Monday, May 27, 2013

Growing Old In Singapore

Women in Singapore can expect to live to 85 and men to the age of 80, if the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) figures are to be believed. Problem is, WHO assumes we have the same healthcare availability and affordability of the other top 3 countries, namely Japan (female 86, male 82), Switzerland and San Marino. Even if Ah Ma and Ah Kong can scrounge up the money to see a doctor, their sprightly presence is not always welcomed.

Some residents at Toh Yi estate organised an evening meeting in February 2012 to protest the construction of 130 senior citizen studio apartments at the junction of Toh Yi Road and Toh Yi Drive. It mimicked the actions of the Woodlands group who objected to the building of an elder-care centre at the void deck of their HDB blocks. Haunting images of the notorious death houses at Sago Lane were evoked in their passioned protestations, but one suspects their fears relate more to the horror of the market value of their enhanced assets plummeting with the growing sights of so many old people still walking around their estate.

Hence the pretty billboards. Ah Ma and Ah Kong must be in the picture, you just have to look real hard.


  1. In the perfect world, old people just fade away, like that "old soldiers never die, they just fade away". Made famous by Gen MacArthur.

    Well, we have been conditioned to fairy tales, Active Aging( work till you drop), Two keys Condo (if you can afford, or more correctly can con your parents to subsidise your Condo).
    Sorry, am getting on in age as well. Depressed and dismayed.

  2. Toh yi and Woodlands reject our old folks, but each PRC and Indian couple bring their old folks when they come, each family who comes bring 4 old folks (2 parents from the wife, 2 from the husband). In a few years, the homes would still have to be built, just not for me (an silliporean old folk) but for the PRC and Indian old folks. And with taxpayers money too. Its not even worth fighting even if their timeframe was ultrashort, property prices will plunge regardless of old folks homes or not, its the law of gravity - but maybe in lala land laws of physics do not apply. The nippons thought they have broken through all the shackles of gravity with their money printing when their stock market climbed 75% over the last 30 weeks. Until last week. Then it gave back 10% in just one week! Maybe in the next 30 weeks, they will come back down to earth, and Toh Yis and Woodlandis would happily accept the old folks homes when HDB prices tumble too. When one is asset-rich, one also becomes morally poor, I hope the reverse will be true.

    Did anyone notice? GDP miraculously turned from negative (prelim report in April) to positive again! Same when the Q42012 GDP number was miraculously "revised upwards". Once is chance, twice is habit, third time, it's just good old Chinese communist style "goal seek". Baffle with bullshit continues in la-la land.

    1. LOL, they must be damn good at that excel function.

  3. 1) "Temasek take US$4.6B loss on US$5.9B Merill Investment". It was reported in the foreign news back in 2012. I thought to myself it can't be true because our truthful ST never seems to report it.

    2) By then they already said we all will be living longer. Never mind if more of us will have cancer, diabetes, hypertension, high chlorestorel, etc.

    3) At age 55, our CPF Min Sum will be converted into a clone of our Public Assistance Scheme, graciously giving us a monthly allowance that will take care of our meals at hawker, foodcourt and restarants for the rest of our lives, courtesy & with special thanks to our PAP MPs.

    With hindsight, I just wonder whether any of the above series of events are inter-related ?

  4. this govt will always use statistic to support money-taking as long as it support it, otherwise they will just brute-force it without reason.

    Anyone remember the increase of property tax nation-wide due to rental excuse, and how many people is renting flat ? Does not even need to give the public statistic to justify, just ask you to pay more because govt says so. seems like they intentionally didn't want to reveal the percentage of flat rental market because majority of people just want a flat to stay not rent.

    how greedy and evil can this money-suckers can be ?

  5. but gecko die earlier than him? why? wrong sampling size? wrong samples?

    sorry .... my bad; he is "god" ... neBer die

  6. We should clear some lands in Bt Timah or Holland Rd to build old folks home or whatever for the less fortunate elderly .

    It is a good symbol of We 'Elite Cares' ... instead of pushing all these less glamor amenities to folks at HDB estates.

  7. I think statistics lie big time. To my knowledge, most of my friends and relatives who passed away were never that old, mostly around late 50s and early 60s. Who provided WHO with those figures as a matter of interest?

    Yes, I do agree that those who are old are really in their late 80s and early 90s, and these are the people propping up the livespan statistics. And those oldies will continue to live longer because of their healthier lifestyle when they were younger. Not those in their 50s and 60s who are invariably already afflicated with sickness of sorts. In time to come, those now in their 20s and 30s will fare even worse in lifespan expectation because of their addiction to fast food and unhealthy lifestyles.

    Believe in the statistics for all you want.

  8. Let's redevelop the Istana into a hub for active ageing in Singapore.

    1. For one kind of white albinos only I suppose.

      Ordinary Singaporeans can only see see during festive holidays.

      So, I do not support the idea.