Singapore Media Watch

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Your views: The govt can proactively help the poor and unemployed

I refer to the articles in The New Paper the last few days on the tragic death of Mr Tan Jee Suan as a result of his financial condition.

Instead of waiting for such unfortunate incidents to happen before extending help to others in the same predicament, there is something the government can do proactively:

Presumably, the government has access to data on citizens who are unemployed (eg. no CPF contributions for say, 3 months?). When this happens, it can mobilise the MPs and CDCs concerned to follow up on these cases to ascertain if financial and/or employment assistance are required.

It all boils down to whether the government wants to take the proactive route or the reactive route.

The only reason the government may be reluctant to do so is the sheer size of the unemployed citizens (hundreds of thousands perhaps as this data is not publicly available), thus creating an administrative nightmare.

But then again, that's why all those grassroots organisations and personnel are there for, aren't they?



  • LOL pls do not pretent to understand the poor ppl problem when you don't even know shit. Any idea how many ppl do not have CPF cause of various reason like pay too low so did not want to make any contribution, part time job, obb-job labouror, self employ, student, trying to evade income tax........ It is ppl like you who keep complainting and act like you know alot that the goverment have to entertain which interfere them from doing there job. If you really care then setup a webpage or spend some time talking to them and see what they really need. So you think by giving them money can solve the problem? You are a typical singaporean who think got money big f***. By doing some cleaning and shit at old folk home and you can go to heaven? Do you know most of the time their problem can be solve not by using money.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:33 AM  

  • Hi Kaye Poh

    I think its too easy to push all responsibility to the government. The database suggestion is good, but it also infringes on privacy.

    Awareness of help options and awareness of such families is a good starting point. The grassroots organisations, CDCs, MPs and voluntary welfare organisations cannot do this task by themselves.

    Family, friends, neighbours, teachers all have a role to play. I mean, what is the government to do if they are not aware or can't get to those in need. The awareness should also start from below.

    I agree that the government has failed when Mr Tan resorted to suicide, when a citizn was pressured to the breaking point. But society, i.e. you, me and the general public, too has a social responsibility to be aware, to be in a position to help or to make people aware that they are not alone.

    In this tragedy, society, as well as the government, has also failed regarding proactivity.

    For instance, if you noticed your neighbours having difficulties settling their utilities bills, your friend's children not attending school for long periods, your relatives persistently asking for money / help, and you are in a position to help, what are YOU going to do then? Write to the forum or a blog to suggest the government be more proactive?

    Society as a whole needs to change their attitude to those in need. We need to be more aware and more compassionate. We also need to stop relying on a government that does not seem to be aware or does not want to know.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:22 PM  

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