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12 April 2022


Taking care of others can be challenging, especially when we might even feel we can barely fend for ourselves. And yet, why do we continue to do so? By helping others, we can help to raise each other up, so that we can all work towards a better future for ourselves as well. But that’s not all! Helping others can sometimes create a ripple of kindness, where those who have benefitted from someone’s help, use what they have gained to help others in kind.


From individual droplets of kindness to ripples and even occasionally waves that sweep across communities—that’s what it means to take care of each other. Someone who embodies this very idea is Mr Mohamad Syahid Bin Arif, who not only looks out for his family by providing care and sharing his knowledge with them, but also extends a helping hand to others as a volunteer.

Mr Mohamad Syahid Bin Arif, man holding a phone and seated at a table with a potted plant

A kind-hearted person by nature, Mr Syahid also joined the MINDS Siblings Support Group (MINDSibs), which provides opportunities to share and support other siblings who have caregiving duties. Through MINDSibs, Mr Syahid learned to care and interact better with those that have such disabilities. This experience and knowledge also allow him to better take care of his brother’s needs, such as setting up a Special Needs Trust Co. (SNTC) account that helps to manage and disburse monies to meet the needs of family members with disabilities.


In addition, Mr Syahid also freely shares guides/information he acquired from various organisations to help others make informed decisions. Via a stroke of luck, My Syahid came to know about the Community Paying it Forward initiative via a Zoom talk organised by MINDS and decided to sign up as a CPF volunteer. This decision has allowed him to share his knowledge of CPF with others, thereby helping others secure their desired retirement lifestyles.


Here are some experiences Mr Syahid has had as a CPF volunteer over the past year:


Correcting misconceptions


Mr Syahid actively helps correct the CPF misconceptions that people around him might have, such as the notion that beneficiaries will not receive your CPF in cash, unless you indicate otherwise, in your nomination. Mr Syahid also advises others to read about the CPF from official sources instead of believing in hearsay. Through chats with his colleagues and friends, Mr Syahid is able to weave in such helpful tidbits to help them better prepare for the future like he is.


While there’s merit to taking one’s time with important matters, planning for retirement is something that benefits from having a head start in. Mr Syahid understands this and does his best to help those around him avoid wasting years with inaction when that time could be spent on building up their retirement funds.


A journey taken hand in hand


True to his giving spirit, Mr Syahid’s actions serve to help everyone,  his family members, relatives, friends or colleagues. For his family, he has encouraged his wife to update her CPF nominations to better reflect the changes in family composition. He has also updated his own CPF nominations to include his brother’s SNTC account, thereby aiding him further. He has also discussed and shared information about CPF LIFE with his fellow security colleagues during one of his events security jobs.


Throughout his experiences as a volunteer, Mr Syahid understands the importance of getting information from the right source, as well as planning early in life. These are lessons he wishes to impart onto others, so that they may make informed financial decisions.


As Mr Syahid himself puts it best:


“We never know how the wrong information shared could have a strong impact on someone else's life plans”.


Paying it forward


No man is an island, and it’s by helping one another that we may progress as a community and society. Because Mr Syahid has benefitted from the kindness and help of others, he wants to pay it forward. It is with this mindset that Mr Syahid puts his heart and soul into his volunteer work, while juggling work and family at the same time. He hopes that his actions can cause a ripple effect to help more people as well.


Mr Syahid’s actions and experiences are a testament to the importance of helping others with the ‘gotong royong’ spirit that we all value. We are definitely better off when we work together to secure a better future—not just for ourselves, but for everyone.


Inspired by Mr Syahid’s experience? Join the Community Paying it Forward Movement by signing up as a CPF volunteer today! You can download the CPF Volunteering (CPFV) app here to register with us.