Sunday, 24 June 2018

Why the poor are poor: $500 a month on cable TV and cigarettes and this family still wants financial aid?

Helping families find hope and courage to change
What should social workers do with a family that spends $500 on cigarettes and cable TV, yet applies for financial aid? Questioning the poor on their needs and choices is part of helping them.
By Sudha Nair, Published The Straits Times, 23 Jun 2018

In a recent article, sociologist Teo You Yenn painted a bleak picture of the conditions rental flat dwellers live in (Let's talk about meeting needs, not just equality of opportunity; ST May 30). She argued, among other things, that insufficient space can lead to children being open to negative influence and that the process of getting help can cause families living in rental flats to lose their dignity because they are often asked demeaning questions.

As a practising social worker of 32 years, I started my career working with disadvantaged families. In the last five years, my team of social workers and I have worked at the Housing Board's Bedok Interim Rental Housing (IRH) project, also called P4650 after the two blocks the families lived in. These are our experiences with them.

The residents of P4650 comprised three groups: families waiting for a rental flat; families in financial straits and downgrading to smaller flats which were still being built; and families ineligible for public rental flats but unable to afford their own housing.

Many of these families were overwhelmed and left with little family support, having exhausted the goodwill of relatives and friends. Some were living on the beach or in parks before arriving at the IRH. Most were previous home owners who had sold their flats for various reasons, spent the proceeds, and then became homeless.

We had the daunting task of getting these families permanent housing. At least a quarter of the families had deep-rooted, multiple problems such as untreated medical and mental illness, addictions, entrenched financial problems, incarceration and severe family conflicts.

We tried to help these families prioritise their most pressing problems before working on their housing goals.

Another challenge was a group of families who only wanted tangible aid - financial help, food rations, rental and utility vouchers. Put bluntly, they were saying to us: "Just give us what we want and leave us alone."

They resisted discussing their problems. A few became angry and abusive when social workers suggested meetings. It was difficult, but we persevered because these families needed help, too.

At P4650, we learnt the complexities these families presented - lessons that caution against painting a simplistic picture of rental flat dwellers with a broad brush.


Let me share some of our takeaways.

All parents have dreams for their children. Yet, many disadvantaged families feel that having such dreams is beyond them. Some stay angry and disappointed with their lot in life.

We found that getting parents to express their hopes and vision for their families was critical in bringing about change. For some, it meant saying: "I wish we could have our own flat." For others: "I wish I could afford to send my children for enrichment classes or overseas trips."

Once a parent articulated such hopes, the social workers could discuss options to make seemingly unattainable dreams come true, working out solutions, and identifying the resources needed.

This co-creation of solutions was possible even for the most challenging families. For example, we worked intensively with a jobless and angry mother of three who depended on financial aid and food rations for three years while her husband was in jail. She expressed hope for her children to get a good education. It took some effort to show her that having a job would enable her to buy an HDB flat and provide her children with a more secure environment.

She found work, went on to buy a two-room flat, and stopped relying on handouts. After his release from prison, her husband found work, and the family income rose.

Then there was a father of five who earned $1,600 a month and refused help because he felt it was his duty to provide for his family. To save expenses, he wanted his oldest son to quit school. The boy, a top student at the Institute of Technical Education, was devastated.

We persuaded the father to let his son finish his education, with help to pay the fees.

We worked with Workforce Singapore to get the father started on a diploma course which could help him double his income. He agreed to accept temporary financial aid while he finished his diploma.

Those efforts paid off, and the family left the IRH to move into their own three-room flat. It was small, but it was theirs.

Social workers are sometimes faulted for asking seemingly intrusive questions and for their obsession with genograms and ecomaps (that, respectively, map a person's family and friendship networks) and income and expenditure assessments. Asking good questions and using tools appropriately are in fact relevant and important. They are vital to understanding how families make decisions, and the various roles that family members play.


We have seen many families make poor choices. They need help to assess their needs and wants.

Needs fall along a continuum, and there is a difference between a felt need (a perceived need), a normative need (a desirable standard), a comparative need (when two groups with similar characteristics do not receive similar service), and an expressed need (a felt need turned into action). A social worker helps families differentiate between these different types of needs.

