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CFS wins inaugural award for contributions to the community care sector
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CFS wins inaugural award for contributions to the community care sector

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cfs receives prestigious Friends of Community Care Awards 2020, recognizing their outstanding contributions to the community.

The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) is one of twelve organisations selected to receive the inaugural Friends of Community Care Award 2020.

Launched by the Agency of Integrated Care (AIC), the award honours organisations outside of the community care sector who have contributed to the community care sector.

CFS is honoured to have been selected by a distinguished judging panel, comprising veterans from the Community Care Sector, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Health and AIC.

A Friend in Crisis

The COVID-19 crisis in Singapore was the catalyst for a series of conversations between CFS and AIC. With early cases of COVID-19 being reported from February to March 2020, CFS approached AIC to see how CFS could support the sector as it faced with new and unprecedented challenges.

Through these conversations, CFS was constantly receptive to AIC’s feedback on areas of need amongst community care providers. As a nod towards CFS’ appreciation of community care workers, CFS took the first step of sponsoring the first Tranche of Staff Appreciation to boosting staff morale and welfare.

Through CFS’ new community impact fund, the Sayang Sayang Fund, CFS was able to fundraise and provide targeted support for vulnerable communities impacted by the COVID- 19 pandemic.

Keeping seniors safe was one key priority. CFS’ timely and forthcoming support helped Community Care providers focus on managing the situation and safeguarding the interests and wellbeing of seniors.

Bolstering the Sector

With almost $8 million raised through the Sayang Sayang Fund, CFS’ work helped to provide more donations for the sector. This has greatly enabled community care providers to provide sustained support to their beneficiaries amidst the COVID-19 situation.

“When CFS worked on supporting the vulnerable in the community during the pandemic, winning an award was the last thing on our minds,” says Catherine Loh, CEO of CFS, “While it is wonderful to receive positive affirmation, what is more valuable is the great partnership we have struck up with AIC to realise our objectives of improving the quality of life of our people.”

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The competition was organised by City Harvest Community Services Association and received support from FUN! Fund, a Community Impact Fund jointly established by the Community Foundation of Singapore and the Agency for Integrated Care, with the aim of addressing social isolation among the elderly.

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of National Development Mr Tan Kiat How attended the event. He encouraged the elderly to stay physically and mentally well, as well as urging them to participate in community activities and enjoy their golden years together.

Learn more about FUN! Fund at https://www.cf.org.sg/fun-fund/.

 

The programme provides the children with a non-threatening platform to connect with peers and have positive conversations. In addition, it exposes them to different people who can assist to broaden their perspectives.

L.S., a volunteer with the Reading Odyssey programme @ Spooner Road

中心“常胜将军”胡锦盛:比赛限时反应要快

现年92岁的胡锦盛是最年长的参赛者。自2017年退休后,他几乎每天都到活跃乐龄中心报到,从此爱上了玩拉密,每次可玩上三个小时,在中心是“常胜将军”。

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Opinion

Here’s how you can help the people of Ukraine – Ways to donate

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a group of military men transporting boxes of water using a helicopter

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is triggering what the United Nations fears could be Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century. More than 2 million people, out of a nation of 44 million, have fled to neighbouring countries since the conflict began.  

The human cost of the war is alarming and rising by the day. Hundreds of lives have been lost, and thousands of families have been displaced.  

Global charities urgently call for funds to ramp up humanitarian aid in Ukraine. There is a pressing need for medical assistance, food, water, clothing, emergency cash and shelter. There are also plenty of private fundraisers online, but how do you ensure that your money will reach those who need it? How do you know that a particular fundraising appeal is legitimate? Should you send supplies like blankets and warm clothing?  

One of the fastest ways to help is to donate cash to a trusted charity doing on-the-ground relief work. Donations of items are a challenge for charities to handle and distribute as in a warzone, supply chains are disrupted. Logistical options are also very limited, making it challenging to deliver bulky physical items. Cash can be used to purchase necessities more quickly at nearby unaffected regions, allowing charities to respond faster and better at this critical time. 

