Cheque presentation ceremony to Singapore self-help groups

To commemorate the 11th anniversary of Dr. Goh Keng Swee’s passing (14 May 2010), the Goh Keng Swee Foundation is donating $200,000 each to the Self-Help Groups of Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), Yayasan MENDAKI (Council for the Development of Singapore Malay/Muslim Community), The Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) and $50,000 to the Eurasian Association (EA). The total amount donated was $650,000.

Dr. Goh Keng Swee was Finance Minister, Defence Minister, Education Minister, and Deputy Prime Minister in his 25 years in politics. He dedicated most of his life to building and modernising Singapore so that everyone in Singapore can have a better standard of living in a safer environment.

Though he had passed on for 11 years, the works Dr. Goh had pioneered in many sectors live on to benefit the community, such as the Jurong Industrial Town (JTC), National Service (NS) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Temasek Holdings, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS), the Bird Park, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO), and the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), and the list goes on.

Dr. Goh was well known for his approach to starting a project with an idea, assessing the needs, and then architecting an executable plan. In the same spirit, the Foundation’s directors have mirrored Dr. Goh’s approach in their decision to donate to needy students from different communities in Singapore.

“Besides education, the other main non-economic factor which affects economic growth is the opportunity which a society affords to those with talent, ability, and skills to rise to the position for which they are best fitted…” – The Economics of Modernisation, 1972, by Dr Goh Keng Swee

“One of the objectives of the Goh Keng Swee Foundation is to continue in some small way Keng Swee’s aspiration to improve the lot of the less privileged and the needy in society. Throughout his tenure in political office, Keng Swee had a firm conviction that education is the only way to uplift the quality of life for these people. In keeping with his conviction and against the backdrop of the financial hardships brought about by the prevailing pandemic, there is no better way to commemorate his 11th Death Anniversary than through these small donations.” said Mrs. Goh Keng Swee.

At the cheque presentation ceremony on last Sunday (9 May), Mr. Wong Kok Hoi, Director of the Goh Keng Swee Foundation, said, “the Foundation is delighted to provide financial aid to support needy students from the four communities in Singapore. I have no doubt Dr. Goh, wherever he is, would still be pleased and proud of our decision to make the donations, even though it pales in comparison with the colossal and brilliant contributions he made to Singapore. We do it with our hearts, while Dr. Goh did it not only with his heart, but also his vision, foresight, brilliance, and tenacity.”

The Goh Keng Swee Foundation was set up by Mrs. Goh thirteen years ago in 2008 and has provided support to various groups in need. However, as Mrs. Goh and two other directors are getting on in years, the Board has decided to bring it to a close in due time.

Words of appreciation from self-help groups receiving the donation

“SINDA deeply appreciates this generous bequest by the Goh Keng Swee Foundation. It pays tribute to Dr Goh’s pioneering work in building an inclusive and meritocratic society – one where Singaporeans have equal access to opportunities and can lead fulfilling lives. It also reflects the collective spirit that must shape a better and stronger Singapore society, where we continue to support the less advantaged and build shared aspirations.” Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Chairman, SINDA Board of Trustees
Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies

“Our deepest appreciation to the Goh Keng Swee Foundation for this generous gift. The late Dr Goh had played a key role in the development of Singapore’s education system. This generous gift will definitely support our efforts to assist more deserving students in their learning and development. We thank the foundation for supporting MENDAKI and the self-help groups in our cause.” Mdm Zuraidah Abdullah, CEO, MENDAKI

“We are honoured to receive the donation from the Goh Keng Swee Foundation. The late Dr Goh Keng Swee was one of our nation’s founding fathers who is remembered for his instrumental role in developing Singapore into a prosperous nation.  The Foundation’s generous donation will help to uplift the needy families and improve social mobility.  We wholeheartedly appreciate the Foundation’s support for CDAC and the other Self-Help Groups.” Mr Pok Cheng Chong, Executive Director, CDAC

“Thank you Dr Goh Keng Swee Foundation for your great generosity! The Eurasian Association greatly appreciates your donation, and your dedication to empower the Self-Help Groups to assist the underprivileged in Singapore. This donation will be used to further the EA’s mission, which brings “last mile” support to at-risk families and disadvantaged school children within the Eurasian community: EA’s Family Support Services seeks to bring dignity and hope to families facing challenges, while EA’s Educational programmes intends to give students the opportunity to soar. This is very much in line with Dr. Goh’s own principles: don’t just alleviate poverty, create prosperity, which he advocated in his book “The Economics of Modernisation.” Dr. Alexius Pereira, President, The Eurasian Association, Singapore


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