Manpower issues top concerns of Reach users

Manpower issues top concerns of Reach users
Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower Amy Khor

SINGAPORE- Manpower was the hottest topic among contributors to government feedback unit Reach this year, accounting for about a tenth of the more than 43,000 feedback items received.

And the top way to contribute was via new media and social media - including Reach's website - with about 90 per cent of feedback arriving this way.

The figures were released yesterday, ahead of Reach's move to require contributors to register. From today, users will have to log-in via Facebook to post on Reach's discussion forum.

In the first half of the year, the two hottest issues were manpower and population. There was concern over whether there were job opportunities and fair hiring for Singaporeans, and unhappiness over future population projections after the release of the Population White Paper, Reach said.

In the second half of the year, manpower stayed a top concern. But population took a back seat to transport issues such as high Certificate of Entitlement prices and public transport woes.

Up till November, there were 4,300 feedback items on manpower, 2,900 on transport and 2,800 on population.

Though online platforms were the most popular, Reach also gathered feedback offline. It held more than 40 face-to-face dialogue sessions with some 6,000 people this year, up from 20 sessions and more than 2,000 participants last year.

The new Facebook log-in requirement might make for a quieter Reach portal. As users take time to get used to it, the number of comments might initially drop, noted Reach chairman Amy Khor, who is also Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower.

But as users recognise that Reach provides a safe forum and views are not curtailed, "we think more will come forward to join the discussion", she added.

A "safe and conducive" environment is, after all, the aim of the move. Said Dr Khor: "We are not doing this to seek pro-establishment views, nor are we shy of criticisms.

"What we would like to see is constructive and honest views, but individuals must be responsible for the views they share."

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