Updated: 03/12/2014 22:32

Increase Community Mediation Centre's capacity and provide more mediation training to grassroots leaders



Increase Community Mediation Centre's capacity and provide more mediation training to grassroots leaders

The government plans to increase the capacity of the Community Mediation Centre of CMC and provide more mediation training to grassroots leaders. 

Speaking during the committee of supply debate, Acting Culture, Community and Youth Minister Lawrence Wong says CMC has a fairly good success rate. 

About 70 per cent of the 521 cases heard last year were resolved. 

"Mediation is an important process as both parties agree on a solution, so there is ownership and responsibility to follow through. It also helps to preserve and mend relationships, so that neighbours can continue living harmoniously alongside each other."

However, Mr Wong noted that the government can't compel people to go for mediation if they do not want to. 

60 per cent of the cases registered with CMC do not turn up for mediation. 

A planned Community Dispute Resolution Tribunal will adjudicate intractable cases between neighbours, where both parties are unable to resolve their disputes amicably, despite going through mediation. 

Mr Wong stressed that the Tribunal should neither be the first recourse nor the main way we resolve our disputes. 

He said it would be counter-productive to do so. 

"We want to promote a strong sense of community ownership and collective responsibility, and mediation should remain the first priority. But the Tribunal will be there as a last resort, for the difficult cases."

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