Coping with inflation – some free stuff

Leong Sze Hian

I spoke on “Inflation : Issues and Implications”, at a free public forum, on 24 May 2008, organised jointly by MARUAH (Singapore Working Committee for the ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism), TWC2 (Transient Workers Count Too), the Society of Financial Service Professionals, and a group of NTU students.

As I read the Straits Times on the morning of the free public forum (which was in the afternoon), I came across the article “Up : Govt raises inflation forecast for this year consumer price index at high of 7.5% last month ; full-year outlook now 5% 6%”. (Straits Times)

In this connection, I was rather amused when I read former Permanent Secretary, Mr Ngiam Tong Dow’s remarks “a committee tasked to look into inflation in the 1980s was “a public relations exercise”. As the Government, we must be seen to be doing something” (“Govts can tackle rising prices using policy tools“, Straits Times, May 23).

The acting Minister for Manpower, Mr Gan Kim Yong said recently, that raising wages was not the solution to cope with rising inflation. (Channel NewsAsia)

Singapore’s economic competitiveness has to be maintained.

The National Wage Council’s (NWC) report also emphasised the importance of productivity gains, with national productivity at -0.9 last year.

It also called for private sector employers to try to pay a once-off bonus to their lower-income employees, to help Singaporeans cope with rising inflation.

There have also been media reports that workers may not get enough wage increases, to cope with rising inflation. Such as “Pay rises unlikely : Rising business costs affecting employers’ ability to pay more” (Today, May 23), “Salary hike won’t keep pace with inflation : Hay survey Most S’pore employers plan to maintain only same percentage hike as the previous year” (My Paper, May 20).

I was also struck by NTUC Secretary-General, Minister Lim Swee Say’s recent remarks that we need to educate Singaporeans on how to cope with rising inflation.

So, it got me thinking what else can an ordinary Singaporean like me do to help Singaporeans cope with rising inflation ?

Well, the first thing that came to my mind was where can I get free things (kiasu Singaporean me !) ?

So, I would like to devote my column for this Monday’s Uniquely Singapore on The Online Citizen (TOC) to consolidate a list of free things in Singapore and to call upon my fellow citizens, to contribute to this list.

I hope that TOC will consider and explore the possibility of having this listing as a regular feature on TOC, like its “The relentless rising cost of living”.

Some of the information may be out-of-date, inaccurate, need more details, etc. Please help us to update the information.

Fellow Singaporeans, what do your think ? Your views, suggestions, comments, criticism, would be much appreciated.

Editor’s note: Please do let us know if you know of any free services or products in Singapore. We will include them in the list for everyone’s reference.

Cartoon courtesy of My Sketchbook.


Free Housing

I understand that there are homeless shelters in Singapore

Call the ComCare Hotline 1800 2220000

(Note : This is also the hotline for those needing financial assistance or job search assistance)

Free Legal Help

Community Legal Clinic

4 nights a week

Call 65360650 to sign up for free legal advice

Catholic lawyers free legal clinic for needy

4th Monday each month Church of the Holy Trinity

2nd Monday each month Church of the Risen Christ

Free Shuttle Buses

Concourse to City Hall MRT to Millenia/Suntec

20 minutes interval, except Sundays, Public Holidays

7.45am to 5.20pm


Daily free shuttle from Tampines MRT, Bedok MRT, Pasir Ris MRT, to IKEA Tampines

30 minutes interval

9.30am to 11.15pm

Other places

Buona Vista MRT/Biopolis/NUH/Holland Village/Ghim Moh Market)

(various times depending on route)

7.30 am to 7.30 pm Monday to Friday

7.30am am to 1.30 am Saturday

IMM to Jurong East, Clementi and Boon Lay

Daily 10.30 am to 9 pm (half hourly)

Free Clinics

Singapore Buddhist Free Clinic

($ 1 per person each visit waived for Buddhist monks and nuns, elderly age 60 and above, persons who are receiving welfare or financial aid, or granted waiver by SBFC)

Head Office Address

48 Lorong 23 Geylang

Singapore 388376

Tel: 67487292

Fax: 67487239

Office Hours:

8 am 112 noon

1.30 pm 4.30 pm,

7 pm 9 pm

Tanjong Pagar Address

44 Craig Road S 089682

Tel: 62216652

Fax: 62211805

Office Hours:

