Community groups can work together to better help those in need: Tan Chuan-Jin

Minister Tan Chuan-Jin with a parrot during a visit to meet residents who are members of the Parrots Interest Group.
Minister Tan Chuan-Jin with a parrot during a visit to meet residents who are members of the Parrots Interest Group. ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
Minister Tan Chuan-Jin (second from left) activating the Micro-Bit Automated water system for the community garden by using a Bluetooth wireless communication device to activate the Micro:Bit Automated Water.
Minister Tan Chuan-Jin (second from left) activating the Micro-Bit Automated water system for the community garden by using a Bluetooth wireless communication device to activate the Micro:Bit Automated Water.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
Minister Tan Chuan-Jin (in blue) talking to a resident during his visit to the Toa Payoh East-Novena ward in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.
Minister Tan Chuan-Jin (in blue) talking to a resident during his visit to the Toa Payoh East-Novena ward in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC. ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

SINGAPORE - Community groups must work with one another to ensure better use of resources to help the down and out, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin said on Sunday (March 26).

This is to avoid duplicating services for the needy and to ensure that their time is used more efficiently.

Currently, some groups are reluctant to share information with one another as they may not know the other side's approach, he said.

He encouraged MPs to get different groups together so they can build rapport: "There's actually a lot of resources on the ground, and when they begin to know each other better, they'll see themselves working together as a team."

Mr Tan was speaking to reporters after his ministerial community visit to Toa Payoh East-Novena ward in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.

He cited how different groups, like from a church, mosque or voluntary welfare organisation, may run their own meal delivery programmes for the needy. One way they could work together is to split up the delivery days among themselves, he suggested.

But, he added, that such groups have come a long way. "In the past, you would see an issue being ding-donged from one group to another. But now you see them taking the lead, talking to one another," he said.

"Nobody feels bad about it because they think, 'I know them, they are not trying to show us up.'"

He said the Government can help to provide training, organise groups and collate feedback.

But cooperation from all stakeholders is critical because the Government can only do so much, he said. "Ground-up initiatives complements government schemes, are targeted and allow people to play a part... It takes a whole kampung to make a difference."