From dialect operas on television to advertisements at hawker centres, the Government has taken a multi-platform approach to help Singaporeans understand the Pioneer Generation Package (PGP).
And its efforts paid off, Second Minister for Communications and Information Lawrence Wong said yesterday as he noted that nine in 10 Singaporeans are aware of the PGP and could cite some of its benefits.
"The process of communicating the PGP has given us several new insights," he said. "We learnt the importance of customising content to different audiences, especially in today's increasingly fragmented media landscape."
For the PGP of lifelong subsidies and Medisave top-ups for 450,000 Singaporeans born in 1949 or earlier, the Government allowed limited broadcasting using dialect on television to reach out to pioneers in languages they are familiar with.
Beyond mainstream channels, it also held four roadshows in heartland estates, with 12 more to be conducted in the coming months.
It also commissioned short films on YouTube to raise awareness of PGP among younger family members caring for the elderly.
Such a tailored approach will be extended to other policies, said Mr Wong. These include the Central Provident Fund, MediShield Life and SkillsFuture initiatives which, as Mr David Ong (Jurong GRC) pointed out when he spoke yesterday, "can be more complex and emotive" and so "will need a public communication boost".
Another key facet of government communications is translation, for which a new framework to procure services will be rolled out next month, Minister of State for Communications and Information Sim Ann said.
She was responding to MPs, including Mr Baey Yam Keng (Tampines GRC), who cited "glaring and humiliating mistranslations" in recent years. He added that "translation is not a job for amateurs, foreign service providers or translation software".
Replying, Ms Sim said with the framework, government agencies can better identify vendors who can produce quality translations that are clear and effective, and which also take into account local contexts and cultural nuances.
"(This) enables our fellow Singaporeans, especially those who are more used to communicating in languages other than English, to better understand policies."
This article was first published on March 11, 2015.
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