MP suggests having single govt spokesman

MP suggests having single govt spokesman
Mr Baey said it may be easier for the public and media to deal with one government spokesman instead of having to go to various ministries when their questions cut across many areas.

BUDGET DEBATE

THE question of whether the Government should have just one spokesman was raised by Mr Baey Yam Keng (Tampines GRC) on Monday.

Mr Baey, a full-time MP who was managing director of public relations firm Hill and Knowlton, said it may be easier for the public and media to deal with one government spokesman instead of having to go to various ministries when their questions cut across many areas.

Citing China and the United States, he said having one spokesman makes their governments more accessible.

Minister of State for Communications and Information Sim Ann said the Government wants the information given to be timely and com-prehensive, so a spokesman has to be very familiar with the subject.

Workers' Party MP Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC) later asked about the Government's chief of government communications. The post is held by Mr Janadas Devan.

She wanted to know if there was any conflict of interest as Mr Janadas also heads the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), which does research on governance. "This dual role... is not quite a desirable state of affairs," she said.

Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said it was very clear the two roles were very different.

The Government had considered the matter seriously before it hired Mr Janadas, he said, adding that the man had done his job well for the past two years or so. "We don't see any conflict," he said.

THAM YUEN-C


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