Monday, October 10, 2011

We Should Be So Grateful

This has to be a uniquely Singapore social phenomenon. After jacking up public transport costs, the Government attempted to soften their heartless image by offering to give away 200,000 vouchers for $20 coupons. Steve Jobs is said to have walked 6 miles for a free meal at a Hare Krishna kitchen, but to date only 92,000 applications for these free transport vouchers have been approved. It beggars to ask, why is the take up rate so pathetic?

The generosity of the Government was also publicised in the Ministry for Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) offer of help for Eldercare subsidies. A targeted 5,600 households are supposed to benefit from a 25 percent subsidy to offset day care and home help costs for the elderly. The take up rate for this scheme has yet to be reported.

A quick check with the Eldercare Service Locator at the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) website shows that most of the centres are "Voluntary Welfare Organisations not under Government Subsidies". Those that qualify for subsidies are under the "MOH Purview". Which presumably means subject to the much detested MOH Means Test that Minister Khaw Boon Wan said will not be introduced during the 2006 electoral hustings, but quietly implemented after the election was over.

For those looking for a leg up with a nursing home, there are other hoops to jump through. Patients have to be graded Category I through IV, using following sample parameters to assess qualification for assistance:
  • Mobility dependency
  • Feeding dependency
  • Grooming and Bathing dependency
  • Toileting dependency
  • Cognitive or mental issues
  • Nursing care needs
The patient has to be classified Category III or IV before financial help is even discussed.

The transport vouchers amount to $4 million, the MCYS effort is estimated at $5 million. These are big numbers for those in dire need of financial assistance to offset the $300 to $500 per month charges at the 22 day care centres that presumably qualify for Government subsidy. Nursing homes charge more, as much as $2,000 a month. Compare the largess set aside for the citizens to the $4 million paid to a Mr Tan annually, and another $4 million budgeted for the upkeep of the Istana. What was the descriptive used by Mrs Goh Chok Tong? Peanuts.


  1. As Dr Vivian Balakrishnan put it, "How much do you want? Do you want three meals in a hawker centre, food court or restaurant?"

  2. Talking about Bala, he was just recently on TV news announcing the building of new hawker centres. And he actually said out loud to the reporters that hawker centres "create good jobs for Singaporeans".

    Maybe he kena conned by a PRC dishwasher who gave him the thumbs up when his entourage was floating through the hawker centre.

    One thing people need to understand about PAP elites is this: $1M is too little to give to themselves and fellow elites, but $1 is too much to give to the masses.

    If the money came directly from their productive sweat and innovation, then it's fine as it's their money to do as they wish. But they're talking about blood money collected from the people in the first place.

  3. That is why we dont have a Steve Jobs amongst us.

  4. I started work 22 years ago. After paying for my HDB flat, I have about 100K in my account. Someone sent a an excel spread sheet whereby I could key in my annual slary over the years and it would calculate the amount if my CPF savings were to be placed in any banks saving account with the average interest rate for that year. It was only then I realised what the CPF scheme is all about.

  5. Me guessing that for a $20 coupon, they need to produce their HH income statement, prove husband/wife is not working/stay in 1-2rm flat/behind their arrears for installment etc etc...for a fracking $20 coupon.
    You bother or not? And you think the volunteers org bother or not?

  6. That is why all are Minister does not know what they are talking about. Just happily collecting their pay slip and check on their CPF acount where it is still there.

  7. Come, come, everyone including the poor gives me $1, and I will give 1 cent to a few poor for charity.

    30% fooling 30%

  8. It reminded me of an ex-president whom PM reported raised 100m for up to 500 charities in his decade long of remarkable service. It works out that taxpayers paid him approx. 36m +/- of salaries so he can give away 74m that equals to 12.6k per year per charity. Mind you, that is a peanut of $1050 per month of charity...damn big deal you know in SG context.

  9. Inverse Robin Hood 1: How Singapore's rich pay 0% tax and poor pay 40%...

  10. The $20 voucher value was calculated to offset the average 6 cents increase per day in transport cost for the average commuter for 1 year only. Meanwhile the ministers and MPs will enjoy their fat salaries for 5 whole years.

  11. Stupid Singaporeans
    deserve to be fooled!