Living on Charity
I briefly watched Cheryl Fox on CNA last night interviewing a Mdm Heng(not her real name). Mdm Heng is around 60, sickly and lonely. Her three children and husband had passed away. She depends on a monthly withdrawal of $290 from her CPF to get by. Not enough definitely. And she needs handouts from some kind souls to pay for her medicine and a bit more. Her social life is as good as zero. Living on charity is a life of shame and despair. She wouldn't dare to strut herself around to share her woes with everyone. But that could change if she can appear on one of the charity show as a star recipient. She would become an instant celebrity. Everyone will know her instantly. But Mdm Heng need not have to depend on charity. She has another $20k in her Medisave. Unfortunately or fortunately, this sum cannot be touched unless she is admitted to a hospital where she would have to pay a ransom. And the $20k is just for that, if, IF, she ever get herself admitted. But If she does not have this good fortune, she would probably never have the chance to touch her $20k, her fortune. Our well designed system has protected our people from the expensive medicare system by making sure that everyone has the money to pay. But no one ask the fortunate recipients of this kind and caring system whether they are beneficiaries or victims of the system. Why can't the system allow Mdm Heng to draw out her little fortune to live her life with a little self respect, a little dignity, but have to depend on charity, kindness and mercy of others when she has her own money stuck in the Medisave? At least she could live 5 or 10 years as a respectable person, independent and not having to wait for handouts? She is at best a wretch. When her money is spent, and if she is so unfortunate or fortunate to be still alive, then the charity can come in. She may not need any charity if her life is not that long. Is our system kind or cruel? I think we are so kind that we don't even know the difference between good and mean.