Study's finding that Malay/Muslim community retains hope "important": Dr Yaacob

A study into the concerns and aspirations of the Malay and Muslim communities has found that a broad-cross section among them retain "a sense of hope" in bettering their lives.

This is an important finding, said Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim, noting that the aspiration is one shared by all Singaporeans.

"I think that's a very important signal to us that even the people at the bottom have a sense of hope that they can do better than the previous generation," he said on Sunday.

Dr Yaacob was speaking as Suara Musyawarah - an independent panel formed last October to gather feedback from the communities - presented him the concluded nine-month study. It will only be made public tomorrow.

He praised the 13-member panel chaired by Sallim Abdul Kadir, head of human capital at telecommunications firm Consistel, for seeking out views from a broad cross-section of people, including "people whose voices we have never heard before."

Dr Yaacob cited its meetings with more than 500 people such as taxi drivers, single mothers and those living in rental flats.

The next step, he said, is to continue hearing their views before thinking of how to implement some of the study's ideas.