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Title: “Jiak Ba Buay?” (Have You Eaten?): Effectiveness of the use of the Chinese Language and Dialects in Singapore’s Public Policy Communication
Issue Date: 2-Apr-2018
Citation: CHANG XUE QI (2018-04-02). “Jiak Ba Buay?” (Have You Eaten?): Effectiveness of the use of the Chinese Language and Dialects in Singapore’s Public Policy Communication. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis explores the role of communication in policymaking processes through analysing a case study of the use of Chinese dialects in communicating Singapore’s elderly health assistance policy, Pioneer Generation Package (PGP). This is exceptional because dialects were banned on state-controlled media platforms since 1979 Speak Mandarin Campaign. Realising that English-Mandarin translations were not really effective in communicating to the Pioneers, the Singapore government decided to use dialects when PGP was introduced in 2014. By examining PGP, I explain the effectiveness of dialects in enhancing the Pioneers’ understanding of government policies. I did so by identifying and measuring the extent of three goals that PGP aims to communicate with a questionnaire conducted on 29 Pioneers: (1) understanding of PGP as integrated health policy, (2) knowledge of PGP providing lifelong benefits and (3) awareness of the exact benefits to be received based on year of birth, regardless of their income. The survey results showed that the Pioneers understood the first two goals, showing that dialects indeed raised their awareness of PGP, but they were less clear about the third goal, and some appeared confused and sceptical about PGP. Beyond PGP, this study (1) encourages dialect communication in promoting other elderly-centred policies and (2) adds on to the wealth of policy implementation literature by exploring how multilingual governments should tailor their communication strategies even if it goes against conventional language policies.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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