Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 12/27/2012 05:40 | By Channel NewsAsia

Fall in public transport satisfaction among concerns in review

Fall in public transport satisfaction among concerns in review

Fall in public transport satisfaction among concerns in review

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review (SPOR) 2012 released on Wednesday gave an update on progress across the "whole—of—government" approach in recent years.

Published once every two years, SPOR provides a perspective on how Singapore and its public sector have fared in a broad range of areas of national interest.

Political watchers Channel NewsAsia spoke to say engaging Singaporeans in service delivery and policy formulation remains a key challenge.

SPOR covers six themes —— among them is providing a world class infrastructure and strengthening social security.

While Singapore has done well in areas like improving healthcare and broadening educational pathways, there are still challenges and concerns facing Singaporeans.

One is the fall in public transport satisfaction over the last two years.

"People expect these services to be more thoughtful and to have a shorter turnaround time and be more responsive," said Liang Eng Hwa, deputy chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Finance and Trade & Industry and MP for Holland—Bukit Timah GRC.

"Take for example (the) MRT; we have been building kilometres of MRT lines. That is good, but people expect to have a better last mile service. For example connectivity within the station and linkages (which allow) residents (to) more conveniently access the station," he added.

SPOR also touched on the issue of fostering stronger families.

The review said Singapore’s fertility rate has declined steeply in the past decade. According to the review Singapore’s fertility rate is currently at 1.2, which is far below the replacement rate of 2.1.

These and many other issues will be addressed in the White Paper on Population next month.

"The White Paper also needs to address the average Singaporean’s concern as to whether immigration will actually undermine the ethos of Singapore society," said Assistant Professor Eugene Tan of Singapore Management University, who is also a nominated MP.

"Ultimately it is trying to get a consensus from Singaporeans as well as people living in Singapore about how we are going to deal with an issue which certainly generates a lot of angst," he added.

The review said improving service delivery and strengthening public engagement are key priorities for the public sector.

Public feedback has grown significantly over the years, reflecting Singaporeans’ desire for greater engagement with the government on matters of public policy.

— CNA/jc

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