New Perspectives

Text by Shaun Khiu

Art Direction Yip Siew Fei, Photo Teck Lim, Lumina Grooming Charmaine Tok

As we give more and more of our data in return for the greater convenience of digital services, how might the Public Service use this treasure trove of information to solve real problems? In this issue’s cover story, “Facing Up To Data”, Challenge looks at how some public agencies have transformed data analytics from a buzzword into a razor-sharp tool to forge meaningful change for citizens.

But life’s not just about data, so it is also inspiring to take a leaf from Mr Choi Shing Kwok’s book. In A Cuppa With…, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources shares how continuous and purposeful engagement can drive change. (Hint: it may involve taking good selfies!)

In “The Streets Are Alive (With The Sound Of Music)”, we explore the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s role in enlivening public spaces by tapping the enthusiasm of citizens (some of whom are public officers themselves). From open-air piano recitals to family-friendly carnivals, these “public-people partnerships” are a welcome injection of vibrancy into the community.

We also take a fun look at what robots of the Public Service could look like (see “Public Service Robots – Reimagined”). While these designs may be purely imaginative, the functions they serve are as real as they come; in fact, some of the bots are being tested right now, so if they end up looking like those in the pages of this magazine, well, you heard it here first!

Many of us may have just returned from vacation and, more likely than not, with a few extra kilos! But instead of hitting the gym or the yoga studio (we all know what a chore that can be sometimes), Challenge recommends some unconventional sports that are guaranteed to “Shock Your System”. Give them a try and let us know how you get along.

Till next time, be safe, and enjoy this issue of Challenge!

Shaun Khiu

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