During a monologue session organised by the People’s Association (PA), Senior Minister of State Amy Khor said that the government will need to put in more effort propagating the measures adopted in this year’s Budget. The monologue will be about telling Singaporeans what to expect, and although participants are welcomed to air their comments, their feedback will not be considered.
“We need to do a lot more communication to explain budget measures that have been announced, especially on the ground. Maybe they (members of the public) have heard or seen the news but they have actually not gone into the details. I think it’s really important that we help them to understand… at least the policy intent.”
During the monologue session, some participants questioned Minister Amy Khor why housing type was used as a blanket criteria to assess a person’s wealth when Singaporeans who live in a bigger house may not necessarily be less needy than those who live in a smaller apartment, which is especially true for those living with more family members. To this, Minister Amy Khor circumvent and avoided the question in a non-reply saying it is only one of the three criteria:
“We need to explain that there are three criteria and they all work together.”
While the monologue session is not meant to be a dialogue and feedback session, many participants were wrongly impressed that they have been heard by the government like 62-year-old accountant Angelin Koh:
“I get to share my views and also listen to what others think.”
In the past when there was no internet, the Singapore government was able to propagate their policies on the mainstream media. Government monologue sessions were unnecessary as the state-controlled media will do the propaganda work for the government. This is however not so in the present as the state-controlled media see falling readership when more Singaporeans start turn to news websites unrestricted by government censorship. More Singaporeans are now able to think critically about policies because of the unrestricted content provided by websites like TRS and STR.