Why be mean when no need to?

I have spoken enough of mean testing. But I must say it again and again to show how detestable is this thing called mean testing. By the way, how many of you think that mean testing is an acceptable and decent thing to do to another loser? If you think it is ok, then you must be prepared to be mean tested when your turn comes. Not everyday is a sunny day. There will be cloudy days, raining days and thunderstorms. Your sunny day may be over without you knowing and thunderstorm may be here tomorrow. The idea of mean testing is simply that the poor can be humiliated, that they can be paraded in public, to any strangers to prove how poor and what a failure they were in life. This kind of thinking can only be present in the minds of the rich and powerful who have no qualms in treating the downtrodden as useless bums, deserving to be abused. It is an elitist concept. It will not happen to me because I am rich and successful. And I will not be a loser. So it is ok to line up the losers and subject them to despicable acts of verifying how poor they are. Make them show you how miserable are their incomes, open up their bank account books to reveal that there are only a couple of dollars left, make them reveal how useless their fathers and mothers were, all losers. Then give them a pat and say ok, you poor bastards, you deserve the handouts. It is a sad day if our elite show this lack of compassion and kindness and subject the poor to such disgraceful acts in the name of kindness and compassion. Oh this is in place to catch a few cheats! I regard this as a failure of good policies. A good policy should be able to do it without the humiliating experience. It is totally devoid of human kindness.


Anonymous said...

Let us look at this from another angle Redbean. No one wants to be left out when there are goodies to be had, especially here in Singapore. Rich or poor, when someone else receive some freebees, the next person will think " I also want that, why can't I have that too? ". So, a system must be set up to identify the deserving ones and those who are rich enough to pay for the service themselves. I rather see the resources shared out between all the deserving people and not to all, whether rich and poor. I think you have a very one sided view on this and you are not willing to see the other side of the coin. There are valid reasons why means testing is needed in some instances.

Anonymous said...

From tax returns, the govt. should know who is poor or rich and who is deserving or not.

Dog said...

There are always mean people who have good reasons to be mean to everybody. But here in Singapore, the really rich are the govt ppl. They are supposed to be benevolent to all, both those with means and those without. Why degrade and be mean to all those without means just to catch the few mean with means ones.

Anonymous said...

The idea of meaning testing is basically sound,it tries to balance the interest of all citizens,a bit of socialism,those who can,pay more,those who cant,pay less.

But in red dot Spore,PAP needs to address the following issues before a good citizen like me could support it.

1.Affordability :the cost of medical care is simply too high here,the government should take it upon itself to reduce the cost from 1st world standard to cater to a population where about 30-40% of its family units earn about US$1,000-US$1,500 per month.

2.Singapore has a huge population of foreigners,probably soon to be no.2 in the world,next to Dubai,or even overtaking Dubai should the 8 million vision come true,do the PAP know or accept that it is the legitimate right of its citizens to demand some rights?

Don't get me wrong,I am a strong supporter of Foreign TALENTS policy,that is the only way for Spore to climb the global competitive ladder,but pl TALENTS!

redbean said...

hi dog, welcome to the blog.

i think singaporeans should forget about freebies. there is no such things as freebies here. neither is there such a thing called subsidies. it is all accounting and packaging. raymond lim had said it all. whatever that is free must come from somewhere.

the real problem is the pricing of goods and services here. the medical cost is frightening given the level of income of our people. how many people can pay a bill of $30k or $100k? boon wan has failed miserably in bringing down the medical cost. we cannot keep driving up medical cost and insist that the people pay for whatever price the govt is asking for.

the escalation of cost in every aspect of our life is unsustainable. it is a pyramid scheme and will crumble in time. for the income of the people cannot keep going up especially at the lower and middle levels.

we are providing first world facilities, i agree. but the majority of the people do not have first world income to pay for it. i have said it many times that we should provide medical services, decent and good medical care without the frills. medical service is an essential life and death service. give the people what they need and not what the govt think the people need.

our medical cost is going crazy. mean testing is not a solution but a distraction. we will all be buried by the high cost of living one day.

govt hospitals must return to its basic mission of looking after the sick and not a business for making profits. leave it to the private sector or hive out the A wards for that. the rest of the hospital can then cater to the ordinary people.

if there are charitable organisations that can provide basic medical care at very low cost, the govt should be able to provide more than these organisations at a reasonable cost. it is a case of wrong priorities and wrong policies.

Anonymous said...


That is a list of good suggestions,but for that to happen,we need Change.

PM Lee has himself suggested that PAP must change,but PM Lee has also made so many promising promises that I do not have much faith in him.

My sincere hope is that during this crisis,it has been,more or less,proven that MM Lee's doctrine built over the last 50 years when he took power in 1959 is totally irrevelent,useless and not applicable for this 21st,fast moving century.

It is up to those in PAP who have 9 A1s and who went to OxBridge or IVY league to use their brians and make the necessary changes.

But then I am not betting on that,what I see is another group of equally brilliant,but more down to earth people also fr the establishment who dare not to take orders fr the great leader and thus sacrifice their personal interest,to appear.

Then the transition would be less painful and good for all of us the citizens who stay.

Do not believe the minsiters in PAP only and alone can run this country,that is old and useless doctrine.

Anonymous said...

Healthcare costs in Singapore are too high.

Redbean, I think You have just said the truth.

Many a sick person just want no frill treatment, there is little need for hospitals to rival hotels in settings and amenities.
So much calls have been made for the Authority to cut down on frills but have fallen on deaf ears.
Healthcares are basic essential needs and they are not to be operated like any other commercial entity.

BUT, as I feel very strongly that consciences have been overwhelmed by money in our society, meaness of all commercially run organizations are to be expected.

Maybe, the sickness of patients get aggravated when they have to be admitted in hospitals for treatments. They will suffer emotional upsets and anguish that are more painful than the diseases and wounds.

The whole society itself seems sick.


Anonymous said...

Human society is truly sick - sick with greed.

Dog said...

Greed is an instinct of human. As natural as stealing water from the mouth of another when hungry for a few days.
Modern man however cannot be greedy because he must live as a member of society. Besides, there is the punishment by law which is made and executed by govt. And of course, govt are ppl so is punishable too. Even kings.
Where a govt only makes laws and is exempted from punishment, then it becomes a pride of lions. Not human but carniverous animals.
To the human eyes, every lion looks regal from a distance.

redbean said...

in the 50s and 60s, the people fear going to the hospital as admission means death. for during those times, people too did not have money to go to hospitals, ignorance and often left till it is too late.

the sad thing today is that people is starting to fear going to hospitals for slightly different reasons. the foremost is the fear of the medical bill and may wait until it is too late. ignorance is overtaken by the realisation that it is going to be very very expensive.

when people fear to go to hospitals, we are back to square one.