But which charity should you be donating to? CFS is well-placed to help you navigate giving during this geopolitical crisis as a cause-neutral philanthropic advisor. For those who are looking to support Ukraine and its people, we recommend the following bona fide organisations: 

Singapore Red Cross  

Singapore Red Cross is the global humanitarian organisation’s local arm established in 1949. It is a credible, transparent and time-tested charity providing disaster relief assistance, both locally and internationally.   

It has raised almost $3 million after launching an urgent appeal on 25 February, which is running till 31 May. The first tranche of US$100,000 reached Ukraine on 4 March and a second tranche of $2.4 million is on the way. The funds are to assist Ukrainians in the besieged nation and across six neighbouring countries – Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia, Moldova and Romania.   

The focus will be on providing aid to vulnerable people, including unaccompanied minors, single women with children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Besides giving emergency relief aid, the charity will also offer shelter, health, water, sanitation, hygiene, and psychosocial support. 

Donate to the Singapore Red Cross here

Caritas Humanitarian Aid & Relief Initiatives, Singapore (CHARIS)

CHARIS is the umbrella body for overseas humanitarian aid by the Archdiocese of Singapore. Launched in 2010, CHARIS Singapore is a legitimate charity that provides both immediate and long-term relief to persons who have been forcibly displaced, as well as those in need.   

In response to the crisis in Ukraine, CHARIS Singapore has pledged an initial $100,000 from their Humanitarian Aid Fund to extend essential aid to vulnerable individuals afflicted by the war. The support will be channelled to Caritas Ukraine and Caritas Spes, which are based in Ukraine and working on the ground, to provide daily necessities, shelter, transportation and evacuation services, and psychological support to families.  

Charities worldwide are responding to the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and trying to bring aid to its people. If you wish to provide support directly to a foreign charitable organisation, you may consider these two verified charities: the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and The UN Refugee Agency. 

Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) 

The US-based CDP is dedicated to helping donors maximise their impact by making more intentional disaster-related giving decisions. Since 2010, the nonprofit has directed financial and technical support to disasters and humanitarian crises.   

The CDP’s Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Recovery Fund will focus on addressing humanitarian needs that arise, particularly among the most vulnerable, marginalised and at-risk internally-displaced peoples and refugees.   

Donate to CDP here

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) 

UNHCR is a global organisation that aids and protects refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people. UNHCR has been working in Ukraine since 1994, providing legal, social, and humanitarian assistance, such as winter clothing and blankets and psychosocial support and emergency shelter to people afflicted by the country’s ongoing tensions.   

The UN has issued a US$1.7 billion flash appeal to support humanitarian needs across Ukraine and its bordering countries. It estimates that 12 million people inside Ukraine and more than 4 million refugees may need protection and assistance in the coming months.  

Donate to UNHCR here.  

References:  

  1. Begum, S. (2022, March 10). Singapore Red Cross to send $2.4m to Ukraine, neighbouring countries in second tranche of aid. The Straits Times. Retrieved March 11, 2022, from https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singapore-red-cross-to-send-24m-to-ukraine-neighbouring-countries-in-second-tranche-of-aid  
  2. Centre of Disaster Philanthropy (2022). CDP Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Recovery Fund. Retrieved March 10, 2022, from https://disasterphilanthropy.org/cdp-fund/cdp-ukraine-humanitarian-crisis-recovery-fund/ 
  3. Singapore Red Cross’ Humanitarian Aid Arrives In Ukraine. (2022, March 4). Retrieved March 10, 2022, from https://www.redcross.sg/media-centre/press-releases/1124-singapore-red-cross-humanitarian-aid-arrives-in-ukraine.html 
  4. UNHCR. (2022, March 1) UN seeks US$1.7 billion as humanitarian needs soar in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. Retrieved from March 10, 2022, from https://www.unhcr.org/news/press/2022/3/621e0aa74/un-seeks-us17-billion-humanitarian-needs-soar-ukraine-neighbouring-countries.html  
  5. UNHCR. (2022, March 8). Ukraine situation: Flash update. Retrieved March 10, 2022, from https://reporting.unhcr.org/document/1884 
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Stories Of Impact

The power of the collective: CapitaLand Hope Foundation joins hands with AIC and CFS to bring cheer to seniors

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How do you combat loneliness among older folk? The FUN! Fund – a partnership between Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) and The Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) – hopes to do this by piloting activities that encourage play, generate laughter and build connections. It’s a fresh approach towards reframing the ageing challenge and a promising effort at collaborative philanthropy.

