Lunch With Sumiko: To solve a problem, build trust and relationships first, says Desmond Lee

Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee is a strong believer in creating a culture of collaboration

Lawyer Desmond Lee entered Parliament in 2011 and joined the frontbench two years later. His priority when he moved to be Minister for Social and Family Development in 2017 was to strengthen social safety nets.
Lawyer Desmond Lee entered Parliament in 2011 and joined the frontbench two years later. His priority when he moved to be Minister for Social and Family Development in 2017 was to strengthen social safety nets.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Lawyer Desmond Lee entered Parliament in 2011 and joined the frontbench two years later. His priority when he moved to be Minister for Social and Family Development in 2017 was to strengthen social safety nets.
Mr Desmond Lee, seen here in 1983 when he was seven, has loved nature from a young age. He vividly remembers the marine life he saw at Changi beach during family holidays at chalets in Changi. PHOTO: COURTESY OF DESMOND LEE

Midway through lunch with Desmond Lee, I ask him what he feels about naysayers who think the Government isn't doing enough to help the poor.

Like, you know, people who post photographs of old folk collecting cardboard to sell.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 20, 2019, with the headline 'To solve a problem, build trust and relationships first'. Print Edition | Subscribe