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Remarks by Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat at the Launch of The Ngee Ann Kongsi - CDC COVID-19 Relief Fund

02 Nov 2020

Ms Low Yen Ling, Chairman, Mayors’ Committee


Ngee Ann Kongsi Executive Committee

Good morning

1. It is very heartening for me to join all of you here to launch the Ngee-Ann Kongsi  – Community Development Council COVID-19 Relief Fund.

2. COVID-19 is a crisis of a generation. The Government has committed close to $100 billion to support our workers, businesses and families, of which we are drawing up to $52 billion from our past reserves. Most of the support are disbursed through national-level schemes to reach out to all Singaporeans swiftly.

3. But some Singaporeans and their families do face unique or urgent circumstances, which require more targeted solutions. This is where different parts of our society can come together to complement our national efforts to help.

4. I am glad that our Mayors and Community Development Councils are stepping up to support our people during this very difficult period. They have been mobilising the community to help the more vulnerable among us. This is the spirit of Singapore Together, where each of us do our part to help those around us and leave no one behind.

5. I meet our Mayors regularly, and know that they have been working hard to take care of our people.  So when Yen Ling, on behalf of the Mayors, told me about this latest initiative – the Ngee-Ann Kongsi – CDC COVID-19 Relief Fund, I readily agreed to join all of you today for this launch. It is very hard to say no to our hardworking Mayors.   

  1. This Relief Fund is made possible by a $2 million donation from Ngee Ann Kongsi. Over the years, I have attended many Ngee Ann Kongsi events for various charitable causes, especially in education. I have attended many of those when I was the Education Minister. I know the good work that you have been doing. At today’s event, I understand that Ngee Ann Kongsi has dipped into its reserves to donate this amount. A very big thank you to Ngee Ann Kongsi!
  2. The CDCs have contributed a further $2 million, bringing the total sum to $4million.
  3. The CDCs will work with the grassroots to identify individuals and families who are in more difficult circumstances. Each successful applicant will receive a one-time relief of $500.

6. As a country, we are resuming activities gradually and safely. We are supporting our companies to hold on to their workers and to restructure their businesses.  But the crisis is far from over. We can see new highs in COVID-19 cases in many parts of the world, including  Europe, and lockdowns have been imposed. This is a very serious crisis. Many families and livelihoods continue to be affected by COVID-19. I encourage more  companies, community partners and individuals to come forward to support our people, especially those who are more vulnerable.

7. We can achieve more if we do it together. Let us stay resilient and united, so that we can emerge stronger as a society and as a nation. Thank you very much.