In the long interview with Channel News Asia which was published today (1 Jul), new Senior Minister of State for Law and Health said that the overall public trust in the PAP Government has remained healthy.
Mr Edwin Tong said, “A lot more effort has gone into revamping our feedback mechanism. Every single one of the MPs must know the ground well enough so that we don’t only end up knowing around elections that there’s unhappiness about this policy or that policy,”
He said he does make an effort to recruit and hear from grassroots leaders of diverse backgrounds who are willing to give MPs an honest picture of ground sentiment.
“Going by what I see on the ground, I think people appreciate that the Government spends time addressing the unhappiness, whether it is in terms of social transfers or immigration policies. I think that has made a difference over the years.”
He admits the transport system has been “a constant bane” but it’ll be sorted out with time.
“As with all functioning and mature democracies, the trust level ebbs and flows on different issues. But I think the overall trust in the Government has remained healthy. It’s a gut feel I have while internalising everything that I see, everything that I hear, talking to people within or outside of my constituency,” he said.
He concedes that on specific issues “more could be done” in terms of communication. CareShield Life is one example.
“CareShield Life for example is meant as a good policy but people are asking if we’re making money out of it. The Government could afford to explain why we’re doing it and to allay such concerns,” he said.
“We’ll see all that come to light when we debate the issue in Parliament but I do think more could be done to bring home the key messages in a way that the average Singaporean can better appreciate.”
CareShield Life is another mandatory insurance scheme hatched by the PAP government requiring Singaporeans to join when they reach 30. It is supposed to provide “better protection against the uncertainty of long-term care costs”.
In any case, going by Tong’s confidence of the healthy trust bestowed on the PAP government by Singaporean public, it looks like Tong and his compatriots in People’s Action Party (PAP) should have nothing to worry about in the next coming General Election.