Yes, we ask questions. And yes, we ask how families strapped for cash spend the little money they have. What do you do when you find the man of the house is a regular smoker, and feels he is entitled to that lifestyle choice? And what if his family is also paying for a full slew of cable television channels? Should social workers not question such a family spending $500 a month on cigarettes and cable TV while at the same time applying for financial aid?

Some say it would be "judgmental" of us to advise him to stop smoking; that we would undermine his dignity.

In this instance, the man of the house did indeed respond by becoming angry and abusive. But that cannot make social workers desist from asking such questions. Not least because public support for social assistance schemes will wane if the public is convinced social workers are spending taxpayers' money and donations with no conditions.

How can one justify not advising a person to stop smoking while we routinely advise our children, and doctors their patients, about the risks of smoking? Are we being "judgmental" when we do so?

Several months after that angry man stormed out of our office, he returned ready to relook his spending habits and make the necessary changes to get his family out of the IRH.

It took nine months before he was ready to act. The family finally moved out of the IRH to their own four-room HDB flat. Their income has risen to more than $4,000 a month. Grateful for the help they received, the couple have become grassroots volunteers.

If we say the poor should be spared hard questions or being challenged, and be given help without conditions, we would in effect be conceding that such families are hopeless and helpless. A cardinal principle in social work is that everyone has the potential to do well and social workers harness that potential.

Granted, change is uncomfortable. It demands learning new ways of behaving, and discarding old ones. So some families will resist change, preferring to persist with familiar habits. If truth be told, there is no shortage of help schemes to let families remain as they are.

But significant change was possible at P4650 because everyone worked together, and the families experienced hope, believed that change, although difficult, was possible and were willing to act once provided with information and workable options. We drew on many formal and informal organisations to make things happen.

The IRH site closed in April this year. In all, 1,183 families passed through our doors.

Approximately half the families went on to buy flats and fewer than half went on to rental housing. A small number chose to find their own housing or returned to live with relatives. These outcomes were far better than expected.

Some families who moved out earlier returned to the IRH to help others, in ways that facilitated them to get back on their feet. For example, one single mother came back to teach IRH mothers baking skills, so that they could make some extra money the way she did when times were tough.

P4650 was intensive and hard for the families and everyone involved.

But the true picture is one of continuous engagement, with many lives changed because families had the humility to acknowledge problems and the courage to change.

Sudha Nair is executive director of PAVE, a specialist centre that works on issues of family violence, child protection and disadvantaged families. She led PAVE at Siglap, the team that worked at the Bedok Interim Rental Housing project.

Social workers also tackle structural conditions that lead to poverty

Dr Sudha Nair's recent commentary highlights the challenges of social work practice with families facing multiple difficulties ($500 a month on cable TV and cigarettes and this family still wants aid?; June 23).

However, it presents an incomplete picture of the realities of low-income families.

It also does not fully reflect social workers' interactions with clients and the profession's ethical responsibilities, which go far beyond "questioning the poor on their needs and choices".

Social workers in Singapore are embedded in various communities and institutions, working alongside vulnerable individuals and families.

On any given day, we witness their strength and sacrifices in pursuing better lives for themselves in the face of tremendous adversities.

These challenges are often compounded because of limited financial resources and the lack of access to information, informal support and services.

While it is easy to attribute the situation of low-income households to poor decision-making and celebrate tough love, we must also acknowledge the role that systems and structures play in creating the conditions of poverty in the first instance.

In addition to asking clients hard questions, structural barriers in areas such as housing, education, sustainable employment, health and mental health services, family support, and care services must be addressed.

Social workers in all fields of practice have a responsibility to draw attention to these barriers. Only then will people have the freedom and bandwidth to make and realise good decisions.

The issue of spending choices highlights further concerns. Who gets to decide what are bad decisions?

In low-income households with limited options, the television is an important source of leisure and information.

Material goods can offer a semblance of normalcy for marginalised families.

There needs to be a wider discussion about basic living standards in our society.

These discussions must involve people from diverse economic situations. Otherwise, it is easy to fall into double standards when it comes to low-income households.

Ng Kok Hoe (Dr)
(This letter was digitally signed by 40 other social workers and social service practitioners.)
ST Forum, 27 Jun 2018

Families' commitment, courage to become self-reliant critical

Dr Ng Kok Hoe argued that my commentary (Helping families find hope and courage to change; June 23) presented "an incomplete picture of the realities of low-income families" and that it "does not fully reflect social workers' interactions with clients and the profession's ethical responsibilities" (Social workers also tackle structural conditions that lead to poverty; June 27).

