Forum: Govt channels could be more responsive to feedback

I applaud the nation's leaders for embracing more digital platforms for citizen feedback, which increases access and convenience - especially important in today's increasingly digitalised world. The means by which feedback can be given include e-Meet-the-People Sessions (e-MPS), e-mail, or apps such as OneService.

But I have so far been unimpressed with the responses.

I have been giving feedback over the past year about someone's home alarm going off in the wee hours in my neighbourhood, which has disturbed sleep and caused anxiety.

I have written in to my town council, as well as through OneService and, most recently, e-MPS. Each time, I have been referred to the Housing Board, which provides a link that expires after a certain duration, after which all correspondence ceases.

With my most recent e-mail via e-MPS in July, I sought more attention for my case, seeing that there was poor follow-up each time.

I did not receive a reply until I provided my address and NRIC number - which I found odd, given that the alarm was affecting not only my household. I was once again referred to the HDB.

A follow-up e-mail in September via e-MPS to ask why I received a reply only when my NRIC number was provided went unanswered.

I have also not been contacted by the HDB.

I believe that more accountability and responsiveness are expected on these platforms. Mr Alex Yeo had similar feedback (Better communication by govt agencies can go a long way, Sept 19).

It is encouraging to hear more promises by the authorities to listen to feedback from citizens, but if some of these platforms have not been shown to help, then these promises just ring hollow.

Many citizens believe the Government is doing much behind the scenes, but too often, there is poor communication.

Agencies can sometimes make mistakes, and that is the purpose of having a feedback mechanism. But if things do not improve after feedback is given, then something may be wrong with that mechanism.

Lim Wei Yang

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