The brand-new fund has struck a chord with CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF), the philanthropic arm of CapitaLand Group. Established in 2005, the foundation seeks to improve the quality of life of seniors. It also aims to nurture and inspire the young and protect the environment for future generations.

“We believe that each older person deserves to live life to the fullest as they age in place and in the community. However, there are vulnerable seniors in the community who face daily life challenges such as mobility difficulties, isolation, and lack of adequate support due to family circumstances,” says Ms Lydia Ang, General Manager of CapitaLand Hope Foundation.

Loneliness is a serious issue for our elderly. It erodes mental and physical well-being and can even reduce lifespans. In mid-2021, a study by the Centre for Ageing Research and Education at Duke-NUS found that those aged 60 and above who see themselves as lonely can expect to live three to five years less compared to their peers who don’t feel lonely. The study, also found that a third of aged 60–69 years and 40% of those aged 80 and above perceived themselves as lonely. Those are sobering statistics indeed.

Two years of living under COVID-19 pandemic restrictions made things much worse. Many older folks stayed home. Being less tech-savvy, they had to grapple with severe social isolation. Those in nursing and care homes saw a stark drop in visitors. Many caregiving staff shows increased burnout and psychological distress in the aftermath of the pandemic.

The FUN! Fund plans to empower community care organisations to collaborate with different stakeholder to develop fun and meaningful activities that seniors can look forward to. There will be development of playbook and post running workshops to share learnings for other organisations to replicate and implement.

CHF got to know about the FUN! Fund through its previous links with AIC and CFS. In 2020, when the pandemic struck, the foundation generously contributed S$700,000 to provide emergency support for community care providers and affected seniors and family members. For CHF, the FUN! Fund dovetails with its efforts to help seniors age in place through its #LoveOurSeniors initiative, which provides the vulnerable elderly with better nutrition, enhanced well-being and improved living conditions.

Tapping on its experience from #LoveOurSeniors, and by working jointly with AIC and CFS, the foundation believes it can help develop innovative programmes that bring cheer to isolated seniors. It also hopes to rally more like-minded partners and the community to join in this effort.

“Through FUN! Fund, multiple donors from different sectors are galvanised to pool and align funding against an agreed set of criteria within a short period of time. This has allowed smaller enterprises to leverage the larger network and platform of FUN! Fund to do good together, as they might not have sufficient resources to effectively contribute to the community on their own,” says Ms Ang.

The FUN! Fund is an example of a pooled fund spearheaded by CFS. Our collective impact funds are designed to raise capital from across the giving spectrum and unite partners to drive positive change. We bring together charities and donors, experience and insights, which amplifies the impact of giving and fosters new solutions.

No individual or organisation can solve complex social issues independently, and private foundations like CHF are embracing collaborative philanthropy. “We believe in the power of the collective, where different stakeholders with respective expertise, knowledge and skills come together as one, leveraging each other’s strengths and resources for the common good. Through the years, we have been rallying our employees, tenants, customers and the wider community to do good together,” says Ms Ang.

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Opinion

Accessing Quality Education: Beyond the Classroom Walls

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The education of a generation is an extensive and complex undertaking.

Consider the span of time it takes to bring a single individual from nursery and preschool, through the primary and secondary school levels to the various branches of tertiary education. This journey could range from at least 12 years to almost three decades for the dedicated academic.

