SINGAPORE: Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports Halimah Yacob has urged all Singaporeans to continue to dream big, to have hope for the future and to build an even better society.
Speaking at the National Day Rally on Sunday evening, Madam Halimah stressed that everyone has to play a part in building a more inclusive society.
She said Singapore has not moved away from the principles upon which it was founded. It will continue to give opportunities to all, provided they are prepared to work hard.
Madam Halimah stressed that Singapore’s meritocratic system must provide opportunities for all, regardless of their background, to pursue their dreams.
In a speech peppered with examples of Singaporeans who have done well in their respective fields, Madam Halimah noted that there are those who are unable to help themselves.
She said the country must persevere to help low—income families as she cautioned that maintaining social mobility in a mature economy will be a challenge.
Failing to do so will lead to social segregation and instability. The widening income gap must also not make it harder for the able but poor people to do well.
But in trying to help them, Madam Halimah said there is a need to respect the needy’s desire for dignity as well.
She said: "We will continue to improve our approaches, for not all are able to access the opportunities available. Some families need dedicated support and intervention. We are putting in more resources to strengthen our social services sector."
However, the government cannot do it alone. Madam Halimah said it needs to partner social service agencies to better understand the needs of poor families and develop relevant services for them.
Citing an example of a non—profit community effort by youths, Madam Halimah said community support among the youth is also needed.
She stressed that the most powerful expression of Singapore values is when caring Singaporeans look out for one another.
Madam Halimah, who also spoke in Malay, praised the Malay community for its achievements as the country has prospered. But she stressed that as Singapore meets future challenges, the Malay community needs to be ready to do better in education, employment and family relationship.
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Hi Mdm Halimah,the malay community is well taken care of if you have a proper family ties but what happen to the broken family(i mean divorced cases),we women are not protected by the women's charter if we malays married in the syariah law system.I am one of them was treated unfairly by the syariah Judge(not to mention name and the lawyers involved).I hope you as a Malay minister,should help malay women(divorced cases) to gain the women charter in the syariah court.I am curious why Civil marriage only has the women's charter and not the syariah court?