Photo of Gan Kim Yong from thestraitstimes

Singapore’s Health Minister Gan Kim Yong reportedly spent undisclosed amount of his ministry’s budget to “learn how Singaporeans think diabetes can be prevented”. The 6-month “crowdsourcing exercise” was launched two months ago in September 2016, and since then 8 roadshows and dialogue sessions have been held.

According to state media Straits Times, the idea was mooted by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong and Education Minister Ng Chee Meng. It is unknown why the Education Minister is involved even though his profile is totally unrelated, but it is likely Minister Ng Chee Meng was in a cheerleader role to the resource-draining initiative:

“The crowdsourcing sessions are the brainchild of the Diabetes Prevention and Care Taskforce, headed by Mr Gan and Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng. Mr Gan said the task force is also looking at how to help people who already have diabetes get the best care, and prevent them from developing complications.”

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong did not explain why the views of health and dietary professionals were not solicited instead, and how would surveying average citizens help “prevent diabetes”. He however said that “more than 1,600 ideas on how to fight diabetes” by Singaporeans were submitted, but did not elaborate how he would use these “ideas”.