- POSTED: 01 Oct 2013 22:58
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Think tanks and research institutions can play an important role to facilitate engagement between citizens and the government in Singapore, said Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, echoing a point made by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
SINGAPORE: Think tanks and research institutions can play an important role to facilitate engagement between citizens and the government in Singapore.
This will be important as the country works towards striking a new balance between the individual, community and government -- a point made by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during this year's National Day Rally.
Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong echoed this idea at the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) on Tuesday evening. He said such engagement can be invaluable in providing insights and alternative opinions to encourage informed discussions about key issues.
This could require the creation of new platforms for Singaporeans to brainstorm and discuss challenges, policy ideas and solutions. Citizens can also debate the merits and demerits of alternative options.
Mr Goh noted that the IPS is also setting up a "Social Lab", which will systematically collect and analyse data on Singapore's key social challenges.
He said the flagship project of the Social Lab will be a longitudinal study on social and income dynamics of a representative group of Singaporeans over many years.
The combined picture over time and space will give policy makers a higher resolution and more detailed understanding of the changing nature of Singapore society.
Through the analysis of the data, IPS will be able to draw insightful observations on social norms, income dynamics, and political attitudes of individual groups and communities in Singapore.
Such studies will provide additional information and perspectives to help the government make better policies and continue to innovate to reach out and engage the public.
"Studying Singapore is a serious and important endeavour. If we don't devote resources and energies into studying Singapore, who will?" asked Mr Goh. "We also want to help Singaporeans make better sense of the tectonic changes affecting our society, and what it means to them individually and the country."
Also at the dinner, IPS announced the launch of a Fellowship Fund in the name of Singapore's sixth President, Mr SR Nathan.
It is called the SR Nathan Fellowship Fund for the Study of Singapore. S$2.5 million has been raised so far through donations.