29 April 2006

Send Our Old Folks Away to Bintan & Johor

Mr Wang missed this particular piece of news when it was reported about two weeks ago. Some of his readers kindly drew it to his attention. Now Mr Wang feels his heart sinking. He truly feels it sinking. A slow, awful, physical sensation in his chest.

What a cruel government we have. What a very cruel, cruel government. Here's the CNA report:
Government shortlists potential sites to build retirement village
17th April 2006

SINGAPORE : The government has shortlisted a few potential sites for the construction of a retirement village, and the National Development Ministry is currently studying the details.

The sites are on a 30-year land lease.

And one of them will be picked to test market demand for such villages.

In an exclusive interview with MediaCorp's Channel 8, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in the past, the idea of building retirement villages was put on the back burner as Singapore's problem of an ageing population was not as serious as that in Europe and America.

The Singapore market was also too small for retirement villages to be commercially viable.

But the prospects have since changed.

With a rapidly ageing Singapore population, Mr Khaw said in five years' time, retirement villages will become economically viable.

One obstacle is the high costs of land in Singapore.

"My personal view is, our land is expensive. But we have nearby neighbours in Johore, Batam and Bintan. The elderly want to reach their doctors within half to one hour. So retirement villages in neighbouring countries is possible, barring the cross-border hassle. It is best to find cheap land on short leases," said Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan.
- CNA /ls

Let me explain what the government is thinking. Thanks to Singapore's unique way of getting citizens to finance their own housing through the mandatory savings scheme known as CPF, the percentage of Singaporeans who own their own homes has become very high.

In fact, even if you look at the poorest 20 per cent of HDB families, you find that nearly nine out of 10 of them own the roof over their heads. The fact that so few Singaporeans are homeless is something which the government has endlessly bragged about for decades.

The problem is that the government's schemes have made many older Singaporeans asset rich but cash poor. Every month, a big part of their monthly salary is compulsorily deducted for their CPF account, and then, if they have a HDB mortgage, the CPF account is deducted to pay for the mortgage.

As time goes by, the result is an entire nation of people who conscientiously pay up for their homes, month after month, year after year. Therefore even the poor own homes.

An impressive result. Until you realise that the poor don't have any money left over to pay for anything else.

That's why in the last economic downturn, we saw Singaporeans who owned apartments worth $100,000 to $200,000, but who lived without electricity and water in those apartments (they couldn't pay their utilities bill) and had to scrounge for leftover scraps in rubbish bins and hawker centres.

The solution seems obvious. Sell the flat, collect the $200,000, pay off the remaining mortgage, downgrade to a cheaper home, and live on the excess cash.

The problem is that in land-scarce Singapore, there are no cheaper homes to downgrade to.

And now we have an aging population, an increasing percentage of old folks who can't work anymore even if jobs were available. Since they can't work, they can't support themselves. They have homes, but they can't support themselves.

The Singapore government has always prided itself on the economic prosperity that it creates for this country. Wouldn't it be sooooo embarrassing, if poor old people started appearing on the streets everywhere, begging for food and money?

Khaw Boon Wan's brainchild - build retirement villages in Bintan and Johor. Cheap, abundant land! The old & poor can sell their HDB flats, use the money to buy an inexpensive home in Bintan, and live on the leftover cash.

In other words, export our senior citizens. Send them away when their economic productivity has come to an end.

Anyone remember Boxer, the workhorse, from George Orwell's novel Animal Farm?

For years, Boxer worked so hard for the farm, selflessly giving all his strength to his work. When finally he grew old and weak, Napoleon sent him away from the farm, the only home that Boxer had ever known.

Napoleon told everyone that Boxer was going to a hospital for medical care. Later he told everyone that Boxer had died in hospital.

In truth, Boxer was sold to a butcher.

And became horsemeat.

Metaphorically speaking, any one of the above
could be your grandmother in Bintan.

The government is sickening.

I can't express how disgusted I feel. This is OBVIOUSLY a scheme to get rid of old and poor Singaporeans.

Do you imagine that Lee Kuan Yew would retire to Bintan? Or Goh Chok Tong?

It's like, everything is just a matter of dollars and cents to this government. Everything. Including poor old people.


Cobalt Paladin said...

Did the government say that it will force the senior citizens to move out? I don't think so. It will be voluntary. I believe the crux of the problem came about is because the children of these senior citizens didn't want to take care of their parents. If we take care of our parents and live together (which I do), then there won't be a need to build a retirement village.

It is a problem created by the citizens which the government has to tackle.

