MCI response to PQ on option for S'poreans to register preferred language of communication with Govt
Parliament Sitting on 1 February 2021
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
77. Mr Chong Kee Hiong: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information whether Singaporeans and residents can register their preferred language of communication with the Government so that paper wastage may be reduced and to ensure that those who can only understand mother tongues receive messages in the appropriate languages.
We agree with the need to make choices available to citizens. We seek to do so, firstly, by going digital. The Gov.sg Whatsapp channel, which provides information on COVID-19 in the four official languages, allows subscribers to choose their preferred language. Similarly, the LifeSG app provides seniors above 60 years old the option to browse content in the app in their preferred language.
The public service is continuously seeking to improve the way it communicates and serves citizens. For example, in conducting face-to-face outreach, the Silver Generation Office will seek to identify the language that the senior understands, and deploy volunteers who can engage the senior in their preferred conversational language and with the relevant collaterals.
We will continue to improve in this area and will study the suggestion further.