The following is a letter to the Straits Times forum by Gilbert Goh:
I REFER to Monday’s report, ‘CDAC training help for Chinese Singaporeans’. I was astonished to read that the Chinese Development Assistance Council has rolled out similar programmes as those by the Workforce Development Agency (WDA).
Government-sponsored Workplace Skills Qualification courses can also be obtained at WDA and its community development council (CDC) branches. Ms Irene Ng, an MP for Tampines GRC, brought up the issue of such duplication of services in Parliament last month.
Why are CDAC and other self-help groups (Mendaki and Sinda) duplicating resources here when they can do more to help retrenched workers? CDAC can perhaps channel more of its resources to Speak Mandarin programmes or conduct Mandarin courses free of charge for those who want to take up learning the language.
It could also network with more Chinese-owned companies and come up with overseas working opportunities for those who have been retrenched, or roll out support groups and networking activities for such people.
CDAC should streamline its activities and take up bold measures to help the retrenched in the Chinese community. The same goes for other community self-help groups. They would not be of much help if they copy programmes started by other government organisations.
It is when such associations think out of the box to help fellow Singaporeans that we can emerge stronger from this current crisis.