Income Disparity

I felt sad and guilty when I saw this old lady working really hard and hunched over in front of the newly opened Cafe at Wisma. I often spot elderly people like her, clearing tables at the food court. They seem like the forgotten people. The left behind. If inflation in Singapore is scary to me, it must be a nightmare for so many more. I truly believe that people like her deserve a safety net and welfare. At the very least, free medical. I’m sure there is some help out there but I am also sure there is a lot of red tape that goes with it. Also people like this lady want to live with dignity and would rather work than ask for help. Just my thoughts which I shared with my cousin, and she said that the government wants children to look after their own parents and don’t want it to be the government’s responsibility. But she said that is also discriminatory against singles. And what if they don’t have kids and there is no guarantee that you won’t be abandoned by selfish children. Also it’s a wrong premise to want kids in the first place. Just so they look after you in your old age? It’s not surprising that under such circumstances we have become more and more materialistic.

So many luxury stores in Singapore. Thought the window display was cool, but not comfortable with ostentatiousness or people wearing brands not for the appreciation of the design (if it’s to be appreciated), but just for the label to be flaunted. I have to confess, I did find the vintage LV suitcases from the movie Darjeeling Express beautiful, but I don’t like what the label has come to represent in Singapore and Asia. With all those long queues for the latest handbag? Even someone I knew from France, where the maker is from, could not understand it at all. He found it quite funny, those long queues. And as my partner likes to say, an exorbitant price, for a canvas bag. I’m no angel and am guilty of indulgence too, but at times like this I feel the tremendous unease.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore & recently cancer too.
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4 Responses to Income Disparity

  1. Sofia says:

    How I understand what you feel… I had the same thoughts at the food court in United Square Mall. There was a very old and extremely thin, small lady cleaning the tables. She moved so slowly and looked so frail. It was also heartbreaking for me. I guess after all, it’s not a bad thing that we are paying up to 50% of our salaries for social security in Austria, i.e. also for retirement funds…
    The whole system in Singapore is great if you are young, fit and have a good salary. Otherwise I also wonder how people can afford having children because of the high school fees!!??

    • bookjunkie says:

      You hit the nail on the head Sofia. This country seems to be mainly for the young fit and well to do. It’s sad to me to see people left behind and for that I like the idea of social security. Just for assurance for the future.

  2. Linda says:

    Good to know that there are people who still care for strangers. I contacted MCYS and informed about a homeless man who sleeps on a chair outside compass point Starbucks. Someone replied and said will look into it. Few weeks later I still see him sleeping there. Wrote to Starbucks and asked if they could help by offering a hot drink and snack, there is no response. It pain me each time I see him. His belonging is only the stuff in a plastic bag. He wears the same shirt everyday. Hopefully we could let know that there are people who still care.

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