Function 8 pens their disappointment towards MHA for failing to respond to several of their correspondences

Civil rights group Function 8 took to its Facebook on Friday (13 September) to highlight their disappointment towards the civil servants in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for their failure to respond to several of the group’s correspondences.

It added that the Ministry’s feedback unit does not even send out an automatic acknowledgment e-mail to the senders.

“Function 8 is disappointed with the civil servants in the Ministry of Home Affairs. They do not acknowledge or answer correspondence from citizens. Their feedback unit does not even generate an automatic acknowledgment,” it wrote.

The group added that since MHA is a public institution created to serve the people of Singapore and has an estimated expenditure of nearly S$59 million for this year on International & Public Relations, Public Communications, Function 8 finds it “disturbing and ironic” that the Ministry can’t hire “a single staff to attend to emails from the public”.

In the post, the civil rights group also listed down three different instances where their correspondences went unanswered.

Below are the instances:

On 10 July 2019, we wrote to the ministry via email and ordinary mail requesting for information on persons arrested under the ISA and the fate of several Myanmar nationals who were deported. No acknowledgement or response was received.

On 5 August 2019, we wrote to Minister K Shanmugam via email and post on our queries, sending him copies of our letters. Again there was no acknowledgement or response.

On 27 August 2019, we sent a reminder to the minister. Till today, we have not received an acknowledgement or response.

As such, Function 8 stated that “the conduct of the minister and the civil servants of his ministry leaves much to be desired”.

The group, whose members consist of individuals formerly detained in the Operation Spectrum, went on to ask what can Singaporeans do to ensure the ministries and civil servants are accountable to them.

It added, “Are they beyond reproach? Is the simple act of engaging ordinary citizens now beyond their responsibility and below their dignity?”