Interviewed by The Straits Times, 14 July 2019
Updated: Dec 24, 2020
"Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) Associate Professor Kenneth Paul Tan points out: 'It is hard to avoid how closely public engagement initiatives have been linked to critical economic, political or electoral events in the nation's life.' Prof Tan compares the Government's communication style to 'mansplaining', observing: 'There's a sense that the Government is still quite didactic in terms of telling people what to think. Like a parent who feels hurt when the child does not honour what he's done, its first impulse is to correct the child's mistaken views. 'People seldom have the chance to speak in public. When they do, it is not always with finesse. Can we have a certain generosity in the way we engage and get behind the anger, the shrill voice to find out the truth, even if we dislike hearing it?' To truly bring out different voices, he thinks the selection of culturally sensitive and engaging facilitators is critical. Technocrats will need to draw on the skills and talents of artists and theatre practitioners, whose work is fundamentally about imagination and engaging audiences different from themselves, he says."