Tuesday 30 July 2013

Social safety nets being strengthened: PM Lee

By Vimita Mohandas, Chennel NewsAsia, 28 Jul 2013

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said the government is strengthening national safety nets and reviewing policies to help vulnerable groups more.

He added that the community is also rallying together to address social needs and reaching out in ways that the government cannot do.

On the individual level, Mr Lee stressed the importance of being self-reliant and working together to build a better tomorrow.

He said that working together is even more important in our new phase as Singaporeans are living in a time of rapid change and uncertainty.

While this will be an invigorating time for the young and people with skills (as there are more opportunities), there will be others who need more help.

Mr Lee said: "There will be some who will find it difficult to adjust, especially the older Singaporeans and perhaps also, the lower income Singaporeans. They will need help to overcome the challenges they face. Whether it's cost of living, the cost of healthcare, the widening income disparities, we need to focus on these people who need help and make sure that when we advance and move into the future, we all go together."

He was speaking on Sunday at the official opening of the Pek Kio Community Centre, the first community centre to be co-located with a school - Farrer Park Primary School.

PM Lee added that community centres act as a bridge to the community and to build community ties.

Community centres are also a bridge to the future with brand new facilities such as a performing theatre, dance studios and an indoor sports hall.

The Pek Kio Community Centre, which is also the first CC to have a 200-seater performing theatre, will maximise community resources while promoting greater involvement in community activities by students and residents/parents in Pek Kio.

Residents can also look forward to using the school's indoor sports hall, concourse and field after school hours for community activities such as badminton, wushu and briskwalking.

The new performing theatre, besides providing Farrer Park Primary School's drama club with a well-equipped venue for performances, will also bring residents together through community arts and cultural activities and workshops.

The new CC is also equipped with facilities, such as badminton courts, two dance studios, culinary room and music rooms.

The indoor sports hall, badminton courts and field will be open to residents after school hours, and students in turn will be able to use the CC's dance studios and other facilities during school hours.

Students and residents will also be able to benefit from the new spacious culinary room and its stations, where they will be able to have hands-on sessions instead of watching demonstrations by the trainers.

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