'A fresh pair of eyes' to take feedback unit Reach further

As her 12 years at government feedback unit Reach drew to a close yesterday, Senior Minister of State Amy Khor said it was timely to bring "a fresh pair of eyes, fresh perspectives, fresh ideas" to the table.

Her successor, Minister of State Sam Tan, takes over from her as Reach chairman today. The appointment was announced on Monday, along with the new line-up of Cabinet ministers and office-holders.

Dr Khor, who spent three years as a member of the Reach supervisory panel and another nine as chairman, told reporters on the sidelines of a positive ageing conference yesterday that it had been a "very satisfying and fulfilling journey" for her.

She noted that significant strides had been made in reaching out to and engaging with Singaporeans.

She cited how Reach - which began as the Feedback Unit in 1985 and was renamed in 2006 - has made it easier for Singaporeans to provide feedback through multiple platforms, both online and offline.

Online channels include a discussion forum on the Reach website as well as live Facebook Q&A sessions, while offline avenues include "listening points", which are booths in public areas such as shopping malls and transport nodes. "Instead of on an ad hoc basis, we are now able to get feedback on a continuous basis," said Dr Khor, who is Senior Minister of State for Health as well as for the Environment and Water Resources. "We are able to proactively solicit feedback, and not just wait for feedback to come."

She is confident that Mr Tan, who is Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office and for Manpower, will take Reach further. Mr Tan could not be reached yesterday.

Dr Khor suggested: "We can look at how we can continue to empower Singaporeans, not just to give feedback, but also how to perhaps work together with us or with the relevant agencies to implement some of these ideas."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2015, with the headline ''A fresh pair of eyes' to take feedback unit Reach further'. Print Edition | Subscribe