The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) oversees the development of the infocomm technology, cyber security, media and design sectors; the national library, national archives and public libraries; as well as the government’s information and public communication policies. MCI’s mission is to connect Singaporeans to community, government, and opportunity, enabled by trustworthy infrastructure and technology.
In today’s digital age, the importance of effective government communications, including accurate and timely translations, have become more crucial than ever. MCI plays an important role in public communications. From listening to citizens to explaining government policies, MCI ensures that Singaporeans are heard, connected, and engaged as citizens of Singapore. It is being a part of this organisation that seeks to create an engaged and connected Singapore that inspired MCI Information Service Scholars Tricia Yeo, 26, and Oh Keng Song, 22, to join and build a career in the Information Service.
Oh Keng Song
MCI Information Service (Translation)
Global Studies/Chinese Translation (minor) – National University of Singapore
Strengthening Communications Capabilities
Amidst the rapidly changing media landscape, the need for the Government to communicate information across effectively and impactfully is highly pertinent. As an Assistant Director of Corporate Communications under the Ministry of National Development (MND), Tricia provides public communications support for MND’s policies.
“I plan and operationalise strategies to communicate government policies to the public. In the course of my work, I need to develop a good understanding of government policies, keep updated on what has been said in the public space, understand public sentiment, and know the best ways to communicate information to the intended audience.” explains Tricia.
Information Officers also need to keep the public informed and engaged by helping them to make sense of information and news in an increasingly fragmented infocomm and media landscape. “We challenge ourselves to keep learning on the job, to keep updated with changes in the media landscape in order to publicise our messages accurately and effectively, through a mix of new and traditional media platforms,” she says.
Understanding Diverse Worldviews
Tricia’s journey with MCI began with her interest in government policies and political science, which led her to apply for the MCI Information Service Scholarship. “MCI’s scholarship seemed like a good fit, and has since been a fulfilling career choice,” she reflects.
Tricia was sponsored for her undergraduate studies at the London School of Economics (LSE), where she interacted with people from many different countries and backgrounds. “During my studies, I explored how different worldviews and political ideologies have shaped societies and governments.” Tricia also attended the LSE-University of Cape Town Summer School programme. “I wouldn’t have had these opportunities without the scholarship. Studying in South Africa and interacting with my classmates further broadened my perspectives,” Tricia shares.
MCI Information Service Scholar
Assistant Director (Corporate Communications),
Ministry of National Development
Political Science – London School of Economics & Political Science
Translating The Future
Like Tricia, Keng Song was drawn to a rewarding career which dovetailed his passion for communications and translation. The MCI Information Service (Translation) Scholarship aims to build up translation capabilities – a vital skill needed to effectively communicate in our multi-racial society. “I have always had a love for the Chinese language and culture, and translation allowed me to utilise all these skills to learn and continue to pursue this passion. When one of my friends got the scholarship and it was reported in the news, it made me so interested that I applied the year after. I did not succeed then, but a few years later, I learnt that there was a translation minor in National University of Singapore (NUS), so I took it and applied for the scholarship again this year. Thankfully, I got it this time round.”
Currently majoring in Global Studies at NUS, the scholarship has afforded Keng Song the freedom to explore and broaden his horizons through modules in school. “I took up a media writing module on public relations this semester. Knowing there is a career waiting for me at the end of my bond made me braver by being more willing to step out of my comfort zone and picking modules I wouldn’t have selected before for fear that doing so may affect my results,” he says.
A Clear Career Path Ahead
For both Keng Song and Tricia, what makes their journey with MCI fulfilling is being able to see the outcomes of their work in the public – be it on print, broadcast or digital media platforms. Besides the gratification, it also helps them to streamline and better envision their career paths moving forward. “It is most important to have a clear aim as to what sort of career you have in mind,” explains Keng Song. “What makes me different when I applied this year from the person I was when I applied two years ago is that I now have a much clearer vision of the career I wanted.”