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.Continue reading “Raising the GST to 9%: Should Singaporean Seniors Support this Move?”
First, the good news. If you are employed with a company before turning 55, and you are a Singapore citizen or PR, you enjoy protection under the RRA law. Your company cannot ask you to retire before the minimum retirement age of 62.Continue reading “Retirement & Re-employment Act (RRA): Good for Seniors?”
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.Continue reading “Happy New Year. We Have Achieved A New Record for Children.”
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.Continue reading “Nursing Homes in Singapore: Refuge of Last Resort”
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!Continue reading “Get In Touch With Your Government in Singapore”
By 2030, Singapore will have about 900,000 citizens/PRs above the age of 65 — out of a registered voter pool of about 2.5 million. This means that seniors will have a big voice in how the country is run. Since Singapore has compulsory voting, it means that in 2030, seniors will make up more than 1/3 of the votes in general elections. This translates to significant political power to the seniors in Singapore. So how should they exercise this new found power in the ballot box? What should they fight for? Continue reading “5 Things Seniors in Singapore Must Politically Fight For”
In the Institute of Policy Studies report on the 2015 election, they looked at three different clusters – the “Conservatives” who are voters who supported the political status quo, the “Pluralists” who supported greater political pluralism and change in the electoral system, and the “Swing” voters who have a mix of views. In their survey, the “Conservatives” made up almost 60% of the 65-years-and-above segment in 2015 post-election analysis, up from about 28% in 2011 – this represents the largest swing in this group to “Conservative” between the two elections. Continue reading “Seniors In Singapore are Conservative Voters With A Lot of Political Clout”
In 1970, for every one person over 65, there exists 13.5 persons between the age of 20-64 in Singapore. In 2017, that ratio has dropped to a low of 5.1 and the trend is continuing downwards with increasing life expectancy which currently stands at 82.9 years. What does that mean for the ageing population in Singapore?