Mr Gregory Vijayendran SC, Chairman of Pro Bono SG
Mr Richard Siaw, Managing Director of R S Solomon LLC
Ms Chooi May Yin, President of Realm of Tranquility
Ladies and gentlemen
1. A very good evening to all.
2. I am pleased to join you at the launch of the Community Law Centre at the Realm of Tranquility. This is the second such centre situated in the heartlands, bringing pro bono legal services closer to our community.
Uplifting those in need
3. Agencies like Pro Bono SG and Realm of Tranquility play important roles in uplifting those in need. Entities within the community are ones that residents are familiar with and know they can go to when they need help.
4. In this case, the Community Law Centre seeks to enhance access to justice, bringing it to the heartlands. Individuals feel more comfortable coming forward and seeking help on legal matters.
5. The support that Pro Bono SG provides – in terms of legal, advice, advocacy and legal aid – is helpful to those facing family challenges. An example is the Family Justice Support Scheme that was launched in 2022 which supports individuals on family matters, such as divorce, domestic violence, maintenance, and children-related matters.
6. Apart from helping individuals in need, Pro Bono SG also provides training and conducts legal awareness talks for the broader community. This includes sharing with members of public on how deputyship works, through webinars with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Community Law Centre supported by 4ST Partnership Fund
7. This evening, we celebrate with Pro Bono SG on the launch of its second Community Law Centre, in Woodlands.
8. The Centre will provide services such as legal consultation and representation, and legal awareness programmes, and aims to see 1,200 cases yearly.
9. Modelling the success of the first Centre that Pro Bono SG set-up at Tian De Temple in Hougang, the new Centre will work closely with a network of social service partners in the Woodlands neighbourhood.
10. An innovative feature of the Centre is the case review panels. At the centre, legal professionals and social workers will come together and work closely on more complex cases that involve both legal and social matters. This partnership helps individuals untangle some of the challenges they are facing and provides them with more holistic support.
11. To set up the Centre, Pro Bono SG has received support from the Social Service Sector Strategic Thrusts or what we call 4ST Partnership Fund. The Fund was launched last year, to encourage and enable community organisations to collaborate in developing and delivering innovative solutions to benefit communities in need. This fund is administered by the National Council of Social Service and The Majurity Trust.
12. Through NCSS’ engagement efforts, Pro Bono SG learnt about the 4ST Fund. They reached out to Realm of Tranquility which has established community networks in this area and the two decided to partner together. The Centre today is borne from this collaboration, broadening the Centre’s partnerships with even more social service agencies, and expanding the reach to residents in need. Families and individuals in the North West region are the better for it. NCSS supports such efforts, where partners bring their strengths together to address the needs in our communities.
13. I congratulate Pro Bono SG on the launch of its second Community Law Centre and encourage more partners in the social sector to come together to tap on the 4ST Partnership Fund to bring innovative social service projects to life.
14. I would like to recognise each and every social service professional, community agency, and donor who has contributed to the setting up of this Community Law Centre. I would also like to applaud the team of lawyers for volunteering their time and their services.
15. Let’s continue to join hands to uplift families and individuals in need. I wish you a pleasant evening. Thank you.