Photo of Grace Fu from Todayonline

Speaking at a rich society forum, Culture Minister Grace Fu said that she wants every Singaporean household to have one volunteer in five years’ time. Telling Singaporeans to give more money and time to the needy, the S$1.2 million-a-year PAP Minister sang about helping the poor:

“We hope for Singapore to grow as a giving nation with a volunteer in every household. We believe technology can empower and enable citizens to do good by providing time, money and resources to meet the needs of their neighbours and build stronger social bonds…In the face of technological advances that disrupt our businesses, our jobs, the way we communicate with one another; in the face of an ageing population that will change the societal structure and dramatically increase the need for social services; in the face of globalisation that may result in uneven economic progress for segments of society; our challenge is to activate and strengthen the social compact in the face of increasing social and technological divides.”

Minister Grace Fu told businessmen to make regular money and resource contributions to the public instead of making ad hoc donations:

“Business leaders should move beyond conducting ad hoc, one-off sponsorship or events to incorporating sustained giving programmes as an integral part of their corporate strategy and identity. Companies benefit from the shared public assets of the societies in which they operate and should therefore in return deliver benefit to all these constituencies.”

Singapore has one of the worst income inequality in the world, second only to Mexico when compared with OECD nations. A recent salary survey found that Singapore bosses are paid above 76 times over the lowest income worker in the same company. Due to the absence of Minimum Wage, low income workers take home as low as S$800 a month after an aggressive 37% CPF deduction.

In 2017, the Ministry of Social and Family Affairs published a statistic revealing that more people are relying on public assistance. Poverty is likely to worsen following this year’s raise in taxes on public water and a GST increase on 2021.