The Sunday Times says

The growing importance of engagement

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The resumption of ministerial community visits (MCVs) marks a return to a familiar political tradition that was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. The visits give citizens a valuable opportunity to bring up their issues and concerns with ministers directly so that political leaders know how the ground is responding to official policies and programmes. Clearly, these policies are drawn up from a carefully thought-out national perspective. But the conception and implementation of many of them nevertheless affect citizens varyingly depending on differences of age, gender and income. Simultaneously, community visits provide ministers with a face-to-face opportunity to feel the public pulse on national issues without the mediation of officials.

In that context, the new MCVs differ from those in the past in that they will involve bringing the Forward Singapore initiative to residents. The objectives of Forward Singapore, a government exercise that calls on Singaporeans to offer ideas to shape and strengthen the social compact, fit in nicely with the public feedback that flows spontaneously at such visits. It is reassuring that the Government wishes to do more to engage residents and receive their views on the range of policy issues about which they care deeply, so that policy reviews could be better informed as a part of the Forward Singapore exercise that is charting Singapore’s evolution as a nation and a society.

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