ST Forum: Corporate Social Responsibility (Sept 18)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sep 18, 2008
Let's get down to business
THESE articles in The Straits Times deserve commendation: Miss Li
Xueying on religious diversity last Friday ('Tackling religious
taboo'), Mr Wong Kim Hoh on transsexuals ('When papa became mama',
Sept 6) and Miss Tan Hui Yee on migrant workers ('Standing up for
foreign workers', Sept 10).

They are expressions of corporate social responsibility of your
newspaper and are in line with the goals of major corporations,
business tycoons and religious leaders. Your publication is
world-class in promoting social responsibility in this part of the world.

It's time Singapore incorporates social responsibility in our culture.
We have read much about our necessity to import foreign talent so that
Singapore can become a financial, medical and research hub, and make
its contribution to the global society. While appreciating foreign
talent with great skills, we must not ignore foreign workers with less
skills who work among us here.

The construction industry is highly dependent upon workers in this
region who come here to work in tough, physically-demanding
conditions. They build our buildings, lay our roads, clean our
environment and yet find it so difficult to rest from their daily
labour with proper housing. Our domestic workers have left their own
homes and family to work in ours, looking after our children and aged
parents, and yet do not have a fair contract and time to rest.

People with different sexual orientations are being discriminated
socially and economically even though they are our own fellow citizens.

Foreign sex workers come here to secure an income to feed their
families in their poor rural societies. How do we show kindness, care
and concern when we turn a deaf ear to the cries of such people in our

Some corporations and a few churches are actively engaged in the
alleviation of poverty, elimination of HIV/Aids - especially in the
African countries - and reduction of global warming. Our own business
establishments need to exercise corporate social responsibility.

Each of us can make a difference and work together to build a kind,
caring and compassionate society.

Rev Dr Yap Kim Hao