Statement by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean to media queries

04 February 2018

Statement by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Minister-in-charge of the Public Service, in response to media queries:

“MP Er Lee Bee Wah is passionate about serving Singaporeans. So are the vast majority of public officers. The public service has a duty to work closely with the elected government as well as with MPs for the good of Singapore and Singaporeans. Where the public service or individual public officers have fallen short, the public service will strive to improve and serve Singaporeans better.

To put things in perspective, overall we have an excellent public service, and a well-functioning Parliament. We should keep it that way, and work to improve on what we have.

In their interactions with each other, MPs and public officers should conduct themselves professionally and with mutual respect. MPs and public officers play complementary roles, and will not always see issues from the same perspective. The different perspectives may well have valid justifications – the needs of residents, resource or site constraints, or national priorities and policy.

Both MPs and public officers will often encounter such competing demands and priorities. When this happens, they should resolve whatever issues arise professionally, through reasoned discussion and objective analysis.

The Government expects public officers and MPs alike to conduct themselves in a proper manner. One can disagree while respecting the integrity and point of view of the other party.

It would be improper for either MPs or public officers to “get back at” each other because of disagreements over work. If anyone knows of either public officers or MPs using their position or authority to act in this improper way, he or she should raise the matter with me with the facts, and I will have it investigated.”

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