In this digital age, getting in touch with your government at a national or local level is easy. The e-government initiative has made connecting with your government more transparent to the average citizen. Of course, not every agency of the government will respond to your liking but my experience has been generally positive. Unlike many companies who has “contact us” email addresses on their websites that are normally neglected, most Singapore government agencies will respond to your email or tell you that they will in a given time frame. Whether you need to call someone to help an injured animal or to share your views with your MP, start here!
- One of the best way to get help from your local government is through the ONESERVICE app by Ministry of National Development (MND Singapore). Once installed on your smartphone, it allows you to connect to connect to local government services – regardless of where you live. The app will automatically take the report and connect you to the right agency seamlessly. The best part is that it allows you to submit up to 3 photos directly from your smartphone camera and if you do not know your precisely location, it can capture your GPS location. You can select the following categories: Cleanliness, Roads & Footpaths, Facilities in HDB Estates, Drain and Sewage, Construction Sites, Shared Bicylcles, Pests, Animals and Birds, Drinking Water, Parks & Greenery, Abandones Trolleys & Others. The app will track the report and photos that you have sent and allows the agency to followup and respond to you on the app itself. Once the issue is resolved, you can see that the case will be marked closed. I give this app high marks!
- Another important connection with local government is with your Town Council. Town Councils were formed in 1989 to allow elected representatives and residents to run their own estates somewhat autonomously and allow each town to develop its own distinct character. Town Councils provide many services and impact our lives more than any other agency. Here is the link to all the Town Councils in Singapore.
For specific issues, you should connect directly with national level agencies below:
Ministry of National Development (MND) This is a big agency – and the one that develops the ONESERVICE app. “MND guides Singapore’s land use planning and urban development, delivers affordable and quality public housing solutions, develops an efficient construction industry to ensure a quality and sustainable built environment, provides and manages parks and open spaces, maintains a high standard of food safety as well as animal and plant health, and protects consumer interest by raising the professionalism in the real estate agent industry.”
Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) For veterinary public health and animal related matters.
Building and Construction Authority (BCA) The Building and Construction Authority regulates the Building Control Act.
Housing & Development Board (HDB) Manages almost everything to do with your HDB property!
National Parks Board (NParks) Most parks in Singapore are managed by NParks.
Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) “The Urban Redevelopment Authority prepares long term strategic plans, as well as detailed local area plans and guides efforts to bring these plans to reality. “
Almost every agency comes under some national level ministry. “The Singapore Government Directory” is the digital version of yellow-pages for the national government. It helps you find physical addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and best of all, the names of senior officers in various positions. Most private companies try their best to hide their seniors executives’ email addresses — but not the Singapore government. You can email virtually every senior government officer on the government payroll including our PM, Mr. Lee Hsien Loong!
If you have a burning advocacy or political issue, here is how you can connect with your MP. Begin by going to the “Parliament of Singapore – Find My MP” page that list every elected official in our Parliament. The page will ask for your postal code, and gives you a link to your GRC and MP. Click on your MP’s name, and it will then take you to the profile page. On the bottom will list the time and place for “Meet the MP” sessions – just show up early and no appointment is necessary. Unfortunately, I could not find my MP’s email list on this website (this is surprising!) If you need to look up your MP’s email address, go back to “The Singapore Government Directory”.