In many more developed countries which are economically richer than us, there are many homeless people who wanders the streets and had to scrounge for leftover scraps in rubbish bins and they live in carton boxes or under the bridge.

Isn't it better to at least have a roof over our heads?

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

If you are the government, you can build a retirement village in Singapore or outside Singapore. Why do you choose to build it outside Singapore?

Land prices? But of course. It's always down to dollars & cents for the government, isn't it.

There will always be old, poor people without children, or without children who can support them. Then it would become the government's problem, wouldn't it? What a nuisance. Why not just export them to some island where primary rainforest & jungle covers 90% of the land area?

Goodness gracious, we couldn't POSSIBLY consider just letting these old citizens live on Singapore and giving them a little welfare like other countries do, could we?

Anonymous said...

It's been a long time since I read Animal Farm, but I believe Box also left voluntarily.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Boxer was deceived. He believed he was going to the hospital.

Cobalt Paladin said...

Mr Wang, what I'm saying is that there will be a choice. IF (a very big if) the retirement village is built outside Singapore, there will be a choice given to them. A choice is better than no choice.

Any government has to weigh the usage of the country's resources carefully. Let the ministry involved do their feasibility study first. I believe a proper feasibility study would compare the pros and cons of building one locally versus one that is built outside of Singapore.

The conclusion may just be more worthwhile to build in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but think that maybe they are not proud of our senior citizens...

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

The government can:

(a) develop a welfare scheme for old poor Singaporeans;

(b) provide bigger tax rebates for adult children to look after their aged parents;

(c) reduce cost of living in Singapore for senior citizens;

(d) provide cheaper HDB flats to downgrade to, eg build new one-room or two-room flats;

(e) subsidise the building of retirements IN Singapore (not outside);

(f) build public old folks homes for those who really need it;

(g) use any combination of the above.

But if the government does not choose to look into these areas, there WILL be no choice.

If you are old and poor and all you have is a $200,000 HDB flat and no cash, you WILL have to sell your flat and move out to that cheap retirement village somewhere amidst the jungles of Bintan.

How else will you have money to buy food?

Effectively you will have become a victim of the government's highly successful public housing scheme. You own your very own nice little flat worth a tidy sum.

And you have no money left for food or electricity.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Meanwhile the government continues to have a glut of excess 5-room and executive HDB flats, built with taxpayers money.

Such a glut, that the government rents them out to foreigners.

We can provide homes in Singapore for our foreign talents.

But not for our own poor old Singaporeans?

Recruit Ong said...

Isn't the 140th always going about how unsafe our neighbouring countries are compared to us? Crime lah, robbery lah, murder! Wah! Isn't putting our senior citizens in those countries like shipping them into danger??

singaporean said...

It is a myth that Singapore is land-scarce. Take a drive along TPE/SLE and you can see acres and acres of grassland. I wouldnt be surprised if the government decides that all the IR proposals are so attractive they carve out more pieces of land to build more IRs.

In fact, given the low birth rate, the citizen population will shrink in the years to come, as the baby boomers("pre-independence generation") pass on.

If the government is contemplating retirement villages based on overpopulation concerns, one can only conclude that the government is planning a huge influx of foreigner, presumably with huge financial incentives, in the same way persuasive manner they "attract" foreign students to local unis. The anti-Singaporean discrimination can only get worse, as foreigners get a bigger and bigger slice of our tax spending.

There are plenty of homeless people in developed nations, but many are so not because they are old. Many homeless people are young, and are stuck in a rut because of mental problems like depression or schizophrenia. Take a look at the tourists arriving in Singapore, many of these are retirees who led a humble working life, but are enjoying their golden years generously funded by their pensions.

Granted, this is a bad practice, and companies like GM are on the verge of bankrupcy because of the pension/medical benefits burden. But, even without corporate pensions, most retirees in first world nations can depend on some sort of government benefit to get by. There is no such automatic benefit in Singapore. If you need government help, you better go on your knees and beg your neighbourhood grassroot leader.

The ugly truth is that, Singapore can boast of it's international competitiveness because we disregard the needy in Singapore. If the government is to provide "first world" elder care in Singapore, our budget surplus will vaporise.

But if Singapore is to remain a democracy, the baby boomers will assert themselves politically. In reality, we should fear how the "pre-independence generation" would vote, because they are the ones who would clamour for populist big money spending policies.

PAP needs these people to be happy to stay in power, and therefore, they had to think of the cheapest possible way to please them, hence the overseas retirement villages.

