Category: Politics

Power at the ballot box!

“Every rider on a personal mobility device (PMD) broke the speed limit on the footpath. Every single one.”

That is what The Sunday Times saw at four locations over three days. The Sunday Times reported on July 7th 2019 entitled “PMDs: A new source of accidents. Speeding PMD riders: Too fast and too reckless” should raise alarm bells for every one using the walkways and footpaths — especially seniors.

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Employers Also Benefit From Hiring Seniors and Retirees

In Singapore, there are a lot of initiatives by the labour unions and government to support seniors and retirees in the workforce. For Singaporean residents between 55 and 64, 58.8% are employed full time and 8.3% are employed part-time in 2017. Among OECD countries, full-time employment in this age group ranks 9th but part-time ranks 23rd. Whether it is full-time or part-time employment, employers are realising that they can also benefit from hiring seniors and retirees in various ways.

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Healthcare Costs is Rising in Singapore Faster Than GDP Growth: How Will This Affect You?

Last month, the PM sounded an alarm that is not entirely unexpected – that as Singapore ages, healthcare cost is bound to increase and hit levels of spending that will continue to break historical records. The Singapore government’s healthcare expenditure has skyrocketed from $3.9 billion in 2011 to an estimated $10.2 billion in 2018 — this means that in 2019, Singapore’s healthcare expenditure would be triple the amount spent in 2011! The PM made it loud and clear that this is not sustainable and Singapore needs to look for new ways to manage and fund the rising healthcare costs – which is only going to get worse at an even faster rate by 2030, where 1-in-4 will be over 65!

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Merdeka Generation Package: S$8 Billion well spent to help seniors born in the 50’s

Like the Pioneer Generation Package, I believe the Merdeka Generation Pack(MGP) is money well spent. When the Merdeka Generation citizens were in their working years, wages and salaries were significantly lower then. Education and other opportunities were considerably less than what our current generation has. For them, there was little opportunity to save enough for retirement especially with healthcare costs increasing at an alarming rate. Add this to greater longevity, it is clear that the Merdeka Generation’s savings for their retirement will fall short of what is needed.

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Raising the GST to 9%: Should Singaporean Seniors Support this Move?

If you listen to the budget speech, seniors are of course looking for the “goodies” that was promised by the Prime Minister a few months back such as the Merdeka Generation Package(MGP). All the social spending, including defense, education, health care and social support expenditures, need to be paid for by the government without raiding Singapore’s hard-earned reserves. To maintain a “balanced budget” and still pursue a policy of social spending that is much need in Singapore’s ageing population, the government of the day needs to increase tax revenue as it spends. Sometime between 2021 to 2024, the government plans to raise the GST from 7% to 9%. On the surface, it looks bad for seniors — but when we look deeper, I believe seniors should welcome this move. Here’s why.

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Happy New Year. We Have Achieved A New Record for Children.

When we ring in 2019, we will have hit a record for children all over the world. And it is not a good record. According to Save The Children, more children than ever before are living in conflict areas and are at risk of death and violence. We will start the year with at least 357 million children suffering in conflict areas or roughly 1-in-6 children in our world. Most of the conflict areas are in Africa and Middle East.

I do not want to throw a wet blanket on your new year festivities. This is not an appeal for money for the many charities that help these children wherever they can. This is not a political statement about government or politics and to tell you who is to blame. And I am not going to show you in this article the heart wrenching pictures of children starved to death, injured by weapons of war or simply killed by indiscriminate bombings.

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Nursing Homes in Singapore: Refuge of Last Resort

In a report entitled “Safe but Soulless — Nursing Homes Need a New Narrative” published by Lien Foundation and Khoo Chwee Neo Foundation in 2016 as part of their advocacy project focused on improving Singapore’s nursing homes, one statistic jumped out at me. In 2015, Singapore’s has 26.1 nursing beds per 1000 people aged 65 and above — which at that time, was the lowest in the past 15 years. By contrast, the OECD – an organization made up of developed countries – has an average of 45.2 beds per 1000. Even with the Singapore government’s effort to add capacity, the target is only 28.3 beds per 1000 by 2020.

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Get In Touch With Your Government in Singapore

In this digital age, getting in touch with your government at a national or local level is easy.   The e-government initiative has made connecting with your government more transparent to the average citizen.  Of course, not every agency of the government will respond to your liking but my experience has been generally positive.  Unlike many companies who has “contact us” email addresses on their websites that are normally neglected, most Singapore government agencies will respond to your email or tell you that they will in a given time frame.  Whether you need to call someone to help an injured animal or to share your views with your MP,  start here!

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