President of the International Federation of Accountants
Ladies and gentlemen
1. I am pleased to join you this evening. Since becoming Advisor to ISCA, I have witnessed the national accountancy body’s steady progress towards its vision to be a globally recognised accountancy body and its goal to add value to its members and the profession.
2. ISCA has also grown from strength to strength in numbers. Today, it has a membership base of more than 29,000 members. With the new membership pathways that were just announced earlier today, the Institute is opening up more avenues for aspiring accountants from different backgrounds to enter the profession. These initiatives cater to the aspirations and aptitudes of diverse individuals, enabling them to contribute their varied talents to the profession and add to the vibrancy of the accountancy sector.
3. This also supports the Singapore Government’s SkillsFuture movement that is aimed at providing Singaporeans with the opportunities to develop to their fullest potential in life, regardless of their starting points or current positions. With SkillsFuture, as long as Singaporeans have the mindset of continually striving towards greater excellence through knowledge, application and experience, they can create a better future through skills mastery and lifelong learning.
4. ISCA also seeks to ensure that the underserved in society have the necessary means to secure a quality accountancy education and build a career in the accountancy profession. To achieve this goal, I am pleased to announce that ISCA has established ISCA Cares, a charity to champion giving by the accountancy profession.
5. ISCA has chosen to launch ISCA Cares this year, as part of SG50, for the profession to further demonstrate its commitment and contribute towards strengthening the foundations of society for future generations. The establishment of ISCA Cares is also in line with the new Singapore Roadmap for Corporate Giving announced earlier this year by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, contributing to the vision of a Corporate Singapore where goodness is the business of every organisation.
6. ISCA Cares seeks to promote strong social conscience and a spirit of inclusivity in the accountancy community, by focusing on education and community causes.
The ISCA Cares Education Programme aims to provide disadvantaged Singapore youths with academic potential access to quality accountancy education through holistic financial and non-financial assistance, and by subsidising their tuition fees and basic living expenses.
7. Under the education programme, beneficiaries will also benefit from internship and mentorship opportunities provided by corporate and individual donors. With this holistic approach, this programme aims to make a positive difference in their lives, enabling our youths to build a career in the accountancy profession and contribute to Singapore’s economic development.
8. As the immediate focus of ISCA Cares, the education programme is targeted to start in 2016. To fund this, ISCA Cares aims to raise S$1 million in its first year of establishment.
9. ISCA Cares also seeks to harness the knowledge, skills and expertise of the accountancy community, for community development projects through collaborative programmes with partners. Community programmes to achieve this objective will begin in 2018.
10. I am delighted to see ISCA take a leading role in building a compassionate and caring accountancy community that actively contributes towards the betterment of society.
11. I commend the Institute for galvanising the accountancy profession to help the community and build a more inclusive society through ISCA Cares.
12. Singapore’s founding Prime Minister, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew had always believed that our people are Singapore’s best asset. Hence, he placed special emphasis on education. He once shared “In the long run, it is the quality of our youth that will determine our future. And we have to invest in them more than any other sector.”  Hence, I encourage you to support ISCA Cares in its fundraising initiatives, which will go towards helping disadvantaged youths secure a good education and a better future, and ultimately create a better future for Singapore.
13. Thank you and have a wonderful evening.
 Minister for Education’s Message to Students on Mr Lee Kuan Yew (1923 - 2015) , Heng Swee Keat