1/13/2015

No poverty in Singapore?

The issue of poverty is a very sensitive one in one of the world’s richest city state with the highest percentage of millionaires. How can there be poverty when there are no beggars, or the poor here are better off than the poor elsewhere? How then does one define poverty or being poor? Theoretically, a person with a $1000 pm income could buy a 2 rm public flat. How can that be poor? The assumptions that after paying for the flat he would still have enough to get by, feed a family and children going to school. If this is the bottom line, the number of poor in Singapore must be very low indeed.

Professor Tommy Koh wrote a recent article stating that 30% of the population are poor. He is now embroiled in a debate with the MOE on the scale of poverty among students. Though the data quoted were complex and not everyone is in agreement, the bottom line is that how many are poor or living below the poverty line.

The next question is where is the poverty line? In Singapore there is no poverty line. So how can there be poor when there is no poverty line. Tiok. The next question, why is there no poverty line? The answer and I quote, ‘Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing had previously refused to define an official poverty line for fear of a "cliff effect" even though it is not known what this meant.’

If you choose to put on blinkers, the world is a tunnel. If one chooses to read only fairy tales, the world is so airy fairy. Are there people struggling to live on their small income and bordering on poverty or living below the poverty line? Deaf frogs, blind frogs or blinkered frogs, all have a different view on this issue.


Kopi Level - Red

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Cliff effect" means I spend too much time mental masturbating in my office.
It can also mean if I define a "poverty line" then PAP will fall off the cliff because there are too many poor Singaporeans in Singapore.

Do you think it may be true?
Maybe PAP is only interested in managing rich Singaporeans.
Because PAP see poor Singaporeans "no up".

Anonymous said...

Of course, there is poverty in Singapore. In every country there is poverty, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, America, Europe. Sleeping by the roadsides.

The issues is
How do you define poor, in Singapore? If you live in 5 room flat or Exec or Terrace house but earning $1000 a month, are u poor? If you are really poor, there are rental HDB flats that suits u.

Then how to help the poor. You have any idea? Does the alternative party have any idea? Where the money come from or is money no problem, don't worry ?

Anonymous said...

Whether or not there is poverty in Singapore, or even if it is widespread, is beside the point.

What matters (for PAP lah) is whether poor Sinkies will vote opposition, and whether their numbers will exceed 40% of all Sinkies who can vote.

And don't forget, there are poor Sinkies who are very grateful for the help they got from PAP, and also those who are also very scared to accidentally vote PAP out in a GE because WP is not ready to be govt.

And I think PM Lee knows there are a lot of such poor but vote PAP Sinkies. That's why he is not scared of the harm (which RB mentioned) to him by suing a Sinkie like Roy.

Anonymous said...

There must be some Sinkies in poverty that voted PAP last GE.

Because I don't believe ALL the 60% Sinkies who voted PAP last GE are not poor.

In fact I believe some rich Sinkies even voted opposition last GE. Or else how could WP Teochew Ah Hia and team have won Aljunied (which consisted mostly of middle income or above SInkies) GRC, u tell me lah?

Anonymous said...


do we have poor people in
Singapore.....

just look around you.....

everyone is smiling...

property launches still flooded
by buyers...

new cars and coe, still fully
subscribed.....

taxis, loooooooog Qs and public
transports, packed........

restaurants, food outlets/courts,
hawker centres, etc etc, packed
and looooooong Qs......

many many many more examples....

Poor? Poor? Poor?

what say U...............

Anonymous said...

It is starnge that what we see if different from what PAP sees. We see so many poor people, mainly elderly in the streets collecting cardboard and washing dishes at the back lane. We see poor people cleaning tables and selling tissues at foodcourts. We see so many poor people in void decks and temples. But government does not see any. They think $1,000 per household can still buy an HDB flat. Like that where got poor people?

Anonymous said...

Collecting cardboards and washing dishes, have, but must try quite hard to find. In fact washing dishes, majority are FTs, locals is a rarity. Instead I see many young locals don't bat an eyelid spending $6 sipping starbucks and flashing their laptops and Iphones.

Anonymous said...

Instead I see many young locals don't bat an eyelid spending $6 sipping starbucks and flashing their laptops and Iphones.
RB 10:41 am

But only $6 what. And maybe they are living day to day and waiting for payday to upgrade their laptops and Iphones?

Anonymous said...

Living with parents, no need to worry about helping out for household expenditure, single, no children, every dollar earn is disposable income. Why not, a lot of money to splurge and live well.

The said...

No poverty in Singapore? - that's what Kishore said.

lust for love said...

Can feel the poverty when eating at hawker centers where you're constantly been visited by people trying to sell me tissue papers. To me, this is disguised begging. When I look at this, I often wonder if I get older, will I be like them?

Anonymous said...


Don't worry, you won't be like them.

You will be sipping Starbucks and eating cheesecake in front of a computer lamenting how life is hard, money is not enough and life unfair to you.

Anonymous said...

[If you are really poor, there are rental HDB flats that suits u]

So simple and easy to qualify to queue for a rental HDB flat meh?
Can show our fellow rb fans some essentials or not?

Anonymous said...

If you are really poor;
and you need help;
Just vote Opposition.

Because for sure the Hum Kar Chan PAPigs will never help the poor.

b said...

of cos the elite ruling class after 50 years of ruling will deny the existence of poor people in the country. if people still poor, it means 1) they are lousy 2) they are greedy 3) they need to be voted out. however, they will shift the blame to the people to cover their incompetence and call them names such as 1) daft 2) having entitlement mentality 3)xeno etc.

Silencing the critics is a terrorist movement. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2906879/PIERS-MORGAN-Fifty-world-leaders-marched-freedom-yesterday-leader-free-world-Watching-football-dropping-ball.html)

b said...

"No poverty in Singapore? - that's what Kishore said. January 13, 2015 11:07 am"

- some people in the world are blind and have no feelings. they only have eyes for people with money and fame. they live in a self denial mode and totally consumed by material stuff.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Please stop all your bullshit and fake concern for the poor.

Have a look at THIS SOCIAL EXPERIMENT

P.S. I'm in Starbucks in MatLand enjoying over priced coffee (fortunately priced in Ringgit) and have just guzzled a deliciously sinful cheesecake. Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah :P

Anonymous said...

World's poorest President explains why we should kick rich people out of politics:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/23/mujica-rich-people-politics_n_6036892.html

Anonymous said...

Hey let them eat cake! BTW you should google the meaning of a sharecropper economy, works very well here and in latam. Pay them a little, so they can't complain that they are slaves but make them buy EVERYTHING(Housing, healthcare, staples, transport) from you.