He said "structural barriers" must be addressed and that social workers "have a responsibility to draw attention to these barriers".

Contrary to what Dr Ng appears to allude to, social workers, including myself, who work with families in real-life situations regularly pay attention to the larger context, such as the structure of the systems and society in Singapore.

We also proactively engage policymakers, agencies and other related groups and individuals on how to work together better and make changes to policies and processes so that families get the help they need in a way that will enable them to become self-reliant and improve their well-being in a sustainable manner.

For example, a practical issue is when the rules and procedures for getting certain help for some families are suboptimal or even stifling, many social workers are able and willing to explain to and explore with the agencies concerned to effect changes.

I had also explained in my commentary why social workers, when assessing needs and helping families to address their problems, sometimes have to ask questions that may be uncomfortable for some, such as their expenditure on cigarettes and cable TV.

The context was that some academics have commented that these questions are demeaning and should not be asked.

Social workers on the ground experience the practicalities and the realities of the ups and downs of families in need. Ultimately, social work is about helping to improve the well-being of the clients.

Yes, the circumstances and contextual factors are important. The clients' commitment and courage to become self-reliant are critical.

Sudha Nair (Dr)
ST Forum, 2 Jul 2018

System not perfect but has uplifted life of majority: Ministry of Social and Family Development

We refer to Dr Ng Kok Hoe's letter (Social workers also tackle structural conditions that lead to poverty; June 27) in which he suggests that systems and structures have created the conditions for poverty and imposed barriers for the low-income.

Our system is not perfect. But as we strive to improve it, we must first accurately take stock of where we are.

Our policies and programmes in education, healthcare, housing, skills training, employment and social support have uplifted the majority of Singaporeans, while providing additional support for the low-income.

No child misses out on a quality education because they cannot afford it. Nine in 10 Singaporeans own their homes. Those buying smaller flats receive bigger subsidies.

The Fresh Start scheme gives families in rental flats another shot at home-ownership. Healthcare is heavily subsidised, especially for the low-income.

Poverty has varied and wide-ranging causes. Sometimes it is due to personal decisions. Other causes, such as illness, retrenchment or disability, are beyond the family's control.

Social workers partner these families and work with government agencies and the community.

Where families do not qualify for a support scheme, we assess if exceptions should be made for them, or if other assistance can be provided.

We continually review our policies to better help those in need, and improve social service delivery.

Dr Ng argued that material goods offer a semblance of normalcy for marginalised families, and questioned who decides what are bad decisions.

When public funds or charity dollars are spent, the Government and voluntary welfare organisations have a duty to ask relevant questions and impose suitable conditions.

The way questions are asked, and the sort of conditions imposed, should respect and uphold the dignity of those being helped.

Our approach is a collective one with many helping hands. It demands individual effort, alongside government support in partnership with families, the community and social workers.

We welcome further conversations on practical ideas to help the poor.

We will listen to alternative views and weigh the pros and cons of different systems.

But we must understand the values and systems that have successfully uplifted many Singaporeans and reduced poverty.

We share the same aim: To give every Singaporean the opportunity and support to reach their full potential, while upholding their worth and dignity, whatever their circumstances may be.

Karolyn Poon (Ms)
Press Secretary to the Minister for Social & Family Development
ST Forum, 4 Jul 2018

A TV, mobile data, a maid - needs or wants for a poor family?
Experts look at the seemingly questionable spending choices of some families who get financial help
By Yuen Sin and Hariz Baharudin, The Sunday Times, 1 Jul 2018

A few years ago, housewife Noor Hayati and her family excitedly bought a shiny new 32-inch TV set.

It cost $1,200 - just shy of her husband's $1,400 salary as a cleaner. The family of five, who lives in a two-room rental flat in Tampines and gets $120 a month in financial aid, paid for it in instalments of $100 over the course of a year.

Neighbours and relatives immediately whispered, pointed and told Madam Hayati straight to her face that buying the TV set was a poor decision. The money she spent could have gone to her three children, or been saved for future use, they said.

But having a TV set was important to her family, says Madam Hayati, 39.

"It is the only form of entertainment for us," she says simply, saying they watch mainly free-to-air channels such as Suria and Okto.