Anonymous said...

Ah! A penchant for figures and disregard for lives. Wouldn't Stalin have been proud!

Merv said...

Since Singapore needs all its land for maximum profit making ventures, why don't we move all housing to batam?

We will just take a boat to Singapore Island to work everyday.

Anonymous said...

I believe Boxer was sold to a glue factory. An animal who could read noticed that the van which took Boxer away was from a glue factory, but the propaganda pig explained that it *was* a glue factory van, but the van was recently bought by the hospital and they hadn't had the time to repaint it over.

Still, isn't it everyone's dream to retire to a tropical island?

Anonymous said...

We all forget something. Singapore is not a country. It is a for profit corporation. If it is a country, the govt is obliged to take care of its citizens, both productive and inproductive, healthy or disabled, period.

So, those that can vote should exercise them wisely. The pap is really losing its touch and reality with the common singaporeans, but of course they are too blind and arrogant to see it.

Anonymous said...

oops, typo - meant unproductive.

Hoffnungsfunke the billygoat said...

Singapore is not land-scarce. It is simply land-expensive. And just think about it. You get a "subsidy" for your HDB flat... just so that when you grow old, you sell it back to the government, so that they can place you in an offshore retirement village.

So they earn twice from you. And put you in Bintan. Conveniently out of sight, out of mind.

Boy, isn't this such a brillant move? The share price of Singapore Inc. is sure to rise! More New Economic Shares, anyone?

Hoffnungsfunke the billygoat said...

And who sets the price of land anyway? Besides, isn't land sales not included as revenue in the budget since it is an unpredictable income? Therefore Singapore shouldn't suffer since our operational budget does not factor in land sales revenue anyway... unless, of course, it is to be used to pay for Progress Packages. Offshore retirement villages is such a great progress, aren't they?

hugewhaleshark said...

The gahmen sets the price of land. And yes, there is plenty of it. No one is asking you to build these things in the middle of Raffles Pl or Orchard Rd. So Mr Khaw's statements are circular, and insensitive, IMO.

Anonymous said...

I believe the crux of the issue is that these very group of senior citizens are the ones who gave what singapore has today.

Without their tireles and selfless labour, there will not be progress in the economy, increase in the national reserves and betterment of lives for the current generation.

Think about it. How would you feel if you are being treated like this for all the contributions made and not recognised.

Anonymous said...

The study on the problems on greying population has been ongoing for a long time. The idea is so ridiculous and they know it. After much deliberation and study, they will say subsequently that to have our old folks sent off like Boxer is unimaginable. So in order to keep them here, we will need to provide them the necessary welfare etc BUT as a consequence to this, TAX WILL HAVE TO BE RAISED. This is the situation in most other countries that provides welfare or social security. It is inevitable. You think?

Anonymous said...

This wouldn't be a problem if Goh Chok Tong didn't embark on that foolhardy and shortsighted asset enhancement scheme.

Right up to the eighties, HDB flats has always been affordable, affordable in that sense you can pay up for your flat and stll have a chunk of change left in your CPF for retirement. Then in a bid to win votes and to play up the economics results of the PAP government, Goh Chok Tong went on his fatal asset enchancement scheme.

It created an artificial property bubble, drove the prices of flats to astronomical levels and we have been paying for it eversince. There's no way now to lower property prices without creating economic chaos, so we are left with little choice but to continue paying a quarter of a million dollars for 4 roomers while leaving little for our retirement.

Thanks Mr Goh, more good years indeed.

Anonymous said...

I love the PAP man! Finally, I know what to do with my parent when they hit, 65 or 70. I 'll just kick them out the door and ship them out!! Woohoo!

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, u r trying to be deliberately stupid or what? Pple voluntarily buy overseas homes in Bintan, Batam, Johor, KL, Penang, Shanghai, Xiamen, Perth etc for investment/retirement. If the Govt spearheads the project, then S'poreans may be better protected against the non-delivery by developers in these countries.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang should send his parents to Bintn and Johor. After they are all stupid, and luckily Mr Wang is so smart that he dares defies them... otherwise he would not have achieved national standards in don't know what areas and that his blog, despite only being less than 1 year, is so well read.

All hail Mr Wang!

Anonymous said...

Even if for whatever reason you don't like Mr Wang, out of consideration you should refrain from cluttering up this space with your garbage comments. There ARE lots of other people here who are interested in exchanging views and having a real discussion, you know.

I don't know why Mr Wang is so tolerant of this kind of crap comments. If I were you, Mr Wang, I'd just DELETE all of them.

