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Nothing beats face-to-face explanations on govt policies

The efforts by the Government to reach out to dialect-speaking elderly folk is laudable ("Dialect for seniors and Facebook for young people" and "New ways of reaching out: Not too much, not too little, not too late"; both published on Nov 27), but much more can still be done.

Government policies, specifically Central Provident Fund (CPF) policies, can be mind-boggling, even to an English-speaking elderly person like me.

In the past, when there were CPF policy pamphlets aplenty, I remember picking up those on policies that concerned me, which had a question-and-answer section, read them like important documents and jotted down questions that I wanted to raise before seeing the CPF Board counter staff for clarification.

Time and again, I felt satisfied that my doubts had been resolved.

Dialect programmes such as Jiak Ba Buay may help for simpler policies, but for complex ones, there is no way out except for government staff to speak face-to-face with the dialect-speaking elderly - in their respective dialects.

Gan Kok Tiong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 04, 2016, with the headline 'Nothing beats face-to-face explanations on govt policies'. Print Edition | Subscribe