The issue of spending choices by low-income families like Madam Hayati's is in the limelight, following a commentary by social work veteran Sudha Nair on June 23.

Writing about her takeaways from helping low-wage families at the Housing Board's Bedok Interim Rental Housing project, Dr Nair said that many families have made poor choices, and it is part and parcel of a social worker's job to ask seemingly intrusive questions on their spending habits if they ask for financial aid.

In The Sunday Times' interviews with 12 social workers, social service practitioners and MPs, all agree it is necessary to ask low-income families questions on what they spend on, in determining who needs help or ensuring the best use of aid.

"We are looked upon as the custodian of such funds, and have to ensure that the money is well-spent and not abused," says social worker Alvin Chua.

But how they go about doing so is just as crucial, they stress, given that the difficult circumstances of these families' lives could also shape their seemingly questionable choices.

What makes the task also more of an art than a science is that there is no hard and fast rule about what is a need or a want; this has evolved with the pace of Singapore's development, some say.

Where broadband Internet access, for instance, used to be a luxury good, some such as Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Zainal Sapari say the Government can do more to give poor households access to broadband Internet. "If children don't have access to the Internet, it can hinder their learning," he says.

The same goes for mobile data plans, says Nee Soon GRC MP Henry Kwek.

In Madam Hayati's case, for instance, buying a TV is also understandable, says Ms Carrie Tan, executive director of charity Daughters Of Tomorrow. "Many have a fear of their kids getting into bad company. TV is one of the cheapest ways to keep your kids occupied and out of harm's way," she says.

Some may also look askance at a low-income family using financial aid to hire a maid to take care of an ill elderly member, but it could be a necessity that allows the breadwinner to work, says Ms Lena Teo of Children-At-Risk Empowerment Association (Care Singapore).

Social workers should thus keep in mind that every family's scenario is unique and should not be painted with a broad brush. "The bottom line is whether these choices can make a family better off than they were before," Ms Teo said.

A similar debate on needs and wants had also reigned in 2005, underscoring how such questions are perennial and never easy to answer.

Then Tampines GRC MP Sin Boon Ann, for instance, argued that aid could extend to enrichment classes such as ballet lessons for a poor family's child. Not all agreed.

Today, the line is also drawn differently, with different levels of checks and questions asked, depending on the organisation.

National programmes - funded by taxpayers - may probe more. Generally, tough questions of families' spending habits and income sources will be asked when they approach the Government's social service offices or Family Service Centre for financial assistance, ST understands. They will be asked to produce documents such as their bank statements and utility bills.

Welfare organisations, charities and foundations tend to be more lax about asking such questions and may also use broader criteria to determine if someone gets aid.

The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund general manager Tan Bee Heong says: "We don't make it so cumbersome for families to qualify, as they are already subjected to stringent checks for some government schemes."

Asking probing questions gently have also been important in helping families make better choices.

Ms Teo recounts how early last year, a family received a donation of $2,000. They then bought a tablet that cost a few hundred dollars, though they had yet to pay a backlog of utility bills.

"They were too excited about the sum that they had received from the agency. We worked with them to prioritise the most pressing needs that they should spend on."

Subsequent tranches of funds were later disbursed to families in instalments of $500, and counsellors worked with them to identify needs that they should spend on.

Hard questions should also be asked with empathy. The poor experience high stress that taxes their ability to plan, says Associate Professor Irene Ng of the National University of Singapore Department of Social Work, which can explain why they cave in more easily to negative coping strategies like smoking or drinking.

A natural desire for their children to fit in among peers could also fuel parents' decisions to splash out on items such as branded school bags - irrational though this may appear, says Mr Alfred Tan, chief executive of Singapore Children's Society.

Says Prof Ng: "It is easy for us to judge the low-income as wasteful when they make such decisions, but all of us make sub-optimal decisions once in a while, splurging on something we shouldn't, such as a car or a branded handbag. Unfortunately, for the poor, the consequences are more dire."

Why the poor are poor: Barriers, bad choices and bad luck
By Hariz Baharudin and Yuen Sin, The Sunday Times, 1 Jul 2018

A donated table serves as the dining area, storage space and study table for Mr Alex Chong Chun Hwa's family. Right at its foot are the thin mattresses that he, his wife and two children aged six and seven sleep on.

