Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday (Jan 17), Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu told state media Straits Times that she is not alarmed by the recent survey claiming that social class gap have been widening. The PAP Minister said that her statistics came out with “very good” results compared to the survey done by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS).
In a Dec survey report by the IPS, it was reported that the rich who studied in elite schools and live in private housing have little to no interaction with those who studied in public schools and live in HDB public housing.
Minister Grace Fu dismissed the report saying that she is not “alarmed”:
“Are we alarmed? I’ll say ‘no’ because if you look at the survey results holistically, you will find good diversity in our social network.”
Without providing any statistics to back up her claims, the PAP Minister said that government programs have been successful in bringing people of different social class together:
“Singaporeans are mixing through sport, arts, volunteerism and at the workplace…Such accomplishments as the formation of the national SG Cares movement to promote volunteerism, a $150 million boost to the Cultural Matching Fund for arts groups and a new One Team Singapore fund to support athletes. Two gyms for people with special needs were set up and a sports festival was organised for them. Through these efforts, we have made our facilities a lot more inclusive and accessible.”
Minister Grace Fu is however unable to prove that the multi-million government programs actually delivered result.
Singapore have one of the highest income gap in the world, due to decades of low income taxes and poor wage growth. The GINI coefficient sits at 0.463, higher than US and nearly all of the OECD nations.