Singapore

Brighter future, better S'pore

In response to President Tony Tan Keng Yam's address to Parliament last Friday, three ministries and the Prime Minister's Office yesterday set out their plans for partnership between citizens and the Government to build a better future. LINETTE HENG (linheng@sph.com.sg) looks at the details

MINISTRY OF CULTURE, COMMUNITY AND YOUTH (MCCY)

MCCY will build on the momentum of the SG50 celebrations so that Singapore embarks on the next phase of nation-building with an even stronger sense of national identity and unity, said Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth.

It wants to inspire national pride through heritage, arts and sports to achieve this.

The revamped National Museum and Asian Civilisations Museum, and the new National Gallery Singapore will play a significant role in telling the Singapore story for future generations and in strengthening our national identity through their programmes and outreach initiatives.

The National Youth Sports Institute will be set up to identify and support sporting talent at the Singapore Sports School and mainstream schools.

MCCY also wants to inspire volunteerism and philanthropy at every life stage.

For instance, the National Youth Council will reach out to the youth through Youth Corps Singapore.

To encourage more working adults to volunteer, employers and corporate partners will be engaged.

And there will be increased support and recognition for senior volunteers through the Silver Volunteer Fund and President's Volunteerism and Philanthropy Award.

MINISTRY OF FINANCE (MOF)

Singapore must continue to spend within our means as expenditures on transport infrastructure, healthcare and housing increase.

There must be an emphasis on value-for-money in every programme and subsidies should be targeted at those most in need, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.

To transform Singapore from a value-adding to a value-creating economy, MOF will support the development of a conducive environment for businesses to restructure, innovate and internationalise.

It will develop a high performance government by increasing online and mobile services.

For Singaporeans who may be less familiar with technology, it will continue to provide digital assistance and access so that every Singaporean can benefit.

It will introduce flexibility in the way the public sector procures goods and services by supporting and encouraging vendors to adopt more productive and innovative solutions.

MINISTRY OF LAW (MINLAW)

Minlaw has worked to ensure Singapore's laws and legal framework are progressive and practical.

An example is the Community Disputes Resolution Act, which came into force last October, providing a new cause of action and tribunals for neighbours locked in intractable disputes.

In family law, it is working on reforms to the Guardianship of Infants Act, the Intestate Succession Act and the Inheritance (Family Provision) Act.

Minlaw will also develop Singapore into a hub for international legal services and dispute resolution.

Maxwell Chambers - Singapore's flagship dispute resolution facility - will be expanded.

To ensure quality and sufficient legal sector manpower, especially lawyers who will serve the needs of the community in the areas of criminal and family law, Minlaw will work with the Ministry of Education and UniSIM to build up UniSIM Law School

It will introduce a new pathway for mid-career individuals to join the legal profession.

In the area of community legal services, it will be implementing a series of measures to strengthen the moneylending regime, including the setting up of a centralised credit bureau for moneylenders and the introduction of an aggregate unsecured borrowing cap.

PUBLIC SERVICE DIVISION (PSD), PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE

The PSD aims to strengthen partnerships between citizens and the Public Service to innovate and deliver better solutions.

It will leverage on technology for better service delivery.

For instance, it will use data analytics and automated systems to better understand citizens' needs, improve public services and raise productivity and efficiency.

It will also draw from more diverse groups of individuals to serve on its boards, councils and advisory panels so that Singaporeans can offer their views and ideas to help the Public Service in developing, reviewing and implementing policies.

Through SkillsFuture, it will help its officers deepen their skills as they progress through their careers.

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