Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Spotlight on issue of giving back to society

Source Website: https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/spotlight-issue-giving-back-society
By Timothy Goh, The New Paper, 03 July 2019 at 06:00 am


Panel discussion on privilege in Singapore and giving back to society raises key issues
PHOTO: Panel discussion on privilege in Singapore and giving back to society raises key issues
(From left) Mr Han Fook Kwang, Mr Laurence Lien, Professor Paulin Straughan, Mr Goh Wei Leong and Ms T. Ranganayaki.
TNP PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Picture posted by Timothy Goh, The New Paper, 03 July 2019 at 06:00 am

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https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/spotlight-issue-giving-back-society



Could better work-life balance be the key to getting Singaporeans to give back to society? Why are the wealthy here not doing more to help the poor? And is Singapore a society where people live in their own "cocoons", sheltered from the realities of inequality?

These were among the key issues raised yesterday during a panel discussion organised by The Straits Times in partnership with the Singapore Kindness Movement, on the topic of privilege in Singapore and giving back to society.



A panel discussion was organised by The Straits Times in partnership with the Singapore Kindness Movement, on the topic of privilege in Singapore and giving back to society.
PHOTO: A panel discussion was organised by The Straits Times in partnership with the Singapore Kindness Movement, on the topic of privilege in Singapore and giving back to society.
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On the panel moderated by ST editor-at-large Han Fook Kwang were Singapore Management University professor of sociology (practice) Paulin Straughan, Beyond Social Services' deputy executive director T. Ranganayaki, Lien Foundation chairman Laurence Lien and HealthServe's co-founder and chairman Goh Wei Leong.

Mr Lien said that giving in Singapore has stagnated, and that the wealthy could do more. "I think the wealthy are not giving enough... If you look at the Forbes 50 list of Singaporeans, only one in five is known to have foundations (and) the amounts they are giving are not substantial," he said.



Mr Lien said that giving in Singapore has stagnated, and that the wealthy could do more.
PHOTO: Mr Lien said that giving in Singapore has stagnated, and that the wealthy could do more.
Picture is posted by Sakroots, The Sak Brand Group on 15 March 2019 - Giving Back: Spotlight on Wildlife Conservation Society.

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But it is not just the wealthy who should contribute, he noted, citing a falling donation rate in the Republic. Mr Lien said: "Giving needs to be part of the (national) DNA, so it's not just the wealthy who should be giving. If you don't give when you're poor, you won't give when you're rich."

He also rebutted the notion that the Republic's urban nature means it is not possible for Singaporeans to live in their own "cocoons".



The Republic's urban nature means it is not possible for Singaporeans to live in their own 'cocoons'.
PHOTO: The Republic's urban nature means it is not possible for Singaporeans to live in their own "cocoons". If you don't give when you're poor, you won't give when you're rich.
Picture posted by 𝓚𝓼𝓮𝓷𝓲𝔂𝓪 𝓦𝓪𝓰𝓷𝓮𝓻♥ ( @kseniyawagner ) - Angels Among Us

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"Just because you sometimes visit hawker centres and see old people cleaning up (doesn't mean) you know the stories they carry with them," he said.

Professor Straughan agreed. "The more dangerous levers of inequality are the ones behind closed doors... We don't see them, and therefore we assume that it's okay," she said, pointing to issues such as inter-generational transfers of poverty, or people overworking due to insufficient income.



The more dangerous levers of inequality are the ones behind closed doors...
PHOTO: "The more dangerous levers of inequality are the ones behind closed doors... We don't see them, and therefore we assume that it's okay." Professor Straughan on issues such as inter-generational transfers of poverty, or people overworking due to insufficient income.
Picture posted by Tatjana Vilisova

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She also highlighted the need for better work-life balance in getting Singaporeans to think about others.

"If you don't have sufficient time, you tend to be a lot more self-centred because you're always worried... but when we have that space and time to think, then we can start to do a lot more with our own contribution," she said.



If you don't have sufficient time, you tend to be a lot more self-centred because you're always worried...
Generosity Encouraged
Generosity Encouraged
PHOTO: Generosity Encouraged: "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).

"Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.
You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.
" (Psalm 128:1-4).

"Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done." (Proverbs 19:17).

Picture posted by GettysGirl441 on DeviantArt - As you pray unspoken words but yearnings of your emotional heart the energy of your call resonates throughout Heaven…….
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By Timothy Goh, The New Paper, 03 July 2019 at 06:00 am
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Reference
[1] Timothy Goh, The New Paper, Spotlight on issue of giving back to society, posted on 03 July 2019 at 06:00 am, https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/spotlight-issue-giving-back-society
 

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