expectation of changing anyone's mind, and hopefully reflect on how to better themselves.

Our Government now is definitely different from the one that arose 50 years ago. But there is no reason to believe that it is not as equipped to deal with challenges as the generations before them.

Abby Seah Yi Xiang, 16

Secondary 4 student

CALLING YOUNG READERS: If you are a student or aged 21 years or below, and want to air your opinion on any report or letter in The Straits Times, e-mail your letter to stforum@sph.com.sg, with the subject header “Voices of Youth”. Do include your age, school level and contact details, and the headline of the report/letter you refer to. Please keep to a length of 250 words.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2018, with the headline 'Let's talk frankly about talking frankly'. Print Edition | Subscribe