Lam Chun See said...

I dread to think what would happen if another oil crisis comes up and triggers a slump in home prices. Overnight our asset-rich, cash-poor retirees will become asset+cash poor.

Maybe some of you too young to know about the 2 oil crises of the 70's.

moomooman said...

You Guys have wronged Khaw. He read Mr Wang's article below:


He realised that he will be helping the older folks if he could build the village in Bintam as:

1. They can save the ferry money.
2. They can "Exercise" everyday in their own home and thus save more money.
3. Blood circulation will improve from bottom up.

Khaw is a nice man.

moomooman said...

I came from a PAP rally at YCK today. They said our Sing Dollar would suffer if we voted wrongly for a lousy opposition.

Instead of S$1 for $2+ riggit.. it may become $1 to $1riggit. Our CPF money will have half of its value.

So building a village in Johor may just be back to square one. So... please vote for PAP. I dun want to go stay in Johor and my apartment is the size of a 3 room flat in Ang Mo Kio.

Anonymous said...

It's time for citizens to make a choice, really. Is this how you want your country to treat you?

Duracell battery, people, duracell battery.

Anonymous said...

is there only one way to look at this issue? surely not. why not look at this from another perspective? why not see this as another option for us? after all, it's not as if the government is forcing this down our throats. at the end of the day, we decide if we want us or our parents to retire in singapore or elsewhere. it's our option.

& i personally think we ourselves are responsible to plan for our own future, for our parents' retirement and our own retirement. why is it always the government's job to solve our problems anyway? we should know we have to make retirement plans.


Anonymous said...

If they don't solve our problems, then why should we put them in office?

Anonymous said...

Actually this trial balloon ( suspect it was deliberately floated by our authorities) of moving our elderly to retirement villages in foreign countries is not new.

If memory serves us right, there was a suggestion many years ago of building an NTUC retirement resort for NTUC members in Australia. Trouble is it probably needed Australia's nod.

And the same goes for the current proposal of using Johor or the Riau Islands. What would the Malaysian or Indonesian govts say to our elderly moving en masse to their territories and living there? Probably require some change in their immigration rules (although Malaysia has a white hair policy but you need to put some money up front i.e. you need to be rich first).

Then there's the question of who will build and run these retirement villages. Some GLC most likely. What about the requisite medical facilities, on Batam for example? Probably supplied by another GLC.

You see, it's not really a question of choice. The elderly who are wealthy would already have retirement homes in Australia, Malaysia, Thailand or elsewhere. This is meant more for the elderly heartlanders whose one sole asset are their HDB flats. The proposition to these people is cash out your flat and live out your remaining days in a GLC-run retirement village close to Singapore (and buying an annuity from the GLC in the process).

In the meantime, precious land in Singapore could be freed up for those who are, should we say more, economically productive and less draining on the health budget.

Anonymous said...

Can you write less emotional entries? Pardon this ignorant youngster, but correct me if I'm wrong: the government won't force anyone to move to these retirement villages. It's up to the elderly or their kids as to whether or not they want to stay there.

Why is providing a cheaper OPTION for the elderly a cruel thing?

As always, please provide solutions instead of flinging accusations. You're not doing much to enrich debate by saying things like

"What a nuisance. Why not just export them to some island where primary rainforest & jungle covers 90% of the land area?

Goodness gracious, we couldn't POSSIBLY consider just letting these old citizens live on Singapore and giving them a little welfare like other countries do, could we? "

Are you willing to pay more taxes to support our ageing population? Can Singapore afford to NOT think of dollars and cents? What about the fact that the "other countries" are trying to reduce the burden on the young by reforming their econ systems?


Anonymous said...


when you become old and suddenly lose your money in shares, dun blame the govt okay if you have no recourse to part of the money you helped to build up all your life in Singapore.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...


On whether an option exists, see my earlier comment on Saturday, April 29, 2006 11:16:29 AM.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

For solutions, see 6 ideas suggested in comment Saturday, April 29, 2006 11:16:29 AM; note also other readers' comments that land is available in Singapore and furthermore prices are in any event controlled by the govt.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
Even if for whatever reason you don't like Mr Wang, out of consideration you should refrain from cluttering up this space with your garbage comments. There ARE lots of other people here who are interested in exchanging views and having a real discussion, you know.

I don't know why Mr Wang is so tolerant of this kind of crap comments. If I were you, Mr Wang, I'd just DELETE all of them.

