DPM Teo: Singapore’s governance goes through continuous refinement, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

DPM Teo: Singapore’s governance goes through continuous refinement

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DPM Teo says Government has also become more active in engaging citizens in decision-making process

Singapore's approach to governance is one of continuous refinement as no policy can last for all time even if it was optimal when introduced, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said yesterday.

The Government has also become more active in engaging citizens in the decision-making process as it recognised that it does not have all the answers, he added.

Mr Teo, who was giving the opening address at the 7th Singapore-China Forum on Leadership at the China Executive Leadership Academy in Yan'an (Celay), elaborated on Singapore's approach to achieving its people's aspirations for better lives - the theme of the discussions - through better policies, engagement and individual development.

The semi-annual forum is part of a range of engagement mechanisms between officials from both sides.

Celay is one of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP's) top cadre training institutions.

Mr Teo cited healthcare, an area of concern for both Singapore and China as both countries face ageing populations.

A United Nations report estimated that the percentage of the population aged above 60 in China will rise from 16 per cent in 2017 to 35 per cent in 2050.

Singapore's figure will rise from 19.5 per cent to 40 per cent.

The Republic has done well if seen through the lens of a traditional healthcare model of providing good clinics and hospitals, but healthcare needs have changed with longer lifespans, said Mr Teo, who co-chairs the forum.

That is why the Government has transformed the healthcare model into one of greater personal responsibility, prevention and check-ups so Singaporeans live better for longer and need less medical care, he said."We are also transforming our healthcare system to deliver integrated care and placing greater focus on patients' health outcomes," he noted.

Mr Teo also emphasised the necessity of skills retraining, especially as the Singapore economy is undergoing constant upgrading and structural reforms, hence the reason why the Government launched the SkillsFuture programme.

"From having one career in a lifetime, it is now common for our citizens to make many job transitions, which require them to learn new skills several times over their working life," he said.

"We therefore need a culture of learning for life, where our citizens are always picking up new skills and acquiring knowledge."

Mr Chen Xi, the Forum's co-chairman and Minister of the Organisation Department of the CCP's Central Committee, said China's decision to embark on a new normal of slower but higher-quality economic growth in recent years indicated a shift in Beijing's development philosophy.