The Government on its 1 February Gazette announced that in exercise of the powers conferred by section 10 of the Destitute Persons Act, the Minister for Social and Family Development (MSF) has appointed members of a Review Committee in respect of each of the Welfare Homes in Singapore, for a period of 2 years starting from 1 February 2017.
A destitute persons is any person found begging in a public place and causing annoyance to persons frequenting the place, or any idle person found in a public place, whether or not he is begging, who has no address or is unable to give a satisfactory account of him/herself.
The members of the appointed Review Committee are:
- Mr Azman Bin Anuar
- Prof Balram Chowbay
- Dr George Soh Yi-Wei
- Ms Chew Mei Mei Melissa
- Mdm Jennie Yeo Kha Keaw
- Ms Rebecca Chong
Welfare home refers to any institution taking care of the reception, care and rehabilitation of destitute persons. The Welfare Homes in Singapore are:
- Gift of Love Home
- Acacia Home
- Bukit Batok Home for the Aged
- Christalite Methodist Home
- Jamiyah Home for the Aged
- Moral Welfare Home
- Angsana Home at Pelangi Village
- Banyan Home at Pelangi Village
- Jenaris Home at Pelangi Village
- Meranti Home at Pelangi Village
- Tembusu Home at Pelangi Village
- Thuja Home at Pelangi Village.
Public officers acting under the direction of the Director of Social Welfare or police officers may take in his charge any destitute person and deliver him to the custody of the Director.
If the Director has reasonable cause to believe that the person has no visible means of subsistence, he may arrange for that person to be temporarily admitted into a welfare home until an inquiry, to be held within a period of 30 days, has been done.
After the inquiry, if the Director is convinced that the person is a destitute one according to the Destitute Persons Act, he may require that person to reside in a welfare home. Any destitute person could also voluntarily seeks admission into a welfare home.
Any person admitted to a welfare home, either on his own application or otherwise, may be discharged by the Director – conditionally or unconditionally – on the advice of the Review Committee.
Any person acting as a habitual beggar shall be guilty of an offense and could be fined up to $3,000 or jailed for a term up to two years.