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Singapore Parliament

On Wednesday (Nov 5), ministers gave replies to MPs' questions on postal rates, music in public places, hawker food prices and mental illness, among other issues. The House also passed the Animals & Birds (Amendment) Bill. During the 3-day sitting, Parliament debated and passed a total of 10 Bills.

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More diversity in civil service recruitment in recent years: DPM Teo

Officers who are selected have a range of different backgrounds, skills and experiences, said the Deputy Prime Minister. 

SINGAPORE: The civil service has widened its recruitment to include officers from different backgrounds, skills, and experiences, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean in Parliament on Thursday (May 29).

In recent years, public service scholarships have been awarded to students from a range of schools, including polytechnics, the School of the Arts, and the Singapore Sports School, Mr Teo said.

He also took up an issue raised by Member of Parliament for Moulmein-Kallang GRC, Denise Phua on Tuesday (May 26). Ms Phua had painted the scenario of revolving-door politics leading to power games between civil servants and political leaders.

It is a situation where civil servants are "more able, stay longer, and therefore know more than the ministers, and may well run rings around them," Mr Teo said with a smile, noting that this happens in some countries. 

"The best way to avoid this is to ensure that we have MPs and ministers of the highest quality - people with the ability and the interest of Singaporeans at heart," he continued. "Able, elected political leaders with a good feel of the ground, working hand in hand with able and committed public officers to develop sound policies with the long-term future of Singapore in mind."

Mr Teo also urged people to encourage public officers when they do a good job. But when officers fall short of high standards, the civil service will try to "correct, counsel and improve", he said, adding that the key to a good public service is good leadership at all levels.

The civil service is readying itself to implement various policies and plans announced by the Government, and training opportunities are being provided to officers at all levels so they can develop to their full potential, he said.