Stakeholders Series | Strategies to tackle inequality and ensure social mobility for Singaporeans

Updated: Sep 15

By Jane Wong

From the debate sparked off by the CNA documentary about Singapore’s class divide titled ‘Regardless of Class’ featuring Dr. Janil Puthucheary, to the book ‘This is What Inequality Looks Like’ by sociologist Teo You Yenn, inequality seems to be a hot button issue in Singapore. Critics are aplenty, from alternative media to outspoken activists, but it is tough to arrive at a legitimate solution for an issue this complex.

In a speech at the recent NUS Social Service Research Centre Conference, Second Minister for Education and Finance Indranee Rajah set out the 4G leadership team's vision in tackling inequality and ensuring social mobility for Singaporeans. An important issue, no doubt, and one that could potentially change lives.

To spare you from having to read the full speech, here are the five important takeaways from Minister Indranee’s speech.

1. Strengthening support for the disadvantaged, and building opportunities for all

The 4G leaders will adopt a two-fold approach to tackle inequality and maintain social mobility.

Firstly, there will be more support for the less fortunate in Singapore.

Secondly, the 4G leaders hope to build a society of opportunities for all – at every stage of life. I really like what she’d said here, “Singapore must always be a society of opportunities for all, throughout life, where everyone can progress irrespective of starting point; where all Singaporeans will have equal chance to seek better lives - to meet their aspirations and find happiness - regardless of background.”

2. Enabling meritocracy that uplifts the bottom and not to cap the top

Instead of holding back those who can achieve more so that we can equalize outcomes for everyone, the Government will bridge the shortfalls and narrow the gaps in society so that all Singaporeans can progress together.