Keep in mind the need to cater to the individual’s development along the entire stretch in terms of how he or she learns, their psychosocial, physical, emotional and mental health, and their attitudes during the learning process. Now multiply that by over 30,000 for the number of students in each cohort year in Singapore, and you get a sense of the seemingly impossible task that faces the Ministry of Education.

The 32,000 plus teachers in Singapore (MOE, 2021) are doing a highly commendable job as it is. Singapore is ranked 21st in the latest education ranking of the Best Countries Report (World Population Review, 2022) and topped the world in the 2018 Global Competence test, conducted as part of the Programme for International Student Assessment (ST, 2020).

The Singapore education system also has facilities and options for those with learning disabilities, allowing those with conditions such as autism and Down syndrome to obtain a formal education, with pathways to employment for those who are able to do so.

There is a plethora of exit points for those who graduate from the education system here. Besides those with learning disabilities, one could complete formal education after attaining a polytechnic diploma, a university degree or even a doctorate.

While some of that depends on their innate aptitude for study, the students’ early childhood education plays a large part. While it is compulsory for all Singaporean citizens to attend primary school (MOE, 2021), the same is not true for preschool.

Government statistics reflect that nearly 99% of children in Singapore would have at least some preschool education by the age of six (MSF, 2016). This is commendable, but many still do not get the essential foundation that preschools offer, which leads in part to the learning difficulties (not to be confused with disabilities) that some children may face in keeping pace with their peers (Channel News Asia, 2019).

Learning difficulties are when a child, whose IQ is not affected, finds it challenging to learn in a particular way (MyLife Care, 2018). It could stem from conditions such as dyslexia or psychological issues such as anxiety and depression, inhibiting the child’s learning abilities and approach to studies.

Children with learning difficulties face problems with literacy and numeracy (Raising Children, 2021), which is an issue as English and Mathematics are the two core subjects that determine entry into post-secondary education.

Fortunately, there are many groups who are supporting children and youth struggling with primary and secondary school education. Although they are not teachers per se, the programme staff and volunteers of these groups are helping children with learning difficulties, who are usually from challenging backgrounds, to improve their academic abilities.

For instance, social enterprise Catch Them Young’s programme KidsExcel is partnering with the Lions Community Service Foundation to help primary- and secondary-going school children in their academic curriculum.

KidsExcel complements their tutoring time with workshops in sports and drama, which motivates the children to improve academically and to enjoy these popular activities offered by KidsExcel staff.

“I love interacting with the kids and I want to make a positive impact in their lives,” enthuses volunteer Ms Joycelyn Fung. “I have forged good relationships with the children and their parents. In the two years I have been here, it has been very fulfilling and rewarding to see the kids develop and grow.”

Resilience is a clear lesson learnt by KidsExcel care recipients, with 10-year-old Syakir stating that he would never give up in his pursuits, while 12-year-old Elfie proclaims: “I will never stop when I am tired, but will stop when I am done.”

Staff Madam Haznita shares: “It has been a joy working with the kids. Some came with little confidence and had difficulties adjusting, so we needed to spend time getting to know them better and help them settle. It is very rewarding to know they look forward to KidsExcel classes and seeing them every week. This is what motivates me.”

Another programme, Reading Odyssey by SHINE Children and Youth Services, helps to boost children’s literary abilities by inculcating a love for stories through story-telling and literature-related activities.

Taking these children onto journeys of the imagination to improve their linguistic capabilities are volunteers Bee Peng and Natasha. Every week, they tap into their dramatis personae and bring stories to life for the children.

“I like everything in Reading Odyssey, especially the games,” says P2 student beneficiary Kim Yan. “Teacher Bee Peng helps me to understand how the games are played. She is kind and patient. I thank her for teaching me.”

Bee Peng says: “I believe in the quality of Reading Odyssey; it has a positive impact on the lives of the children and has elements of character building. And I truly enjoy interacting with the children.”

