MCI's response to PQ on Assessment Criteria for Closure of SingPost Branches
Parliament Sitting on 9 January 2024
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
65. Mr Derrick Goh: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information regarding the closure of Singapore Post’s (SP) only branch in Nee Soon (a) how does the Infocomm Media Development Authority assess the appropriateness of a SP branch closure; (b) what is the Government’s expectation of the postal physical footprint of SP branches across Singapore; and (c) how can SP better balance business viability with the basic needs of residents who still require access to physical postal services.
In the past, consumers and businesses relied on post offices as physical touch points to buy stamps and mail letters and parcels. Today, most post and parcel transactions are already served through automated means and do not need to be done over the counter at post offices. For example, postage labels can be purchased at self-service automated machines (“SAM”) machines, and parcels can be dropped off or picked up at POPStations.
In addition, about 80% of transactions at post offices today are for non-postal services, such as passport collection and payment of bills, which can be completed through alternative means. Overall, the total number of transactions at post offices has also declined by 35%, from 10.3M in FY19 to 6.5M in FY22. These trends have been similarly observed at Yishun Central Post Office.
As I shared in Parliament in October last year, with the evolving post and parcel landscape, and changing business and consumer needs, SingPost has been reviewing its costs and operations as part of its business transformation.
a. This is so that it can better balance commercial sustainability while serving the public’s postal needs.
b. The closures of some of SingPost’s post office network is part of this review.
c. SingPost is required to ensure that the postal needs of the community will continue to be met through alternative means, such as the SingPost mobile app, SAM kiosks, POPStations and P.O. boxes.
I understand Mr Derrick Goh’s concerns about the impact of the closure of the Yishun Central Post Office on his residents. As with other post office closures, SingPost will notify the public at least one month ahead of closure. Customers will also continue to have access to a SAM kiosk and POPStation near to the original post office.