The Straits Times

Households in South East District to benefit from $400,000 grant

09 Jul 2020

SINGAPORE - About 1,500 households in the South East District that have been hard hit by the Covid-19 situation will benefit from a donation of $350,000 by non-profit organisation Business China, and an additional $50,000 from South East Community Development Council (CDC).    

The four anonymous donors from Business China's network of Prominent Business Leaders and companies, who have family and business operations in Singapore, have a strong connection to the local community, and decided to come forward with the cash donation of $350,000 to help families affected by the outbreak.

The funds will be disbursed to the South East CDC, which will set up a Covid-19 grant and top it up.

The South East CDC oversees around half a million residents in the Marine Parade group representation constituency (GRC), East Coast GRC, Fengshan single-member constituency (SMC), Mountbatten SMC and MacPherson SMC.

The grant aims to support around 1,000 to 1,500 households who do not qualify for government schemes, as well as bolster the needs of those who may require other forms of assistance on top of aid they have received.

Dr Maliki Osman, Mayor of the South East District, told reporters in a virtual briefing on Monday (June 8) that it will go to residents in "special circumstances", including households which may have fallen through the cracks of government schemes.

For instance, some middle-income earners may be "asset rich" and live in properties with an annual value of more than $21,000, which could disqualify them from certain schemes, but they may have had a loss of income or been retrenched from their jobs.

Other residents who received assistance but may also need other forms of non-financial aid, such as vouchers for groceries, will also be taken into consideration.

Local advisers and grassroots leaders will have flexibility in disbursing funds to residents, who will be identified through "various touch points - such as Social Service Offices and virtual Meet-the-People sessions".

"This will enable them to tailor the kind of assistance provided to each household based on their respective needs," he added.

Ms Tin Pei Ling, the chief executive officer of Business China, and MP for MacPherson SMC said a number of the CDC's 500,000 residents live in some 7,000 rental units.

"Business China is glad to have rallied our network of prominent Chinese business leaders with strong connections to Singapore to contribute to South East CDC's effort in supporting residents and families who were profoundly impacted by the pandemic," she said.

She said the contribution demonstrated its solidarity with Singapore in the pandemic.