Friday, January 06, 2006
An unemployed Singaporean expresses his appreciation for receiving aid from ComCare fund after losing his job. I'm so glad that unemployed Singaporeans are not left behind to fend for themselves given the high cost of living in Singapore. The govt shares his burden with great empathy and sympathy providing a helping hand. The ComCare fund was launched by Lee Hsien Loong as a solution to unemployment. Typically Singaporeans have little savings when they become unemployed because the cost ofl living in particular utilities, housing and transport. When they become unemployed many need help immediately otherwise bills will start piling up, late fees and penalties are imposed by service providers. It is like entering a vicious cycle. We should be glad the govt understands well the problems faced by Singaporeans.
After his application, and wait for 2 months, the unemployed receives his good news:
His problems are solved and he can look forward to the future with greater optimism.
Singaporeans are so lucky to have a govt that cares and the ComCare is a true reflection of the care the govt has for its citizens. In fact our govt is so full of care, it gives scholarships to foreign students - if you visit NTU or NUS engineering a large % of the students are foreign and on scholarships given out by the Singapore govt worth tens of thousands every year per student. See how lucky you are, the Singapore govt is so full of care it can even provide scholarships for foreign students. All this is done for the good of Singaporeans.
Those at risk of being left behind will get help with their pressing needs
By Lydia Lim
THE old, the poor and the jobless will have their pressing worries addressed under a billion dollar package announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Parliament yesterday. They will receive help with jobs, financial assistance and medical bills as Mr Lee gave out five lifelines to these Singaporeans who had, up to now, feared being left behind as the rest of society forged ahead.
Their plight was also highlighted by many of the 41 Members of Parliament who spoke during the last three days of debate on the President's Address. In his response yesterday, Mr Lee said he heard the MPs and appreciated the pain economic restructuring caused. The Government's strategy, he explained, is to keep Singapore growing, as this generates the resources it needs to help those who cannot cope. He backed his words with action, in the form of more money and new help schemes.
First, poor Singaporeans - especially the elderly - who fall ill will get more government support. Medifund, which helps them pay their medical bills, will be doubled from $1 billion to $2 billion. As a first step, $100 million will be injected this year.
Second, older workers with inadequate retirement savings will get help from a new tripartite committee. Its task: finding ways to help them stay employed longer. This could include raising the legal retirement age, now at 62, but only if employers, unions and government are sure of it.
Third, needy families will receive financial assistance from a new fund called ComCare, to be managed by the community development councils (CDCs). The ComCare fund starts with an endowment of $500 million, to be built up to $1 billion over time.
Fourth, displaced workers will get help finding jobs. A new Re-employment Assistance Programme will redesign jobs to suit more Singaporeans, and provide referrals, training and incentives for these workers to stick with their new jobs.
Fifth, elderly Housing Board dwellers will enjoy a lift that stops on every floor sooner, with a plan to upgrade lifts in all blocks within 10 years. The Government will also change the law to allow town councils to use part of their sinking fund to pay for these works.
Taken together, these programmes help give shape to the vision of an inclusive society which Mr Lee painted in his first National Day Rally speech last August.
Yesterday, he again rallied Singaporeans to have confidence in their country's future. Speaking for 80 minutes before a packed House, he said today's Singapore is a bustling cosmopolitan city and more than ever a land of opportunity for those who call it home. The basis for this is its competitive economy. It is a global node and where many multinational firms choose to base their Asian operations. It is also where local enterprises and individuals can flourish.
Having weathered the downturn, the economy is growing again. Foreign investment is up, unemployment down and 60,000 new jobs were created last year. 'Provided you are prepared to learn, unlearn and relearn your skills, here you can find good jobs, hold on to them, sustain existing businesses, start new ones.'
Singapore also offers a place for everyone. Its meritocratic system and emphasis on education keep it an open, socially-mobile society, where 'everyone who strives can make good'.
Finally, Singaporeans can have a say in how to make their country better. The Government has stepped up consultation on its policies and devolved functions to the community, such as through town councils and CDCs. It will continue the process as civil society develops, he pledged.
Mr Lee concluded by reflecting on how Singapore started out an 'improbable nation' but became, through its people's efforts, an 'exceptional nation'. Singaporeans stand as one during crises, he said, citing their unity during Sars outbreak and the tsunami disaster. 'There's a Singapore spirit burning, which will help us to accomplish great things.'
Posting Time 5:09 AM
Posted by Lucky Tan