The 44-year-old cleaner says the cramped conditions in the one-room rental flat, where the family has lived for eight years, make life difficult.

As his epileptic wife cannot work, Mr Chong is the sole breadwinner and earns a monthly keep of $1,300.

It is hard to make ends meet, he says. They have accumulated rent and utilities arrears of nearly $600. Brief respite comes in the form of cigarettes, which he spends $100 a month on.

Teasing out why people like Mr Chong are poor - and remain poor - is at best a fraught and incomplete process, but in interviews The Sunday Times did with seven families living in rental flats, some reasons emerge.

Their experiences suggest that a combination of institutionalised barriers, dubious choices and sheer bad luck all contribute to a family's deepening into poverty.

There has been heated discussion on the subject, with the publication of various pieces in The Straits Times. In separate commentaries, veteran social worker Sudha Nair wrote of the need to ask hard questions of poor families, many of whom make poor choices, while Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman said Singapore's system has generally helped put them back on their feet. Self-reliance, he said, is key.

Both were responding to sociologist Teo You Yenn, who wrote in her book This Is What Inequality Looks Like that structural barriers have disadvantaged such families. A forum letter, signed by 44 social workers and practitioners, called for an acknowledgement of impediments in areas ranging from housing to healthcare support services.

In interviews with The Sunday Times, families who live in rental flats in areas such as Geylang and Redhill outline the structural impediments they run into.

The lack of space in rental flats makes family life tough, says Mr Chong. Watching television programmes is his only way of destressing after work, but the unavailability of space means that his daughter has to study in the same room.

"When I want to relax and unwind after a long day of work in front of the television, my daughter ends up being distracted and wants to watch TV as well. It's not very conducive," he says in Mandarin. He worries that her education - widely seen as a social uplifter - will be affected.

Housewife June Tholasiammal, 50, lives in a two-room rental flat and frets about medical costs. She suffers from cancer and asthma and is anaemic; her husband has a long-term medical condition too. Their combined medical fees exceed $1,000 a month and can be higher if she is hospitalised, which happened four times last year. Both their Medisave accounts are depleted.

Her condition does not allow her to work, and the family depends on her husband's $1,800 salary as a security officer. They also have help - a monthly handout of about $700 from the Social Service Office.

But after setting aside money for medical bills, rent, groceries and expenses for their two teenage girls, there is little left for long-term plans.

Any excess is used to to buy things like trinkets or beauty products for either her 15-year-old or her 19-year-old. "It's so hard for me to give to both children, I have to take turns," says Madam June. "This month, maybe I buy one of them something she likes, and the next month is the other's turn."

Some say that bad choices can cause people to sink further into poverty - Madam June says relatives have told her to stop spending on her daughters.

Mr Chong's avoidance in paying his utility and rental bills is also what most would consider to be a bad decision - which could eventually lead to eviction. Some have questioned his choice to spend on cigarettes too, but Mr Chong says it is his only coping mechanism for the pressure of providing for his family.

Ms Rosilah Hamid, who is divorced, acknowledges that some decisions appear to be bad. But probe deeper and there are valid reasons even if not all agrees, says the 35-year-old.

The mother of two daughters, aged 10 and 13, now works a full-time job as a welfare officer, bringing back less than $2,000. But she says many judged her for working ad-hoc or part-time jobs in the past when her children were younger.

"People asked me why I did not just work full-time back then. But I could not because then, who would look after my kids? It's easy for people to say, but I had no one who could care for them."

She eschewed childcare services - which could cost under $100 a month after subsidies - because all the centres in her neighbourhood then were full. Ms Rosilah did not want to send her daughters to a farther location, as it would be difficult to pick them up on a daily basis.

Factors beyond their control play a role in how the lives of the poor pan out too. These include medical issues like those that plague Madam June's and Mr Chong's families, and divorce as in the case of Ms Rosilah.

Says National University of Singapore sociologist Tan Ern Ser: "We should also recognise there are other causes of poverty that are not within the control of the people in poverty like misfortune, bad luck, illnesses, job loss."

Ms Carrie Tan, executive director of charity Daughters Of Tomorrow, calls for the Government, social service agencies and community groups to work with the poor to come up with strategies such as financial literacy programmes and projects to get them back on their feet. "This can help them recover their sense of dignity, capacity and agency in life."

