Over the past year, Stanley Ng has been spearheading the corporate social responsibility initiative at CHP Law LLC, where he is a corporate lawyer. The firm offers legal support to HCSA Dayspring SPIN, which reaches out to single parents through respite and befriending services.
Due to either a lack of awareness or financial challenges, most of these single parents struggle to navigate their legal problems. Ng helps to match their cases to the most suitable lawyers from CHP.
“Through our work with HCSA, we hope to establish a spirit of helping others,” says Ng, “rather than a charitable activity that we undertake only every now and then.”
Beyond HCSA, Ng also contributes to the Huang Clan Singapore Association, for which
he received the Outstanding Youth Award last year from the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations.
As the secretary-general of its youth committee since 2015, Ng has managed to grow local membership and help make clan associations more attractive to younger Singaporeans. With programmes that reach out to migrant workers and kids from disadvantaged or marginalised families, he quickly broke down walls.
Ng recalls: “It was challenging trying to convince others to believe in an idea so ‘out there’. But I tried hard to encourage both our youths and elders to adopt a ‘first through the wall’ mindset. We should not be fearful to do something new or radical. It was a life lesson I hope our youths learnt and can apply to their lives and careers.”
What does giving back do for you as a lawyer?
I appreciate being given a platform to pursue ideas I believe in. I am fortunate that my firm supports my colleagues and I in our interests outside of our legal career. By integrating these interests, I think our career can become more fulfilling and sustainable. Only by seeing value in the course of our work can we then create value for others. When your motivation is to help, you can better understand the issues and find solutions. This is the value-add most people seek when they seek advice. If I know I’ve helped someone, it’s enough to keep me going.
Tell us more about your collaboration with HCSA.
Last October, we gave a talk on the rights of illegitimate children to about 15 single parents. It was followed by a Q&A session where they approached us directly for advice on specific issues. We observed that they needed a listening ear, and to know that someone cared for them and their children. Both CHP and HCSA are also partnering e-tailer E&S Blessing on 1nspire Movement, a campaign to encourage others to contribute one percent — this could be in the form of money or time — towards positively impacting the lives of the needy.
The programmes you initiated at Huang Clan Association include reaching out to migrant workers. What important insights did you glean from these experiences?
Clan associations served as support networks for our forefathers from China; so in keeping with that spirit, we organised steamboat dinners during Chinese New Year for our migrant worker friends. Besides showing that we care for them as part of an inclusive society, we also want to share and learn about each other’s cultures, which can help prevent misunderstanding and promote interaction. It’s made me more aware of the challenges our migrant worker friends face in Singapore — most want to be understood, to feel included and respected, and to know people care for them. One more thing, everyone can be kind if he or she wants to be!
Is compassion crucial to success?
For me, compassion is not a sign of weakness but of strength. It is what makes us human. It can create positive change. Many change-makers are driven by compassion to identify problems and find solutions. And by that, our definition of success needs to change. Success shouldn’t be measured in terms of what we can take from this world but by what we can give back to make it better.
What keeps you going?
Giving back stems from my desire to make a positive impact and my belief in a cause that is bigger than myself. I’ve learnt that mindsets take time to change and I must be patient. But I feel encouraged whenever I see how this positive impact is effected.
This is part of our series on super positivity spreaders. For the full story, click here.
This story first appeared in the June 2020 issue of A Magazine.