Social Welfare Policy In Singapore

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Introduction After the Japanese surrendered in 1945, a state of anomy emerged in Singapore. The chaotic period saw a widespread of diseases, unemployment, shortage of housing and basic needs. In addition to the lives lost, both the poverty and instability drove the living conditions in Singapore to the extreme. However, it was in this calamity that sets the precedent to the varied range of Singapore's social welfare landscape (Ngiam, 2004). After responding to the immediate post war problems, the government was very cautious in its social welfare approach (Mehta & Wee, 2011). Until the post World War 2 period, minimal intervention was done in the social services sector. It was the scenes of post war devastation that allowed the colonial government…show more content…
However, Singapore was not keen on adopting Britain's welfare state due to its lack of natural resources and financial instability. This was further supported by Mr Lee Kuan Yew's visit to England. He and his counterparts had reservations regarding the welfare state. They expressed that the policy is not viable in the Singapore context especially when we lack natural resources, revenue and wealth to redistribute back to the society (Lee, 1998, p.130). As this situation illustrates, the principles of pragmatism, adaptability, and learning by doing approach in relation with the country's current economic and political changes guided Singapore's early development of social welfare. In addition, the author noted a trend where there was an emphasis on Abraham Maslow's (1970a) Hierarchy of Needs in prioritising the meeting of the different needs of the society. Years of Instability (1945…show more content…
By providing resources and budgets to improve human capital, it allows other sectors to play an active role in meeting the societal needs and also to develop a knowledge intensive economy (Ngiam & Ng, 2011). . Conclusion Singapore took on the pragmatic, adaptable and learning by doing approach to guide its early development of social welfare. With the usage of Abraham Maslow's (1970a) Hierarchy of Needs, the government was able to prioritise meeting the different needs of the society as turning into a welfare state was not a viable option. Over the years since independence, the government has gradually expanded its social policy to include wage subsidies for low-income workers, child care programmes, and work training. However, in order for Singaporeans to be self sustaining, education, enforced savings for retirement and other purposes, and housing remain the cornerstones of Singapore's social

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