8 am 10 am

1 pm 3 pm

Redhill Branch Address

Blk 131 Clarence Lane

#01-20, S 140131

Tel: 64736638

Fax: 64731336

Office Hours

8 am 10 am

7 pm 9 pm

Ang Mo Kio Branch Address

Blk 348 Ang Mo Kio St 31

#01-2096 S 560348

Tel: 64539466

Fax: 65524416

Office Hours

8 am 10 am, 7 pm 9 pm

Jurong Branch Address

Blk 320 Jurong East Ave 1

Str 31, #01-74, S 600320

Tel: 65630063

Fax: 65631524

Office Hours

8 am 10 am

7 pm 9 pm

Rehabilitation Centre Address

Blk 77 Indus Rd, #01-519

S 160077

Tel: 62727711

Fax: 62729611

Office Hours

8 am 11.30 am

1 pm 4 pm

Chung Hwa Free Clinc ($ 2 per visit)

Lor 4 Toa Payoh,

S 319522


Blk 215, Yishun Street 21

#01-301, S 760215


Blk 679 Woodlands Ave 6,


S 730679


2 Simei St 3

#L1 – 01

S 298889

(Days/times vary 9 am to as late as 9 pm

Moral Free Clinc

Jalan Bilai (every Sunday)

Kwan-In Welfare Free Clinic

Jalan Eunos, S 419496

Realm of Tranquility

Mobile Free Clinic Service at Sembawang GRC

7 pm to 9 pm

Admiralty Ace the place CC (every 1st Sat)

Canberra Jeluntung CC (every 1st Wed)

Marsiling Fuchun CC (every 2nd Wed)

Woodlands Woodlands CC (every 3rd Wed)

Sembawang (every 3rd Sat)

Kheng Chin Loke Tin Kee Home for the Aged

(every last Sun, 10 am to 1 pm)

Note : registration fee $ 2, medicine additional charge free for 60

years and above, physically disabled, public assistance recipients.

The Public Free Clinic

Blk 245 Tampines Str 21


S 520245

Monday to Saturday: 8 am – 11.30 am, 1 pm – 5 pm, 7.30 pm 9 pm

Mobile Clinic at Blk 105: 7 pm to 9 pm, every Friday


Centre of Integrated Medicine

(CIMed Community Service)

Free Clinics on Thursdays

(quote from web site, “if for any reason you cannot afford any therapeutical help, we will offer our professional Naturopathic consultation for free”)

Free Food

Food from the Heart

Provides food for needy individuals and families.

(Quote from their web site, “Beneficiaries are chosen through the school and Resident Committee networks that were requested to provide details of families who needed support ….. the average per capita income in the households participating is between $ 0 $ 200”).

Central Sikh Gurdwara

Lunch everyday

Jalan Bukit Merah

Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society Meal Centres

Toa Payoh

Blk 31 #01-663 Lor 5

Toa Payoh, S 310031

Telok Blangah

Blk 3, #01-504

Telok Blangah Cres, S 090003


Blk 90, #01-103

Pipit Road, S 370090

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Everyday 12.30 pm to 6.30 pm

South Bridge Road

Singapore 058840

(Note : I have seen people packing food to bring home)

Everyday-Singapore Buddhist Lodge

Kim Yam Road (Temple)

The Care Corner Seniors Activity Centre

Breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, for elderly citizens

Blk 5, Toa Payoh Lor 7

#01-131, S 310005

Nativity Church (Catholic)

Everyday breakfast and lunch

Hougang, end of Upper Serangoon Road

Free Activities

Free musical performance

Esplanade normally on every Friday and Saturday evening (from around 7.30 pm), and last Tuesday of every month at 12.45 pm 1.15 pm (Esplanade Concert Hall)


Free Every Monday for senior citizens above 60

Asian Civilisations Museum

Memories at Old Ford Factory

National Museum

Peranakan Museum

Singapore Art Museum

Singapore Philatelic Museum

Fu Tak Chi Museum

Open: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

Admission: Free

Haw Par Villa

Open: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Admission: Free

Orchidville Singapore

Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ;

Sunday and public holidays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Marina City Park, East Coast Park

Open: 24 hours

Admission: Free


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