SINGAPORE – Singapore needs more people to contribute their time and talent to help the needy and make the country a better place, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said on Wednesday (Oct 2).

Mr Chan, who is also Minister-in-Charge of the Public Service, was speaking to donors at an annual dinner held at Parliament House for Club-100 @ North West, a philanthropic club by the North West Community Development Council (CDC).

“What we need most in Singapore goes beyond money. Money helps to alleviate the temporary issues but those in need also need to resolve their underlying problem,” he said.

“The lack of money is but a symptom of deeper issues such as the lack of financial planning, family support and a stable job.”

At the dinner, Mr Chan also thanked donors, saying their contributing back to society is what will make Singapore a better society.

Club-100 @ North West was established in 2008 to provide a platform to rally individuals as well as the community and corporate partners to give back and contribute to a meaningful cause. The club, which was launched with just 10 members, has 800 members today.

The club has raised more than S$9 million for the North West Food Aid Fund which assists 10,000 needy households annually. It encourages members to give on a regular basis and 80 per cent of them have committed to giving on a monthly basis.

Ms Kea Bi Lin, 33, who has been a donor for five years, said she joined the club because she wanted to give back to society.

“My father is also a long-time donor and I joined the club after he joined and told me about the cause and how it helps families in need by providing them with cash vouchers and cooked meals.”

Dr Teo Ho Pin, Mayor of North West District, said the club aims to have 1,000 members by 2030.

On Wednesday morning, Mr Chan also attended the Inclusion Seminar 2019 where he met employees from Foreword Coffee, a social enterprise which provides employment and skills training to people with disabilities. Fourteen of the cafe’s 18 employees are differently-abled persons.

In a Facebook post about the meeting, Mr Chan said: “My view is that in helping others, we are in fact also helping ourselves. This is a demonstration of our values as a society. That we, as individuals and organisations, have to bring out the best in each other regardless of background or how we may be different.”