The Workers’ Party (WP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Aljunied GRC Gerald Giam took to his Facebook on Monday (7 Dec) to question why online applications for the COVID-19 Support Grant (CSG) can only be submitted between 9am and 6pm.

Mr Giam said that he had recently asked Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli if the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will consider allowing online applications 24 hours a day, except for periodic maintenance windows.

In response, Mr Masagos apparently said that “MSF had considered longer operating hours but decided against it so as to provide more maintenance hours each day”.

“I find this rather puzzling, since most other public-facing IT systems operate for much longer hours, and many are 24/7,” Mr Giam remarked.

He argued that limiting the CSG portal’s operating hours would make it difficult to assist residents, many of whom are not IT-savvy, with their applications during the meet-the-people sessions, as these take place after 7.30pm.

To work around this, Mr Giam noted that volunteers would have to arrange separate timings during the day to be able to help those residents.

“There could also be many other residents who have to work during the day and are only available to submit their applications after office hours,” he added.

Mr Giam concluded his post saying that he hopes the Government “will take the different needs of citizens into consideration when planning the availability of government e-services”.

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