This is one of the saddest stories in recent times and despite my best attempts not to politicise things that have no basis to do so, I went berserk when I saw the photos of the 4 clowns in grassroots attire at the front door of their house and realised that these arseholes were trying to make political capital of someone's misfortune.
Now which arsehole told the nation that "no gets left behind". Tell that to Rebecca and Gabriel Loh. No help, no hope and reliant on $1,000 every month which the grandmother earned to support 3 mouths, pay medical bills and a young mother who could not work as she had to take care of her son who had frail legs and a failed liver. And the it only a few days ago we found a civil servant forking out $10milion to buy an apartment. No, it was not the CEO of a major business but a fucking civil servant of a tiny island that was supposed to be doomed it did not bring 6.9m people real quick.
Where were the 4 fucking grassroots clowns in uniform before the Gabriel left the world. And which idiot suggested sending the 4 clowns to the house. And why in uniform. The decent thing was to send an empathic individual to make discrete inquiries about any help need. Were the uniforms and the numbers to show the world that the PAP cares and to play to the public gallery.
What were the 4 clowns uniform going to do. One hold the tissue box, the second pull out the tissue, the third wipe the tears and the fourth one disposes of the tissue. You can't make this up. Reminds me of 2004 when then defeated Potong Pasir Clown Sitoh for political capital began the hunt for the missing 9 year old Filipino girl and made the papers.
News: The Straits Times - 21 October 2011
PM's goal: No one gets left behind
by Janice Heng
IN HIS first appearance before the new Parliament elected in the watershed May general election, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pledged to make maintaining social mobility a top priority of his new government.
A society 'in which no one is left behind' was his objective, he declared, and one made particularly urgent by an apparent trend of rising social stratification.
Speaking for more than an hour before an attentive House, PM Lee set out what was needed to realise the vision of a better life for all - a vision first painted in President Tony Tan Keng Yam's address at the opening of Parliament last week.
This, he indicated, would be 'the next chapter' in the ongoing Singapore Story.
One requirement was an inclusive society in which everyone benefits from progress, 'has a say, a stake and a sense of belonging', and aspires to do better.
He placed this at the top of his list of three requirements, the other two being a vibrant economy and constructive politics.
The challenge to creating an inclusive society is income inequality, now 'starker than before', and the accompanying social stratification in which, as he noted, 'the children of successful people are doing better, the children of less successful people are doing less well'.
'Fewer children from lower-income families are rising to the top of the heap,' he observed.
Citing his own encounters at the Meet-the-People Sessions that he holds in Ang Mo Kio GRC, where he is MP, he described residents who were 'desperate, anxious, and worried about themselves'.
'But we worry more for their children,' he said. 'Because when they have no home, no place to go, studying in the void deck, how do you go from that to the kid dreaming in a lab to be the next Nobel Prize winner?
'It's a big gap. It exists in Singapore, sharper than before.'
This was a sharp contrast to a generation ago, when people were poor but many of their children went to university and became professionals.
PM Lee told the House that after the general election, he tasked Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is now Deputy Prime Minister as well as Manpower Minister, to do a comprehensive and multi-ministry review of social issues and social policies.
One result of the review was the prioritisation of social mobility.
'The first priority we would have in dealing with (social issues) is to strive to maintain social mobility, to create the best opportunities for our people to progress, and to encourage people to make maximum efforts for themselves.'
Singapore's prosperity was based on self-reliance, and that remains the right direction, he added.
That is why the Government has put a major emphasis on education and training, from focusing on good-quality, affordable preschool education to enhancing access to higher education.
But institutions alone do not suffice. Though institutions may be in place, a 'social gap' between different strata of society will be very damaging, he said. 'So we must keep our society open, egalitarian, informal.'
Strengthening Singaporeans' ability to succeed is thus the Government's first approach towards an inclusive society.
A second, complementary approach is to strengthen social safety nets.
The Government has been doing more of this, said PM Lee. He gave the examples of Workfare and ComCare, two schemes to help the poor that were created in the past five years, and said these would be enhanced as necessary.
Mr Lee added that the Government would look into how it can help employ low-wage workers by having its agencies practise 'best-sourcing' - awarding contracts to firms with good employment practices rather than the lowest price quotation.
In addition, though the Government's focus is now on those at the bottom, it will 'extend the support beyond the low end, selectively, where it's deserved and justified, to the not-so-poor', he said.
These are lower-middle and middle-income workers who do not need regular help, but may need assistance if they run into difficulties.
Such difficulties may include the illness of elderly parents, which can be catastrophic even for middle-income families.
That is why the Government is paying attention to long-term care for the chronically ill and elderly, said PM Lee.
The Government will also make sure that public housing is affordable even for lower-income households - for home ownership is a way 'to level up the less successful and to give them a valuable asset and a retirement nest egg'.
Unfortunately, a minority of Singaporeans have not taken care of this asset, he added. Some households have sold their flats prematurely to get out of debt - ending up homeless. This is a serious problem which the Government must find some way to address, he said.
The third aspect of making an inclusive society is enabling Singaporeans to age with dignity and grace, said PM Lee, noting that the ageing problem is 'happening almost before our eyes'.
Eyeing his fellow parliamentarians, he quipped: 'I don't just mean when we look in the mirror.'
He recalled making a special effort to visit Radin Mas five years ago, when preparing for a National Day Rally speech that touched on ageing. Radin Mas had an older age profile than the national norm.
Today, he no longer has to visit Radin Mas, but can simply look at his own constituency of Ang Mo Kio. Though residents are active and happy, they are 'visibly greyer than five years ago'.
Statisticians estimate that in 2030, one in five Singaporeans will be older than 65. The Government is preparing for the 'silver tsunami' of an ageing society by helping the elderly work longer, and containing and sharing health-care costs.
Health-care services will also be built up - not just more hospitals and nursing homes, but also community and home care.
All these measures are essential to help lower-income Singaporeans, enable more of their children to do well, and prepare for an ageing society, said PM Lee.
'The trends themselves will be hard to reverse. But what we do will make a major difference and will help to ensure that nobody is left behind.'
However, even as he spelt out the Government's approach to building an inclusive society, he cautioned that programmes to achieve the goals need to be effective, as 'in social spending, it is quite possible for more money to make things worse'.
The examples of the United States health-care system and beleaguered European welfare states show that 'more spending is not always better'.
While he was confident that the Government had adequate resources to 'do what is necessary' for the next five years, 'beyond that, it will depend on how much our needs and our programmes go'.
'But I can tell you that if we do all the things which have been mooted over the last few days in this Chamber, we will not have to wait five years before you think about raising taxes,' he said, to laughter from the House.
- end of ST article. Reprinted with permission.