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12/03/2005

are we putting our money in the right place?

$160 million for aljunied, $570 million for sembawang, $500 million for east coast town, $330 million for tampines. this is a cool $1.56 billion! and another $160 million for east coast park giving a total of $1.72 million. the moe financial assistance scheme for poor families stood at a handsome $1.5 million, or this is the amount it will spend this year to help needy students to pay for school fees and books. the conditions for students to qualify for such assistance is a mean $1,000 household income. for those with 1 or 2 children, the family must earn less than $900 to qualify. are we really that mean to our people and so lavish on plants and parks and bricks and mortars? don't our people deserve a little more? tharman said the ministry is reviewing the criteria and will try to extend more assistance to a bigger group of people. this is good news. but how wide is the net? can the govt be more generous to the lower income and allocate more funds for them? no one wants to be poor and depend on charity. and no one wants to stretch out the hand to beg. it would be good that the govt allocate a decent sum for this group of people so that more will benefit. a little generosity and magnanimity will be well received. how about $150 million, less than 10% of the $1.72 billion to be spent on landscaping and lifts? we have $500 million in the comcare fund. but because of the mean criteria set up by mean people, only a very small amount has been dispensed out and very few people really benefitted from it. and those who received them are receiving a miserable sum that they hardly could put a smile on their faces. this is an area that a rich nation can afford to be a little frivolous. we need to put our priorities right, change our priorities to make the poor less poor, put some smile into their faces. no need to waste $160 million into a park. a park at most deserves $60 million and the rest can be given to the people. and giving to the people does not mean being kept somewhere as savings for the future, to last another 10 or 20 years. the money is to help the people. then use it to help the people. be a bit more generous and kind. if the money cannot help the majority of the unfortunate for a year or two, at least offer them a decent meal for a few days. let them feel good for a few days is not that difficult with the $500 million fund. it seems that the thinking is that help means allowing the needy to have exactly a bowl of plain rice so that they need not die. then the rest is up to them. there is a time for charity, a time to give and a time to share, like christmas, where one can bring some cheers to those who need them. and when the country is able to help then why not bring a little cheer to the people's life?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Redbean, General election cannot be too far away!

redbean said...

yep. just wait for a few more goodies, especially the new singapoe shares. once that is out, it can hit any time. looks like christmas or chinese new year festive period would be it.

Anonymous said...

I guess this is General Election - Singapore style!!

redbean said...

no it is not singapore style. as a student in politics we read a lot about pork barrel politics of south east asian countries. we used to talk about them in a derogatory manner. well....

but if the govt, after creating so much wealth, can redistribute the wealth to the people, allowing the people to be part owner and sharing the wealth, i think it may not be a bad idea. they must come out with something innovative to let the people feel good and make them, some or as many as possible very happy once a while.

giving things in drips may be just wiping the lips with no real impact. imagine a $500 mil comcare fund could translate into 500 millionaires, or 5000 people with $100,000,o or 10,000 people with $50,000, or 50,000 people/families with $10,000. it will be like striking lottery to these people but by the grace and generosity of the govt. and they could do it every year using profits from investing the nation's wealth. any time more powerful and better appreciated than throwing the money into some upgradings or parks.