SINGAPORE: President Tony Tan Keng Yam has urged Singaporeans to play an active role in helping the less fortunate and disadvantaged.
He said the government will do its part in supporting those who help themselves, as well as fellow citizens.
He made this point during a visit to a social enterprise, Eighteen Chefs, which hires ex—offenders and delinquents.
Dr Tan said: "There is an old Chinese saying ’if you give a person a fish, he eats for one day. But if you teach him to fish, then he can live for many days because he can earn his own living’. I think the social enterprise, in that sense, is good."
Diners at the restaurant were pleasantly surprised when the president strolled in at the restaurant at about 3pm on Tuesday.
It’s part of a social enterprise founded in 2007 by Mr Benny Se Teo, an ex—offender.
Mr Se Teo, who now owns three branches, overcame the odds to get to where he is today.
He said: "In 2009, we expanded too fast. From one shop, we had four shops. Right now, we have three, and we closed one shop. And it’s very painful to close an eatery and it costs a lot of money. "
The social enterprise bounced back, prompting President Tan to declare it a "success story" for other enterprises in Singapore.
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