SINGAPORE - NTUC's social enterprises do not enjoy special privileges from the Government, they operate on market principles and compete for space and contracts like other commercial entities.
NTUC secretary-general and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing stressed this in a post on the labour movement's blog on Tuesday (June 21).
Dispelling the misconception, he said: "The truth of the matter here is that NTUC's social enterprises operate on market principles and have to compete for Government spaces and contracts just like any other commercial enterprises.
"The difference here is the fact that as social enterprises, the majority of our earnings are reinvested to expand our services for the nation."
He also pointed out that the labour movement's social enterprises in the market help ensure that its commercial competitors rein in their prices.
"We are happy that our competitors try to match our prices and sometimes even beat us at it. This ultimately benefits all Singaporeans," wrote Mr Chan, adding that the presence of these enterprises help "moderate the excesses and extremes of a pure capitalist system".
NTUC's social enterprises include its grocery chain FairPrice, insurance provider Income, and its Foodfare foodcourts among others.
In his post, Mr Chan wrote also that these social enterprises have grown and now provide services that are affordable and accessible to all Singaporeans.
But he added that NTUC could not rest on its laurels - it needed to continually innovate to meet the future needs of Singaporeans.
"Today, healthcare, eldercare, childcare and student care services are just some of the emerging concerns faced by the new generation of Singaporeans. NTUC will certainly be carefully looking into further developing our existing services and scaling our operations accordingly to make them accessible to more people in Singapore," he wrote.