Another P2 child, Divinya, demonstrates her newfound verbosity: “I like the games in Reading Odyssey and the snacks given out. My teacher Natasha helps me with reading unfamiliar words. If I don’t know the words, she helps me to pronounce them and tells me the meaning of the words. She is always present for the sessions, she never absents herself. She is always there for me. Thank you teacher, for teaching me and giving me lots of stars.” Divinya also expressed a wish for Natasha to continue teaching her in Reading Odyssey, a testament to the positive impact that even volunteers can have on our children.

A volunteer since 2017, Natasha believes in the programme’s aim of elevating the children’s self-confidence through learning and reading: “There are many opportunities to interact with the children via discussion of the stories, which allows me to journey with them and help them improve.”

Regardless of their motivation, it is clear from the number of children going through such programmes—about 350 and 180 annually from the KidsExcel and Reading Odyssey programmes—that programme staff and volunteers for such extracurricular activities are just as much teachers to our children as educators in school.

If you would like to support programmes such Reading Odyssey and KidsExcel in providing quality education to our children and make a difference in their lives, please visit Ways to give.

This article was written CFS Principal Consultant Reutens-Tan. He is an experienced sustainability advocate and practitioner, working closely with charities to build thriving communities, which he believes is key to a sustainable Singapore.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of CFS or its members.

References

Channel New Asia. (15 September 2019). Commentary: Long-neglected but now in the spotlight, Singapore’s pre-school sectorhttps://www.channelnewsasia.com/commentary/pre-school-enhanced-subsidies-access-moe-kindergartens-859951

Ministry of Education. (18 October 2021). Compulsory education.
https://www.moe.gov.sg/primary/compulsory-education#:~:text=All%20Singapore%20Citizens%20born%20after,deferment%20to%20enter%20Primary%201
.

Ministry of Education. (Accessed 26 July 2022). Education Statistics Digest 2021
https:/www.moe.gov.sg/-/media/files/about-us/education-statistics-digest-2021.ashx?la=en&hash=9E7EFD9B8088817C207F8AE797037AAA2A49F167

MyLife Care. 20 September 2018. What Is The Difference Between ‘Learning Difficulties’ And ‘Learning Disabilities’? https://mylifehomecare.co.uk/insight/learning-difficulties-learning-disabilities-difference/#:~:text=a%20learning%20disability%20constitutes%20a,overall%20IQ%20of%20an%20individual

Raising Children. (2 July 2021). Learning difficulties and learning disorders: children and teenagers.
https://raisingchildren.net.au/school-age/school-learning/learning-difficulties/learning-disabilities-signs-and-support

The Straits Times. (22 October 2020). Singapore’s 15-year-olds top OECD’s Pisa global competence test.
https://str.sg/J62f

World Population Review. (Accessed 26 July 2022). Education Rankings by Country 2022.  
https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/education-rankings-by-country

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News

Donations to CFS increased by 60% over the past two years
新加坡社区基金会 两年多善款增六成

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Over two years, the number of Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) managed by the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) has increased from 162 to 235, and total donations received since inception has risen from $192 million to $311 million. As of 31 December 2023, CFS has disbursed over $169 million in grants, a big jump from the $114 million disbursed as of 31 March 2021. 

Speaking to Zaobao, CEO Ms Catherine Loh, shared that one reason for the significant increase in donations was due to a few large donations exceeding $10 million over the past three years. She also highlighted the introduction of Legacy Giving by CFS, and the organisation’s efforts to work more closely with financial and legal advisors to promote philanthropy. Notably, about 15% of CFS’s DAFs are memorial in nature, including the recently established Adrian Tan Memorial Fund in 2023. 

Learn more about our DAFs at https://cf.org.sg/donors/donor-advised-funds/.

截至2023年12月31日,新加坡社区基金会发放的善款超过1亿6900万元,比截至2021年3月31日的超过1亿1400万元多,造福更多人。(档案照片)

Over two years, the number of Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) managed by the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) has increased from 162 to 235, and total donations received since inception has risen from $192 million to $311 million. As of 31 December 2023, CFS has disbursed over $169 million in grants, a big jump from the $114 million disbursed as of 31 March 2021. 

