Govt can do more to help the needy

Govt can do more to help the needy

SINGAPORE - While the Government has been critical of the cradle-to-grave welfare system in the past, it is heartening to know that social assistance payments to the needy have increased dramatically ("Handouts for the poor top $100m"; last Sunday).

I am happy that the Government has taken the fundamental position that it has to assist some of those who cannot help themselves. However, the assistance should be more comprehensive and easier to obtain.

For example, another article ("Men with little family support find it tough") mentioned the sad case of Mr Lee Yong Hong, who receives a cash grant of $300 each month, yet has to seek free food as the sum is inadequate.

He is an example of a vulnerable person who is helped by the Government but the aid falls short.

MP Seah Kian Peng suggested that non-government sources can do more to help the needy ("'Each of us can do our part'").

While the community should indeed help, comprehensive aid should still come from the Government. As many needy people may not have the time, energy and ability to seek help from multiple sources, a one-stop Government-led avenue would be the best option.

Danny Tan Ghee Gay (Dr), Reader

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