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Singapore Social Policies (Governance)


Form of Good Governance Form of Poor Governance
The Graduate Mothers Scheme Principle: Direction

Encourages marriages and graduates to have more children – promote population growth. They had envisioned that more graduate mothers would have children that would perform better at schools and new generation workforce is more educated.

Principle: Lack of fairness

The less educated mothers who do not fall under the category of being the scheme are neglected, and the scheme also failed.

Three Or More If You Can Afford It Principle: Direction

Cautious approach for people to have children – not all are financially capable due to economic crisis.

Principle: Performance

There was limited success to this as the TFR did not increase significantly as hoped.

Pro-family Measures Principle: Direction and Voice

Encourage population growth through benefits to people.

–          Equalised medical benefits

–          5-Day work week for the civil service

–          Extended maternity week

–          Grandparent caregiver relief

Principle: Performance and responsiveness

Amount of work stays the same but work is crammed in 5 days. Thus they have to work more on weekdays. Because work has to be done at home, they have less time to spend on their families during the weekends.

Attracting Foreign Talent Principle: Performance

Represent 1% of the population.

Creates more jobs and the productivity improves.

Singapore faces stiff competition so foreign talents boost the quality of manpower

Principle: Direction

This is a short term solution and it can give rise to social conflicts.


Aspect Showing Good Governance Aspect Showing Poor Governance
Encouraging Home Ownership Principle: A Stake For Everyone, Opportunities For All

Financial security

Sense of pride and belonging

Strengthens sense of loyalty

1964: Home Ownership Scheme: CPF, savings, discount policies for lower income groups, flexible repayment of loan scheme

Contributes to economic, social and political stability

Most of the cash spent on housing, making people asset rich but cash poor

Since many already own homes, the aged may encounter problems selling off their bigger flats to downgrade to smaller ones to cash out of monies, hence, the scheme might work against the people

Promoting Social Cohesion In A Multi-Racial Society Principle: Direction,

Racial bonding

Bringing different races together by settling them in same housing estates or in same blocks
Sharing of common facilities

Shared activities

Leads to greater interaction between races

Principle: Performance

1980s: Certain housing estates had higher concentration of people of same race

Malays tended to move to Bedok and Tampines

Chinese preferred Hougang and Ang Mo Kio

Hindered social bonding


Aspect Showing Good Governance Aspect Showing Poor Governance
Healthcare from 1960s-1970s Principle: Direction

Provided basic healthcare for people

Infectious diseases such as TB were common and spread easily

Hospitals, clinics and outpatient dispensaries were built

All the people in Singapore asked to go for vaccination against disease

Medical officers and nurses sent to school to provide healthcare for students

Polyclinics built in 1970s and located conveniently in town centers

Medical check-ups for babies

Facilities in government hospitals and quality of healthcare improved

Government spent a fixed yearly budget on meeting the needs of people

Managing healthcare in the 1980s: Individual Principle: Fairness/ Voice and Accountability

Medisave 1984

A certain amount of money from the workers’ CPF contributions every month is channeled into Medisave accounts and this money can be used to pay hospital bills and certain medical treatment when needed

People encouraged to give feedback before this bill was passed in parliament

Newspapers published many articles to discuss on this scheme

Medisave extended for use to pay for certain medical treatments that are more expensive after receiving people’s feedback

People share costs of healthcare with government and helps to lighten the government’s burden

Becomes a shared responsibility

Medishield: long term treatment for more serious illnesses/ a national healthcare insurance scheme/ patients make claims from Medishield to pay for large medical bills which Medisave does not cover (e.g. dialysis)

Eldershield for people above 40 years old – disability cases

Principle: Performance

With Medisave, people would have to take care of themselves. Sometimes, the financial burden would be transferred to their children when a person cannot pay his hospital bills. Worst of all, what about the small percentage of people who cannot afford to pay for their hospital bills?

Not all Singaporeans make CPF contributions, so some do not have Medisave

Lack of leadership:

Some say that healthcare is the responsibility of the government to find ways of using taxpayer’s money to meet different objectives. Besides, smaller companies would find it hard to bear additional costs arising from Medisave.

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