Photo from Pamela

Poverty for Singaporean Chinese households worsened by at least 13.5% as the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) saw about 20,000 households seeking welfare in 2015. Speaking at the CDAC Annual General Meeting yesterday (Jun 20), Minister of Health Gan Kim Yong revealed that this figure is 13.5% more than 2014’s, and the number doesn’t factor in families who are struggling but still not seeking help.

Young families are the most affected with a 20% increase in those seeking parenting programmes like after-school care for primary school students. The six existing after-school care centres are operating at full capacity, but four more new centres will open next Monday (Jun 27) to help ease the increase in applications.

Workfare programme saw 10% increase in Singaporean Chinese applicants. In the latest household statistics released in March revealed that the number of Malay Singaporeans living in rental flats doubled from 4.9% in 2005 to 10.9% in 2016. Rental units in Singapore is only available to the poor and needy, and it is not readily available for any former homeowners. Based off the rental unit stats, 14,600 Malay Singaporeans now officially live in poverty.

However, despite the increase in poverty and welfare needs in 2015, the CDAC posted a net profit of S$3.4 million. The CDAC collects between S$0.50 and S$3 from each Singaporean Chinese’s automatically-opt-in contribution, netting about S$21.2 million a month.

Singapore’s income gap is among the highest in the world with a Gini coefficient of 0.463. The salaries of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his ministers are also the world’s highest, but he claimed his government is the world’s least corrupted.

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Malay Singaporeans living in poverty doubled in past 10 years