Dr Tan Cheng Bock: The only hope for needy S’poreans – not VWOs?


Dr Tan Cheng Bok and a united opposition is the only hope for hundreds of thousands of Singaporeans who are struggling every day to make ends meet! 

I refer to the article “7 opposition parties discuss forming a new coalition, invite former PAP MP Tan Cheng Bock to be leader” (Sunday Times, Jul 29).

It states that “Dr Tan, 78, who attended the meeting as an observer, said: “If you want me to lead, then we must think of (the) country first. If we go in, we must go in as a team.””

My friends said “this is a great initiative – it (Dr Tan Cheng Bok and a united opposition) is the only hope for the hundreds of thousands of Singaporeans who are struggling every day to make ends meet!”

In this connection, after writing “Long-term care: S’pore spends the least, pay the lowest, least transparent?” (Jul 27) – someone asked me a very interesting question – “do you think VWOs (Voluntary Welfare Organisations) are focusing too much on helping the needy, and neglecting the criticism of policies which are perpetuating the increasing numbers of needy Singaporeans and their problems?”

Part of my my answer to him was that I shall compile a list of policy issues (in just the last month (30 days)) that I hope, perhaps not just VWOs, but ordinary citizens will discuss more “openly” (not the usual closed-door) …

Social service: 1,800 programs, 24 offices, but “sob” stories galore?” (Jul 25)

Don’t give too much help to the poor?” (Jul 7)

Workfare: Self-employed $8 cash monthly?” (Jul 7)

Support have uplifted the majority of S’poreans: Really?” (Jul 4)

ST: ‘Sob’ stories that never ask the ‘obvious’?” (Jul 2)

Pay up $80 means HDB rental increase by $110?” (Jun 30)

Inequality: Caused by ‘inequality’ between foreigners & S’poreans?” (Jun 29)

GST Voucher: Less money to less people?” (Jun 28)

Majulah Singapura!

Leong Sze Hian


About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.