Speech by The Honourable Justice Lai Siu Chiu,at the Singapore Academy of Law First Charity Project at Supreme Court
The Honourable Justice Lai Siu Chiu

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentleman, boys and girls Good Afternoon, We are honoured to have the children from Marine Parade Family Service Centre (MPFSC) here with us this afternoon in conjunction with “A Gift from the Heart” – the first charity event organised by the Singapore Academy of Law.

I would also like to say a special “hello’ to our young friends from the Marine Parade Family Service Centre and their buddies – the children of SAL members and staff. Did you have a good time today? I hope you have enjoyed the tour of the Supreme Court and the entertainment programmes that were organised specially for you. By providing this opportunity for the children to interact, we hope that SAL members’ children learn about building a strong community through compassion and helping others from a young age.

Whilst happily celebrating this festive season, we must also share our thoughts with those unfortunate and in dire needs for our help. “A Gift from the Heart” is the Academy’s first charity project. SAL wanted to do something meaningful outside the courtroom for the community in which we serve. We thought that it would be wonderful if we could do something to help children who are in need. The sincere effort put up by the SAL to organize such a meaningful charity event of this kind is indeed very commendable.

The response that SAL has received for this project has been overwhelming. Besides the strong support given by the Chief Justice for this project, I must commend the members of the legal fraternity for their generous donations and support. In less than 24 hours after our call for donations, all the children’s wishes were fulfilled and our phones have not stopped ringing. Many of our members have asked what they can do to
lend a helping hand. So aside from fulfilling the children’s wishes, our members have also donated book vouchers so that the children from MPFSC will have something extra to take home to commemorate this special event. Hopefully, such a positive move will eventually pave the way for the younger generations to emulate.

We chose to direct our first charity effort by working with the Marine Parade Family Service Centre which provides direct aid to individuals and families who face unexpected hardships. Through a diverse range of integrated assistance programmes and services, the Marine Parade Family Service Centre help children and young persons from low-income families to function better amidst adversities at home. It is particularly important that we remember the support young people need in transition to adulthood.By supporting the work of MPFSC, we hope to offer the adults of tomorrow a better future.

We are deeply honoured to have the opportunity to help make the wishes of over a hundred children come true, we applaud the special work of the MPFSC and hope this project will inspire further support for the important task of bringing joy to a child’s life during a difficult time.

Because despite the rhetoric about donor fatigue, despite the fact that we’re supposed to have lost our sense of community – most of us remain united in our desire to help.

The Asian Civilisations Museum Design Unit has also generously donated their services to this charity event by designing the decorations for the 17-foot Christmas tree that you saw in the lobby. This is the first time that a Christmas tree has been set up in the Supreme Court.

The spirit of Caring and Giving should always prevail in our society. In so doing,we ensure that the less fortunate are always taken care of and not neglected as they are also part of our society.

Last but certainly not least, I would like to thank the various supporters, staff and children for your donations and help. Your kindness and generosity have helped to bring joy to some young people who are not so fortunate as ourselves.

Thank you.