Three Malay/Muslim bodies lauded for helping community to progress
Key Malay organisations - Muis, Mendaki and Mesra - praised for collaborating to tackle challenges faced by community
Three key Malay organisations were lauded yesterday for the way their collaborative efforts have helped the community to punch well above its weight and progress.
The three - the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), self-help group Mendaki and the People's Association Malay Activity Executive Committees Council (Mesra) - are popularly known as M³.
Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli, in praising their work, said: "This strength from coming together puts them in an even better state to lead the community (amid) a very uncertain future.
"Therefore, M³ is a proposition by the Malay/Muslim community to the community at large that we are a community that can solve any problem that we face in future, because we have done well in the past and we have the strength and the ability to do so."
Mr Masagos, who is also Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, was speaking to reporters at Mendaki's annual post-National Day Rally policy forum, held at the Lifelong Learning Institute in Paya Lebar.
The M³ collaboration was highlighted by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the National Day Rally on Aug 19 when he noted their aim to combine resources and volunteers.
Mr Lee added that by joining hands with the Government, they can also help to tackle some of the challenges the community faces. These include getting more children to attend pre-school, empowering and mentoring youth, and supporting those left behind because of drugs or social problems.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and Health, Mr Amrin Amin, gave a presentation on the healthcare announcements Mr Lee had made at the Rally, including the Merdeka Generation package in which Singaporeans born in the 1950s will receive government aid for heir medical expenses.
Dr Mathew Mathews, senior research fellow of the Institute of Policy Studies, gave a presentation on social inequality.
He sketched several ways Singapore society can collectively increase opportunities for all, including making sure necessities are affordable and available to everyone, and increasing volunteerism.
The 60 community leaders, professionals and Malay/Muslim academics at the event also posed a range of questions to the three men during a panel discussion, which was moderated by fellow and associate editor at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Dr Mustafa Izzuddin.
These largely centred on topics like the rising cost of living, housing issues and how the youth can play a part in M³.