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Welfare Development in Singapore. History of Singapore. Colonial Period. Self-governing, Merge ? Split with Malaya. Independence (1965). The Context. From colonial: free-market & administrative system Ideological: Confucianism (Orientalism) PAP’s leftism

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Welfare Development in Singapore

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Welfare development in singapore

Welfare Development in Singapore

Welfare development in singapore

History of Singapore

Colonial Period

Self-governing, Merge ?

Split with Malaya

Independence (1965)

The context

The Context

  • From colonial: free-market &

    administrative system

  • Ideological: Confucianism (Orientalism)

    PAP’s leftism

  • Societal: Multi-racial

    & potential tension

  • Political: conflict

    with Malaysia &


Welfare development in singapore

A multi-cultural society

Nation building project

Nation Building Project

A Long-term strategy to build the nation and to react to its

fundamental nature.

Our community lacks in-built reflexes…

our society and its education system was

never designed to produce a people

capable of cohesive action, identifying

their collective interests and then acting

in furtherance of them ….

The reflexes of group thinking must be

built to ensure the survival of the

community, not the individual ….

Lee Kuan-yew, 1966

Welfare development in singapore

In a similar manner….

We are a complex, multi-racial

community with little sense of

common history, with a group

purpose which is yet to be properly

articulated. We are in the process

of rapid transition towards a

destiny which we do not yet know….

Goh Keng Swee

Finance Minister

Minister of Interior and Defence


Emphasis of the project

Emphasis of the Project

  • Economic: free market-based capitalism

  • Political: central planning, authoritarianism

  • Ideology: national unity and collectivism

    Welfare policy serving all three emphasis

Characteristics of welfare structure

Characteristics of Welfare Structure

  • High level of service provision regulated by state

  • Central planning

  • Private Insurance Model

    (you get what you contribute…..)

  • Pro-family ideologies

  • Promote national unity, social stability, sense of belonging

    Liberal Welfare State

Central provident fund

Central Provident Fund

  • Contributory Scheme by Employer & Employees

  • From 1955

  • Funded for retirement initially, but gradually extended to housing, medical,investment etc.

  • Accounts: Ordinary, Special, Medisave (MediShield)

  • Guarantee Interest Rate

Housing development board

Housing Development Board

  • Private ownership of public provided housing

  • Dominant control of housing supply

  • Established in 1960

  • Home ownership from 1964

  • Down payment & mortgage paid by CPF saving

Social welfare services

Social Welfare Services

  • Personal pathology approach

  • Pro-family approach

  • Minimal Public Assistance


  • Small Family Improvement

    Improvement Scheme

  • Community Development



  • High home ownership rates

  • High standard of services without too much state investment

  • Personal contributory retirement payment

  • Social stability

  • Created national solidarity

Current problems

Current problems

  • the loopholes in CPF

  • potential risks of home ownership

  • weakening family ties

  • political discontent

  • potential social conflicts (ethnic, class)

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