Welcome Address by Mr Moses Lee, Chairman, Tote Board, for Tote Board’s 30th Anniversary Carnival on 10 Feb 2018 at 11am at The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay
Emeritus Senior Minister
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. Good morning and welcome to A Good Day Out, a Carnival specially dedicated to our partners and beneficiaries, to commemorate Tote Board’s 30th Anniversary. It is our privilege and honour to have ESM with us this morning for the celebrations. Thank you, ESM.
2. This Carnival kicks off the series of events to mark our 30 Years of Giving to the Community. The Tote Board Family comprises Tote Board, Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club. Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club provide a legal and safe mean for gaming and betting, and are strong advocates of responsible gambling. Their surpluses are channelled to Tote Board for grantmaking for a wide range of worthy causes in the social, sports, education, health, arts and health sectors. I am proud to say that most Singaporeans would have benefited one way or another from Tote Board’s contributions.
History and Evolution of Grantmaking
3. Since our establishment in 1988, we have approved more than $8.6 billion in grants. Over the last 5 years, we have stepped up our grantmaking, which averaged about $650 million annually. Tote Board performs its grantmaking function within a collaborative ecosystem of stakeholders and partners that include government agencies, social service organisations, non-profit organisations, learning institutions and private sector entities. As a collective whole, Tote Board with its stakeholders and partners, take a ‘Many Helping Hands’ approach towards understanding ground needs and curating impactful programmes to benefit Singaporeans. These programmes cut across many sectors in the community with a varied range and scope. There are three strategic outcomes in our grantmaking, firstly to provide Equitable Opportunities for Vulnerable Groups, secondly to build a Resilient Community with strong social cohesion, and finally to contribute towards an Enhanced Quality of Life for all Singaporeans.
4. The good work in Tote Board we witness today is made possible by the strong foundation laid by our Founding Chairman, the late Dr Goh Keng Swee. Dr Goh was instrumental in setting the strategic directions on how Tote Board would carry out its grantmaking function, to address challenges and gaps in the community and assist the vulnerable groups and Singaporeans in need. Dr Goh was also a strong advocate on creating a vibrant and cultured environment for Singaporeans.
5. One significant and memorable grantmaking project was the Tote Board’s Computer and Audio Visual Equipment Grant in 1989. Some of you would have your first experience and interaction with computers in primary schools when computer equipment was expensive and scarce back then. Our grants made access possible and easier for students, paving the way to grow and nurture a generation of IT-savvy Singaporeans and setting the foundation of us becoming a Smart Nation.
6. We understand that the challenges and needs of each sector are different and varied. We worked with stakeholders and partners to curate specially dedicated grants for the beneficiaries in the various sectors. We shaped and co-created the Tote Board Arts Fund with National Arts Council, the Tote Board Social Service Fund with National Council for Social Service, the Tote Board Community Healthcare Fund with Ministry of Health as well as Sporting Singapore Fund with Sport Singapore. The sector stakeholders and partners are close to the ground challenges, and with these funds, are able to respond quickly to roll out impactful grantmaking projects for the beneficiaries. For example, for the Sporting Singapore Fund, we worked closely with Sport Singapore to identify and implement varied platforms to encourage Singaporeans to take up sports as part of healthy lifestyle and to embrace the national campaign on Sports for All. The Sporting Singapore Fund has also helped to develop and nurture high potential athletes to compete in regional, international and Olympic competitions, to bring pride and glory to Singapore.
7. Our grants have contributed towards the development of quality open spaces that made Singapore an attractive and thriving place to live, work and play in. Today, you can take a stroll along the Civic District and enjoy world-class exhibitions at the iconic National Gallery Singapore as well as attend performances by world renowned artistes at the Esplanade. From streams with clean waterways flowing into lakes, Singapore has undertaken the challenge to transform itself into a City of Gardens and Water. You can enjoy recreation activities in our Active, Beautiful and Clean Waterways. You can also marvel at our rich biodiversity of flora and fauna here at Gardens by the Bay. Tote Board is proud to be the key Development Partner for all these projects, which had helped to create a modern, cosmopolitan and culture rich city, buzzling with events and activities.
8. Our commitment to building an inclusive community through providing equitable opportunities to the vulnerable groups is best exemplified by our grants to develop and build the Enabling Village. This is an inclusive community space specially and carefully designed to integrate people with disabilities into our community and to provide respite and help to their caregivers. We have also launched the Tote Board Enabling Lives Initiative in 2015, a $30 million dollars cross-sectorial strategic programme to help enhance the well-being of persons with disabilities. Through a ground-up approach, we have funded a project to provide ICT training to people with Autism, to enhance their employability and to live independently.
9. Tote Board’s Vision of Giving Hope, Improving Lives is compelling, meaningful and representative of who we are and what we do. I would like to thank all our stakeholders and partners who have helped us in many different ways for the last 30 years. I would also like to encourage more organisations in the social, private and people sectors to work with us. Together, we can help to build a better Singapore, for our next generation.
Enjoy the Carnival
10. A Good Day Out is an appropriate name for this morning Carnival to commemorate our 30 Years of Giving to the Community. We have specially curated this Carnival to focus on our beneficiaries, who are the purpose, passion and commitment of our work in the Tote Board family. Doing Good is the DNA and rationale of existence of the Tote Board family.
11. I would like to show my appreciation to the participants from sector partners, performers from beneficiary organisations and the 20 social enterprises that have come together to curate a marketplace for this Carnival. I would also like to thank Gardens by the Bay for providing the venue for this Carnival.
12. Please explore, learn and enjoy the Carnival. There are exciting and meaningful activities throughout the day to engage people of all ages. Your will see how the work we do with our stakeholders and partners have made a significant impact and difference to the community. I hope you are inspired and take a personal action to volunteer your expertise, time and resources to help the community.
13. I wish all of you a great day ahead. Thank you.