Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Helping the poor

We need a better way to help the poor in Singapore, rather than the bureaucratic, "many helping hands" approach.


Anonymous said...

REX comments as follows,

Basically i believe that the government does have the money to support on continous basis, the really down and out.
Basically i believe that the government is not really that heartless as to completely ignore the plight of the really destitute.

What went wrong then? I think it is an issue of administration which jeopardise the entire system.

As in any system, there will be people who really deserve and some who habitually suck on the system without wanting to make an effort to work (in the video the HDB Office/Govt made a wrong judgement believing that that family could actually find job easily with two sick overgrown kids who need care daily).

Basically i think the government is afraid to go extra mile to help the really destitute because it is not able to DISTINGUISH the really destitute from the abusers and free loaders of the system. Civil servants are always worried that they will be overwhelmed by too many people asking help.
Analogy = if you visit a poor country you get to see a poor child begging. Do you donate? Usually you will first observe the surroundings. There seem to be many eyes and similar beggars around. Give to one and you will be swarmed by a two dozen more. So, sadly you might walk away because you want to protect yourself. This is the mentality of the govt.

TO open the lock to giving, it is necessary for some super inteliigent civil servant to design a system that will be easy to administer and really hand out the dole to the deserving. This is the long term solution.

We as a nation, have the money, but we have not the brains to design a proper system of welfare. I dislike the current system of distribution of donation money. It seems to be going to the wrong people and the overheads are too high (remember the lego donation case) and there seems to be little transparency where the funds end up, audits, etc.


C H Yak said...

..."Basically i think the government is afraid to go extra mile to help the really destitute because it is not able to DISTINGUISH the really destitute from the abusers and free loaders of the system."...

I do agree with REX on Part 1 of this statement.

In implementation, Singapore is too concern to design the perfect process and control procedures. It applies to everything.

The Government just decides whether to spend, this could be easily debated in Parliament. But the civil servant "is afraid to go extra mile to help". Either they are waiting for the "perfect process and control procedures" to be spell out on paper, and directed what to do, or they lack the "brain" and willingness to want to help further. This has got to do with the "apathetic" Singaporean culture.

I don't think it is really that hard to distinguish the real destitutes who need help if those who are responsible to implement really go to the ground to investigate.

Likewise, as for the implementation of all policies in Singapore, the politics of implementing control measures and processes will slow down and kill it, rather than facilitate it.

Worst still, those who are responsible to implement it may think they should be paid a substantial salary to do it like our political leaders.

Even the legal and judicial system work and behave this way. No one is keen to take an extra step to be positive.

The lack of a positive culture to help.

Anonymous said...

We have a statutory board called the "ECONOMIC Development Board". It's staffed with some of our best scholars.

We do not have a "SOCIAL Development Board" to spearhead Singapore's social issues.

So what does this tell you about the priorities of our country?

We have a multi-billion dollar fund to promote R&D in Singapore. Somehow, land, buildings and funds can always be found to buy and house expensive R&D equipment.

Do we have a multi-billion dollar fund to promote a dignified old age for our elderly? No! We are told to consider Johor. Somehow land and building just cannot be found in land scarce Singapore.

Forget the high-faluting speeches and headlines. Study our national budget. How we spend our national budget will tell you what is really in the hearts of our leaders.

Xtrocious said...

To anon at 5.21pm

You are right because that's how their KPIs are measured - by economic growth (i.e. unrealistic GDP numbers)...

Conversely, how does one measure social development success?

Hence it's no secret which route they prefer to take...sigh

Anonymous said...

I don't why there are poor people in Singapore while our ministers and the President are earning millions each per year.

We have the GIC and Temasek losing billions in investments and yet we have poor people.

Hey, you people why don't you help?

Anonymous said...

There were poor people and the insurance agents make them poorer so that is a divide.The poor are ignorant and gullible and become easy victims of aGENTS. tHE AGENTS EXPLOITED THEM .In fact agents' earning is as good as illgotten. They should rob the reach instead of bullying the poor.

Blog Archive