Aid education, research with inheritance funds

Singaporeans have built a great nation, which has attracted wealthier new citizens, who have, in turn, caused anxieties over the widening wealth gap.

The nation's good governance, infrastructure and stable society have also attracted vast investments, which have led to inflation.

New investments and wealth migration into the nation would be better received by Singaporeans if their benefits could be felt by society.

By playing to Singapore's advantage of being a financial centre in Asia with a highly respected legal system, we offer a unique service.

The inherent fear among the wealthy is to have that wealth squandered by later generations.

The age-old practice of passing on a mixed bag of assets and cash can be refined into an inheritance fund incorporated in Singapore, which will attract tax incentives for providing a fixed percentage of its annual revenues as scholarships and bursaries for Singaporeans.

Further tax deductions can also be extended for having a fixed percentage of its revenue spent on research and development (R&D).

Singapore could provide access to top global fund managers while ensuring the integrity of the fund through a governance code helmed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and supported by a highly respectable legal system.

Singapore can incorporate more attractive options by having a model wherein the beneficiaries of the fund would be limited to the current number of dependants.

Beneficiaries who have more than one dependant would have to establish a new fund to provide for other dependants.

This will ensure that even if one fund falls into dispute or financial difficulties, only one member of the family is affected.

The beneficiaries would need to nominate and agree on the fund managers, hence instituting a channel for the family units to stay connected through the fund.

This strategy would create incentives for the wealthy to donate more actively and connect to Singaporeans as a whole.

Singaporeans could also grasp opportunities to become investment managers for the funds.

The tax incentives would also create a more caring society, and reduce government subsidies for education.

Ong Lip Hua