SINGAPORE: Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said that community self—help groups will need to invent new approaches to address future challenges.
Speaking to the media at a learning festival organised by Malay—Muslim self—help group Mendaki, Mr Teo said doing so will ensure that Singapore will continue to progress.
The learning festival is part of Mendaki’s 30th anniversary celebrations.
And it’s open to everyone from all communities — young or old.
At the festival, you can find out what it’s like to be a crime scene investigator, an F1 driver or even try your hand at news reading.
The aim is to inculcate a culture of life—long learning and the need to upgrade and improve oneself.
On his Facebook page, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong noted how the festival is one good example, of how self—help groups are working together with communities to uplift the less fortunate, strengthen community bonds and promote learning in a fun environment.
He said such efforts — sustained over the years have helped the Malay community to make steady progress.
Mr Lee said it is his hope that Singaporeans will give such initiatives their fullest support and take part in the festivities.
And to push ahead, Mr Teo added that all self—help groups will have to evolve and keep up with changes.
"The world is always changing, and there are new challenges for the young people for families, and even for working persons, to continue learning, to continue being able to face the stresses of the new society, new world, so each of the self—help groups has to see in which ways they can work closely with their communities to address these concerns and help communities progress and also work together to help Singapore progress."
Minister in charge of Muslim Affairs, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim said Mendaki is already studying ways on how to do this.
"We have to for ourselves as a community. We spent the last 30 years doing remedial work, trying to repair solve some problems, going forward I think for the next 30 years, our emphasis must be on developmental work what is it that we can do to develop the community even further. Be it talent, be it institutions. These are the kind of things that Mendaki is looking at but obviously we have to bring the the whole community on board, and I think we can do that if we have the right programmes, the right incentive schemes and this is what we are thinking about at this point in time.
The three—day event which ends on Sunday aims to attract some 30,000 people.
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