Saturday, April 29, 2006 9:35:50 PM"

No, I don't dislike Mr Wang. As a matter of fact, he says some good stuff. However, there is a danger in the ways he perceive things. In an earlier discussion, he called for the young to think for themselves and make a difference in their own lives. I am fine with that, but he stretches that by labelling their parents, teachers and government stupid. As if the most important things in life are what the young people want, irrespective of the consequences. They should go for it as long as if he wants. Well, what I am talking about is the values we want our people to have. The sense of responsibility that we have for our loved ones, and for our fellow citizens. In living in a community, we need to be responsible for ourselves and realise that no man is an island, and therefore our actions affect others.

I am not sure what Mr Wang's concepts of "wants" mean. It could be blogging to a big group of people, could be soccer, setting up a business, or have a 2nd wife or 3rd. All these actions can and will impact on people around us. He goes on to make a general statement that we should just do what we want, ignore the other voices, especially the ones with authority or who make have a stake in the actions that he would take. He advocates ignoring them, labelling them stupid on the way. He cited how he exploited a loophole while serving his NS as an ingenious way to get what he wanted. I am not sure what he did, maybe he thought of the ways he could get downgraded. He could have made contacts with contacts to het what he wanted. Well, hypothetically, he can exploit possible loopholes to rationalise for any immoral acts. The most important thing is that if you want it enough, just do it.

Well, not so simple. Perhaps, Mr Wang is in fact a moral man, with sound values. maybe, he got it from his family, his school or maybe he got them all by himself, if indeed that is possible. But the fact remains that some will make poor decisions (I am sure Mr Wang believes that is possible) and will impact on the greater community.

I do believe in some values. i believe in "respect", "fillial piety" so I don't like Mr Wang calling parents, teachers or anyone in authority "stupid" simple they do what we want them to do. I don't know. Maybe Mr Wang does not want his children to be schooled and want "home schooling". I suggest he does that.

I did not have the "pleasure" of hearing Mr Wang speak that day. I, however, have heard it from a student who shared with me what he said. And I am glad that I have a chance to put things to perspective.

I just find it so funny that after declaring that the youth should ignore what parents (or teachers or governemnt) have to say and labelling them "stupid" that he can, in the next breath, critiicse the Govt for contemplating such a move.

Well, if Mr Wang continues to advocate disrespect to parents, there may come a day when we really have to send our older citizens.

Frankly, I do not know how Mr Wang speaks to his parents. If it is anything like the blog, I would like to tell him off. And if he really does this, well, Rookie will spit at you (just to borrow your phrase).

Maybe, my garbage is not such a garbage after all. But, you decide...

where he asks for the young ones to

Anonymous said...

What's all this irrelevant commentary shit about teachers etc, Mr Wang's speech and what not???

Here we are talking about retirement villages in Bintan. You want to argue with Mr Wang about some other post about don't-know-what-topic, then go THERE and post your comment.

Chrissakes, only in Singapore forums, you get this kind of crap commentator. In other countries, even when bloggers disagree, they at least STICK to the topic.

Mr Wang, PLEASE delete that guy.

singaporean said...

You have a choice only if there is more than one option. Nobody is going to point a gun at you and force you to do anything, but if it is a choice between starving and moving to Bintan, then you dont really have a choice at all.

There are no beggar or slum/ghetto in Singapore, not because there are no poor people, but because the government actively acts to sweep them under the carpet. In fact, since it is a crime to beg, I suspect the bulk of potential beggars are squatting in Changi Prison. Remember, Singapore has one of the highest incarceration rate in the WORLD, first or third.

I was told that Singapore has another world number 1, and that is the sheer number of old people working in low income jobs, and the government fears they will mar our landscape. To the government, Singapore must be kept squeaky clean at all costs to foreigners, tourists and investors, (and to young Singaporeans too, because that will likely be your fate too) or Singapore will collapse, and their million dollar salaries evaporate. Cant allow that to happen, can we? Since we cannot make it illegal to be old and working, we better ship them elsewhere.

Some of you probably think that as long as you have a fat savings and cpf accounts, you will be safe. But from what I see, the greatest threat to comfortable retirement today, is hyper-inflation in a low interest rate environment. In fact, it is happening already, and a million Sing dollars today could look like a million rupiah in a few years, irregardless of who the ruling party is. Just like what happened in the recession that has supposedly ended, the Singapore government is quite helpless when the international economic environment changes. Ultimately, what George W Bush does will have more impact in our livelihood than what the ruling party what does. To make things worse, one cannot rule the possibility of further GST hikes if ever there is another revenue shortfall because our income tax rates must be competitive compared to Hong Kong, ie we cant hike our income tax rates unless Hong Kong does. To retirees, GST is a tax on previously taxed income. Face the truth, anybody can face poverty in retirement, and if you wouldnt want to be shipped off to Bintan, then dont pretend it is a solution palatable to anyone else.