Speaking to Zaobao, CEO Ms Catherine Loh, shared that one reason for the significant increase in donations was due to a few large donations exceeding $10 million over the past three years. She also highlighted the introduction of Legacy Giving by CFS, and the organisation’s efforts to work more closely with financial and legal advisors to promote philanthropy. Notably, about 15% of CFS’s DAFs are memorial in nature, including the recently established Adrian Tan Memorial Fund in 2023. 

Learn more about our DAFs at https://cf.org.sg/donors/donor-advised-funds/.

过去两年多,新加坡社区基金会管理的慈善基金从162个增至235个,善款从1亿9200万元提高到3亿1100万元,增约六成,显示国人对慈善的意识不断提高。

截至2023年12月31日,新加坡社区基金会(The Community Foundation of Singapore,简称基金会)发放的善款超过1亿6900万元,比截至2021年3月31日的超过1亿1400万元多,造福更多人。

新加坡社区基金会总裁罗佩仪答复《联合早报》询问时说,过去三年,基金会接到几个超过1000万元的慈善基金,这是善款增加的其中原因。

另一原因是因为基金会积极推广遗赠项目,并且与财务专员和律师更紧密合作,让更多人认识基金项目,所以取得积极成效。

基金会在2008年成立,通过可持续、妥善和具透明度的方式,协助个人、家庭或企业设立或管理慈善基金。

捐款者能以自己、家人或公司名义设立基金,或为逝者设立基金。遗赠可包括现金、提名基金会为受益人的保险赔付或公积金存款,以及有价证券或房地产等。

捐赠者可指定受惠者,基金会将与相关慈善团体配对,制定有效的行善策略。

基金会与超过400个慈善伙伴合作,协助对象广泛,包括孩童、年长者、客工或社会边缘人,援助范围包括医疗、教育、艺术和动物福利等。

罗佩仪说,基金会管理的“捐献者指示基金”(Donor Advised Funds)分三类,一种是捐赠基金(Endowment fund),慈善资产将永久保存在社区基金会并进行投资,投资收益直接用在所选择支持的慈善机构和项目。

第二种属于流转基金(Flow-Through Fund),在特定时期内支持个人选定、所喜爱的慈善机构和项目,占总指示基金约75%。另一种是可投资流转基金(Investible Flow-Through Fund),捐款用于投资,投资回报和本金都可用于个人选择的慈善事业。

 

捐献者指示基金 目前最大款项超过2000万元

 

在捐献者指示基金中,目前款项最大的超过2000万元,而总指示基金也有约15%属于纪念性质的基金,包括去年设立的陈锦海纪念基金。

她说,陈锦海纪念基金是陈锦海妻子为了向亡夫致敬,并支持他生前热衷的慈善事业而设的。

“纪念基金是缅怀亲人的绝佳方式。我们当中的许多人都是读陈锦海的书长大的,很荣幸能与陈太太合作向他致敬。陈锦海纪念基金确保他的遗赠得以延续,支持他生前关心的公益事业。”

罗佩仪也指出,可投资流转基金是一种新的基金类型,“我们看到捐助者的需求不断增加,他们希望利用捐款投资获取回报,并灵活使用捐款和投资回报,支持所选择的慈善机构。”

 

已故前总统纳丹生前设立“纳丹教育提升基金”

 

已故前总统纳丹于2011年卸下总统职务时,通过社区基金会,以他的名义设立“纳丹教育提升基金”。

属于捐赠基金的纳丹教育提升基金,两年多前累积逾1000万元资金。

纳丹生前委任一个拨款咨询委员会,负责就基金可支持的项目提供建议,通过助学金、奖学金,以及各项经济援助计划,支持工艺教育局以下工艺教育学院和高等教育学府的贫困学生顺利升学。纳丹2016年逝世,享年92岁。

 

信用:联合早报©新报业媒体有限公司。复制需要许可

This article was originally published in Zaobao here. Source: Zaobao © SPH Media Limited. Permission required for reproduction.

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