The Straits Times
Published on Oct 29, 2012

Race-based self-help groups still have important role, says PM Lee


Race-based self-help groups continue to play an important role in their communities, even as they increase the number of multiracial projects they do, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

He had been asked whether recent joint events between the self-help groups marked a blurring of the lines, and would mean that there would be no need for race-based groups in the future.

"I think there will always be a role for communities to bestir their members in order to help themselves," he said in a recent interview with the Malay media to mark the 30th anniversary of Malay self-help group Mendaki. The other three self-help groups here are the Eurasian Association, the Singapore Indian Development Association and the Chinese Development Assistance Council.

PM Lee used Mendaki as an example to highlight the value of retaining such groups. He said it works to help the community together with many Malay-Muslim organisations.