Think about it, HDB has built plenty of studio apartments for retirees, but there are few takers. Why? Old people are just like handicapped people. They dont want to be packed up into some concentration camp. They want to live a normal life, just like any young Singaporean.

Here is a government that prides itself as first world, and pays itself out of this world salaries but yet when it comes to elder care, suddenly they seem to lack palatable ideas. Who pays tomorrow for the cheques signed by the ruling party today?

Sunflower said...

I think there is no point to debate this anymore.

For those agreed with what our government had suggested, just wait and see what will happen next. And pray very hard, this don't happen on you.

For those disagreed with what our government had suggested, just save enuff money and move to somewhere. Don't wait for our government to export us!

I think there are some personal attack here. Well, everyone has their point of views. If you don't like or totally disagree what Mr Wang's has mentioned. Just share your options and that it!

Just my 2 cents worth!

Anonymous said...

You provide a lot of what to dos, but you have yet to deal with the economic impact of your suggestions.

I'm not being heartless, but I believe that in years to come, we'll have a range of nursing homes to choose from, and the ones not in Singapore will be an OPTION. No one is going to force you to move there, nor can anyone force children to put their parents there.

Basically you didn't address what I asked. It would be humane for governments to give and give to the aged, but if even rich European countries are re-thinking this system, how much can Singapore afford to give? Are you going to blog about high taxes when the time comes for the young to pay for the old?

And to those who suggest that Mr Wang delete comments. How can he? He supports the notion of youths bombarding older people with questions.


Anonymous said...

Oh we can all ignore mugster. I am surprised she didn't go further and ask for all aged persons after the age of 65 to be 'soylent greenised".

Anonymous said...

Sorry I didn't read earlier posts/comments, but did u deliberately use a large font size so that the ageing population with ailing eyesights can read this scheme to send us away?

Anonymous said...

Just heard from a family friend, that her aging mother had just been sent to a old age home in JB two weeks ago. Her mother was staying in a old folks home in Changi before that. Family member could not afford the monthly bill of S$1,600.00 and was given a option to JB old age home which run by the same organisaion and monthly bill is also 1,600.00 but in ringgit. She was sent there by an ambulance, very organizely done. So, that mean they have already planned everything. When the health minister mentioned about this in the newspaper, was it just to prepare us for it?

singaporean said...

In all fairness, I had contemplated retirement in Malaysia before. It is near to Singapore and has good cultural fit, but most importantly, I can retire comfortably just by selling my flat and buying a small apartment over there. If there can be a Singapore village, that would be fantastic, since I am more likely to live among old friends, and pooling our resources together, we can run a Singapore-class security system.

But if that is my eventual fate, then I cant help but feel that my government has failed me. For all the first world boastings the government has made, the journey of old Singaporeans are will be one of, "From First World to Third".

It is misconception that old people has to be bed-ridden and senile. That is not the likely case. Old people may have problem walking, but that doesnt mean they have to be immobile. If you travel widely, you will see that old folks in the real developed world commonly travel around independently using buggies.

I have also learnt recently of another good reason why we should keep retirees on this island: They are a weapon against recession. The consumption patterns of the working class fluctuates according to their income, but the consumption of goods of the elderly are relatively fixed. In the event of widespread unemployment, the elderly spending will be crucial in keeping the economy alive. You outsource that to other countries, you lose that buffer against economic shocks.

See, old people do not need to be a liability. Unless you wish to die young, you will be old one day too. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Anonymous said...

horror! who would man the toilets and McD restaurants then?

simplesandra said...

If they do, I already have a name for this "retirement village" -- let's call it "Ubasuteyama". :(

Anonymous said...

klimmer: you faster grow old and help to man loh..
isn't that what we suppose to aim for?
'i wish that when i am 80 years old got arthritis, bad vision, no teeth, at least still got a career at macdonald!

The victim said...

If these aged move overseas, can they still vote?

Unknown said...

Very simple to tackle this problem..
If i am the government..
Just create a new act in law...
For those who dont have money...old...not wish to live anymore....
Just come to SGH for injection(peaceful die which already done in the other country in euro for those patient with serious sick)
And government take over their asset....
Story ending.....