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Trust is key to forge engagement

20 November 2012

Mr Sadasivan and Minister Tan (right) at the engaging forum

Engagement represents a two-way activity. At the political, governmental and individual level, how do you engage? And at the citizen level, how do you respond? Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Acting Minister for Manpower and Senior Minister of State at the Ministry of National Development, was speaking at NUS U@live forum on 15 November.

"From a leadership perspective, engagement is about how we connect with people. At the heart of it all, are people prepared to follow you? It's about trust," he told the 130-strong audience comprising students, staff and alumni.

Minister Tan, who earned a Master in Public Management from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at NUS, shared about platforms available for stakeholders to voice their views at his two ministries.

On how cynicism affects the national conversation raised by forum moderator Mr Viswa Sadasivan, Minister Tan believed that "cynicism is better than apathy. It indicates you bother enough to think about the issue; you care enough to read up about it and have a perspective."

During the 90-minute event, Minister Tan also answered questions from the audience, including the decision to construct a highway across Bukit Brown, engagement with voluntary welfare organisations and youth engagement via politics.

A monthly event, U@live features illustrious members of the university community who have been indefatigable in championing causes that make a difference to the world. Spearheaded by NUS alumni and the Office of Alumni Relations, the forum is also webcast live to the student population on campus.