We have been collectively shaping the society we want to be – a caring people, a cohesive society and a confident nation. Amidst our ongoing fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), many of you have risen to the occasion and are doing more for the community, from donating, volunteering to looking out for one other. It is through these voluntary acts of kindness that we have become a more caring nation.
Our youths have been making an impact in our community. To name a few, David Hoe and Francesca Wah started a Project Stable Staples initiative and have helped over 1,000 individuals from 215 low-income families in rental flats to cope during circuit breaker with grocery vouchers from online donations. Social entrepreneur Debra Lam set up a website that collates various activities, initiatives and programmes that the community can tap to cope with the challenges posed by the circuit breaker measures. It is heartening to see our youths doing their part to help the community.
To inspire more to lend a helping hand, the Government introduced the SG United Portal, a one-stop portal in February 2020 for people to volunteer, donate, start and share community-led initiatives in response to Covid-19. Since the set-up of the portal, many have started ground-up initiatives to provide help to the community. As what my colleague Sim Ann, Senior Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth and Communications and Information has said in Parliament, our society will grow as a community of open hearts and helping hands overtime.
During these challenging times, charities and social service agencies have been facing difficulties such as falling donations. The Government will support the social service sector to tide over the coronavirus pandemic, especially when many of the agencies and charities have been supporting vulnerable groups during this period. In the recently announced $33 billion Fortitude Budget, the Tote Board’s Enhanced Fund-Raising Programme gets an additional $100 million while the Invictus Fund will get a top-up of $18 million to help social service agencies maintain service continuity, retain staff and adopt technology to transform their work amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
Although there are challenges ahead, it is important to remind ourselves to continue with life. Arts, culture and sports lift our spirits during these difficult times, and sustain our emotional and physical well-being. If you are into arts and culture, you can enjoy digitalised content on the National Arts Council’s A-List website. If you are into sports, you can stay connected and active on ActiveSG Circle with its wide offering of content including exercise videos and virtual races.
It is for the same reason that we have decided to go ahead with this year’s National Day Parade, though in a different format, to celebrate Singapore’s 55th birthday. Covid-19 will not deter us. Singapore will keep going on. In fact, we have allowed all organisations and households to display the National flag since April 25 till the end of National Day celebrations period on September 30. Even though we may be physically apart, we are united and stand resilient in the face of a crisis.
The strength of our society lies in our responses when we face a major crisis like Covid-19 as a nation. Let us continue to build a caring and inclusive society amid Covid-19 outbreak. We can be certain the Singapore Spirit, the heart of our nation, will continue to shine through.
People’s Action Party
5 June 2020
Image credit: Grace Fu’s Facebook