Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ministry of Family and Social Formation

Ministry of Family and Social Formation (MSF) will be one of the three new ministries set up in Singapore- along with MCI and MCCY- with effect from 1 Nov 2012. MSF will be helmed by Chan Chun Sing, one of the 3 rising stars in Singapore's politics (the other two are Lawrence Wong and Tan Chuan-Jin).

While I believe the setting up of a new ministry to look into the social and family needs of Singaporeans -which are getting more complex and diverse- is applauble, I wonder whether Singapore really needs a new Ministry to look into it. I understand that the future MSF and MCCY will be the 2 new ministries that will branch out from the current ministry MCYS. I have no doubts that MCCY should be a full ministry since it will be overseeing many diverse areas like culture, community and youths, however since MSF' portfolio is smaller(looking at families and social formation), I would think that instead of creating a new ministry called MSF, this new work could be parked under the current Ministry of Prime Minister's Office (PMO) as a new division.

Currently, under PMO, we have department and divisons like the National Climate Change Secretariat, National Population and Talent Division, National Research Foundation,National Security Coordination Secretariat with 3 Ministers (apart from Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers) - Lim Swee Say, Iswaran and Grace Fu- helming the ministry. MSF could be one of the departments under PMO since its portfolio is not as large compared to other current ministries. I also see closer synergies by putting Family and Social Formations under PMO as collaboration with relevant social divisions under PMO like the National Population and Talent Division and Justices of the Peace, Singapore can be forged in order to arrive at even better family and social policies for Singaporeans.

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