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7/31/2008

The growing dependency syndrome

Who needs help? Practically everyone is asking for help these days. From the middle income to those who are desperate. From those in the comfort of homes and Homes to the destitutes in the streets. From the citizens to the new citizens and non citizens. From the mother without child to those with many children or with problem children. And the govt says a welfare state is not the way to go. But disguised in all kinds of terms, help is everywhere, in billions of dollars made available in all kinds of funds. We have grown into a nation that depends on handouts and getting things free by just asking. That may be the reason why so many charity organisations sprouted out. Some are just self help organisations where the promoters were actually helping themselves. What happens to the migrant spirit of helping yourself and make do with whatever there is? The true migrants do not ask for any help from the authorities. They formed their own self help groups if needed. And most of the time they truly helped themselves just to be alive. They lived in broken sheds, in squatters, cubicles and backlanes. Mothers with 10 or more children running around like little piglets, picking up whatever nature could offer as food. Got school or no school, they get their own education and funny,... they survived and some did very well. Some even became prime ministers, ministers and MPs. It is not that those days were the ways life should be or how we should live. It is not that we should encourage our people to live in poverty like their foreparents. But the way help is being asked by every quarter is getting ridiculous. We are getting soft. And we are encouraging people to keep helping or come forward to ask for help. And we are creating situations in which the people have no choice but to ask for help. The latter is quite different from the past when the situation then was dire. Here we have created a social economic system that is quite mean for those who are unable and then tell them to ask for help. Please ask for help and we will help you. Don't be shy about it lah. And many are asking and demanding for help, except those who really need help and still too embarrassed or too shameful to crawl out from hiding.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its true, its true. In the old days asking for help from the Social Welfare Department was a big shame. People have a lot of pride and they can survive against all odds. Now? They demand help. The word shame is no longer in their vocabulary.

Honestly, the crowds at travel fairs, the buying at sales and exhibitions, the interest at property launches, and the frequency of overseas holidays will tell the Government that Singaporeans are truly living in plenty, so what is the actual picture. Yes there are many elderly poor needing help, but not all who ask for help really need help.

Mockingbird said...

One of the fallacies of a society where help is easily available to anyone who asks for it: The person who asks for it may not exactly be poor and needy.

At the same time, there are still the poor and needy who cling on to their dignity and pride and refuse to ask for help.

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