Small number, big voice vs big number, small voice

Small number, big voice vs big number, small voice

Speak up, silent majority, so people know what matters to you.

Or risk getting policies and laws "shaped by a very loud and noisy minority," said Dr Beh Swan Gin, permanent secretary at the Law Ministry.

But Nominated Member of Parliament (MP) Faizah Jamal said that might be difficult because we don't really have a culture of expressing our views. She said it's about educating people on speaking up and speaking out rather than pitting a silent majority against the vocal minority.

Dr Beh had also encouraged public sector colleagues to seek views from a more involved citizenry during the Administrative Service's annual dinner and promotion ceremony last month.

How to do it? Three parliamentarians offer suggestions on feeling the pulse of society.

CAST THE NET FAR AND WIDE

Concerns raised on social media typically include freedom of speech and social welfare. Offline, groups like the lower-income tend to prioritise bread-and-butter issues, said MP Zaqy Mohamad.

"So it's crucial to have a range of feedback mechanisms rather than take (views) from just one platform," said the chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Communications and Information.

He said government feedback arm Reach (see report on facing page), the grassroots and various ministries also organise their own outreach activities.

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