Tharman: Three things that will retain public trust

Tharman: Three things that will retain public trust
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam

The Government faces the challenge of retaining the public's trust in a new and more challenging environment, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Wednesday night.

While it now enjoys broad public confidence, nothing is permanent, he said, observing that today's environment is more complex, with competing interests and rising expectations, reported The Straits Times Online.

The Government must respond with confidence and consider alternative ideas with an open mind, but keep a "sense of balance and direction", he said at the administrative service dinner and promotion ceremony at Marina Mandarin Hotel.

It has to respond to rising expectations by striving to improve public services and innovate where possible, he said, while explaining clearly to the public why some expectations cannot realistically be met.

Mr Tharman, who is also Finance Minister, said there are three things policymakers must do to retain public trust and govern well.

They are: To implement policies well and make sure they work on the ground; include the public in working out solutions; and invest in community life and the intangibles that matter to people's sense of wellbeing.

The Pioneer Generation Package for citizens aged 65 and above this year and who became citizens before 1987, is a "live case in point".

Implementing the package will be a "major and complex exercise", he said, which will involve reaching out to all 450,000 Singaporeans who will benefit from it.

The Government has, therefore, set up a taskforce led by Senior Ministers of State Josephine Teo and Amy Khor to co-ordinate the efforts.

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