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Public gives Budget feedback at REACH website

By Satish Cheney, Channel NewsAsia
16 February 2007 2208 hrs

SINGAPORE: Members of the public have been logging on to the REACH website to air their views on the Budget.

Minister of State for Finance and Transport Lim Hwee Hua and Chairman of the REACH panel Dr Amy Khor were on hand to answer queries real-time online.

It is the first time REACH has organised a townhall meeting online.

But the response was quite muted, with only 11 registered users logging on to air their views and ask questions.

Ms Lim Hwee Hua said: "To be fair, this is the first time we're doing it. It's an experience we have to learn from, whether it's in the area of publicising this to more people and to get more participation or whether it's the right time of the day, bearing in mind it's pretty close to Chinese New Year as well."

Among the key points discussed were whether enough is being done for the middle income group and if the non-English speaking Singaporeans have avenues to air their views on the Budget.

Dr Amy Khor said: "We are also using other means to reach out to the non-English speaking population, for instance through our ministerial dialogues that can be conducted in Mandarin."

More of these interactive townhall meetings will be planned later in the year for upcoming issues of interest. - CNA/ir