On 1 November 2012, Singapore will reshuffle its cabinet and rename the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA) to Ministry of Communication and Information (MCI).
According to a press release from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s Office, the MCI will “oversee the development of the infocomm technology, media and design sectors; the national and public libraries; as well as Government’s information and public communications policies.”
Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, the current Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, is set to head MCI as the Minister for Communications and Information.
Meanwhile, REACH (reaching everyone for active citizenry@ home)—the government body in charge of citizen engagement—will move its operations from the Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports (MCYS) to the newly-formed MCI. REACH was set up in 2006 as a way for the government to move beyond simple feedback gathering and is now responsible for engaging with the citizenry using social media technology and other forms of e-engagement.
Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority, the statutory board that oversees all ICT affairs for the country, will also fall under the scope of MCI.
The press release explains that the reorganisation “will enable the Government to focus more sharply on communication and information”. A new ministry — the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) — will be established to take over MICA’s current responsibilities in the area of arts, heritage and national resilience functions.
The reason for this shuffle is that “Singapore is in a new phase of development” and the redistribution and re-focusing of ministerial workload will “improve public communications and engagement” for an “increasingly diverse society in the age of social media and rapid technological progress”, according to the press release.
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