Multiple layers of assistance, says MSF
By Seow Bei Yi, The Sunday Times, 1 Jul 2018

There are "multiple layers of assistance" for low-income Singaporeans, in areas including education, healthcare, housing, employment and retirement adequacy, says the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).

"Broad-based subsidies are available for all, and at the same time, we target more help for those who need it the most," said a spokesman in response to queries from The Sunday Times. "A network of community agencies and partners also support the vulnerable in different areas of need."

Chief among its suite of programmes is ComCare, which disbursed $130 million to about 83,000 beneficiaries in the financial year of 2016. Besides cash, it may also help cover utilities, service and conservancy charges, medical needs and rental fees.

"MSF's Social Service Offices work with the families to address other issues they may be facing, to enable these families to stabilise and where possible, get back on their own feet," said the spokesman.

Here are some of the schemes:


• Mothers working at least 56 hours a month - two to three hours per day - can get a basic subsidy of $300 a month. This is for all Singaporean children. Lower-income and larger families receive more.

• Non-working mothers can get a basic subsidy of $150 per month and those in "extenuating circumstances", such as non-working mothers who have been retrenched, are on course, ill or unfit for work, can apply for extra support.

• From 2012 to 2017, those who received such "means-tested childcare and kindergarten subsidies" doubled to about 45,000 children.


• For individuals unable to work due to old age, illness or disability, have limited or no means of income, and have little or no family support.

• The cash grant, one of several forms of help, ranges from $500 a month for a one-person household to $1,450 for a four-person household.

• $21.34 million disbursed in the 2016 financial year, benefiting 4,387 households and 4,788 individuals.


• Fee subsidies for children aged between seven and 14 years from low-income families to attend student care centres while their parents are at work.

• Depending on the household income, the subsidy goes up to 98 per cent of student care centre fees - a maximum subsidy of $285. Monthly fees for most of these centres range from $260 to $290.

• $22.22 million disbursed in the 2016 financial year, benefiting 10,170 children.


• Helps families with at least one child below the age of 16 who live in public rental flats to buy a two-room Flexi Flat. The grant is $35,000 for a 60-or 65-year lease, and will be adjusted downwards for flats with shorter leases.

• At least one of the applicants must have been in stable employment for the previous 12 months and the average gross monthly household income should not exceed $6,000. Families also need to be assessed by the MSF.

• Over 30 families have successfully applied for a flat under the scheme, said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong last year.

No need for poor families to keep up with the Joneses

Is being deprived of easy access to tuition and enrichment classes such a crippling disadvantage for students from low-income families? (No-win choices for the poor when resources are limited, by Mr Kevin See Yao Hui; July 5)

Are there not more resourceful and economical ways to help them develop their talents vis-a-vis their arguably stressed-out counterparts from mollycoddled backgrounds?

Nothing ought to repulse Singaporeans more than anecdotes of low-income families who spend their social hand-outs on premium electronic gadgets and TV/broadband packages to keep up with the Joneses, when some of their better-off fellow citizens have no issues living with basic forms of entertainment such as free-to-air TV (Social workers also tackle structural conditions that lead to poverty, by Dr Ng Kok Hoe; June 27).

Ditto those "bleeding-heart" social workers/sociologists who appear to be in their element painting low-income families as victims of the system, and inadvertently reinforcing the already "crutch" mentality inherent in some.

There is no such thing as comprehensive equality in this world, even as we strive to address the inequalities and injustices wrought by human prejudices.

Since time immemorial, one's survival strategies - including overcoming one's perceived comparative disadvantage - is, to some extent, a function of one's resources.

Rich or poor, we all have to learn to live within our means.

It is more so if one is reliant on social assistance.

Self-reliance must remain the underlying principle of Singapore's social safety net to maintain a modicum of individual discipline and responsibility in this country.

Banish that, and some of the worst excesses of human nature will come to the fore, as seen to some extent in the abuses of our well-intentioned universal healthcare insurance system.

In fact, with resources set to become more contestable, it is imperative for the authorities to allocate these wisely, according to a clear set of priorities - regardless of race or religion.

Toh Cheng Seong
ST Forum, 7 Jul 2018

This is what helping families looks like

Differentiate between relative and absolute poverty to fight inequality

Project 4650 - Interim Rental Housing

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