This tag is associated with 49 posts

#SGBudget2018: Better Government Communication Needed To Build Knowledge, Trust

Now that Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has delivered this year’s Budget, and with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) working to explain the different components of his speech, the brouhaha last month surrounding the MOF’s engagement of young “online micro-influencers” to publicise the Budget appears to be more symptomatic of a deeper malaise: That the government struggles to meaningfully communicate its policies. The communication is a familiar it-is-what-it-is approach, characterised by missed opportunities to explain how policy decisions – when compared against alternatives – were made and to help Singaporeans better understand policymaking, and in the process dispel myths. Continue reading

Policy Changes Must Be Met With Individual Initiative

Given the ambiguity of the global environment – in which “young people in many developed economies are finding it increasingly difficult to land permanent jobs to enable them to have the confidence to plan their future” (ST, Feb. 16) – policy changes in the classroom and at the workplace can prepare young Singaporeans for future challenges. Yet oftentimes absent from such discourse is the initiative of the individual, and especially in the context of securing long-term and meaningful careers, three endeavours can be useful: securing internships, seeking career advice, and building connections. Continue reading

Retailers – Not Consumers – Need To Adapt

Much has been made of the lukewarm business experienced by retailers in the lead up to the Chinese New Year (CNY) celebrations, who are also attributing sales declines to the short gap between the Christmas and the CNY holidays as well as “the uncertainty plaguing the economy and the jobs market” (TODAY, Jan. 26), yet more information is perhaps needed to make sense of both consumer behaviours and the ability of traditional retailers to adapt to changing demands. What most would agree on, nonetheless, is that retailers who struggle the most have been caught flat-footed by e-commerce, and unless complementarities are found these struggles will only persist. Continue reading