Do these arguments against giving too much help to the poor – make sense to you?

I refer to “No need for poor families to keep up with the Joneses” (Straits Times, Jul 7) in response “Is being deprived of easy access to tuition and enrichment classes such a crippling disadvantage for students from low-income families? (No-win choices for the poor when resources are limited“, by Mr Kevin See Yao Hui; July 5).

It states that “Are there not more resourceful and economical ways to help them develop their talents vis-a-vis their arguably stressed-out counterparts from mollycoddled backgrounds?”

As to “Nothing ought to repulse Singaporeans more than anecdotes of low-income families who spend their social hand-outs on premium electronic gadgets and TV/broadband packages to keep up with the Joneses, when some of their better-off fellow citizens have no issues living with basic forms of entertainment such as free-to-air TV (Social workers also tackle structural conditions that lead to poverty, by Dr Ng Kok Hoe; June 27) – this argument may not hold water, as long as our education system continues to give scholarships disproportionately to richer families, and include extra-curricula activities as a criteria, because these may stack the odds against those from lower-income families.

With regard to “Rich or poor, we all have to learn to live within our means .

It is more so if one is reliant on social assistance.

Self-reliance must remain the underlying principle of Singapore’s social safety net to maintain a modicum of individual discipline and responsibility in this country.

Banish that, and some of the worst excesses of human nature will come to the fore, as seen to some extent in the abuses of our well-intentioned universal healthcare insurance system” – these too may not hold water, as our fiscal policies may be unique in the world, such that the odds are heavily stacked against lower-income families, by way of being the only Government in the world which from a cashflow perspective, may not be spending any money on healthcare, pensions or public housing.

In respect of “In fact, with resources set to become more contestable, it is imperative for the authorities to allocate these wisely, according to a clear set of priorities – regardless of race or religion” – these may also not hold water, as we typically have the highest Budget surpluses per capita annually, in the world.


Leong Sze Hian



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4 Responses to “Do these arguments against giving too much help to the poor – make sense to you?”

  • UniQ:

    Basically does that mean our Papigs, Top Civil Servants and GLC Chiefs are all living on a VERY High Priced Social Assistance Program foot by the poor Sinkies ?

    Bz our growth is below par (<3%), , CPF has gone kar-poot, Public Transport is a crying shame, Daily survival needs as a human being (Water and Electricity) is exploit just being a Sinkie, the air you breadth now is being Taxed to – aka the CEV Tax. Please do not think that if you do not own a car you are not taxed this tax cost is transferred from every Sinkie's pocket to our Papigs because you needs transport in every way of your life (example : travelling, business, etc). Guess who is paying for all the new taxes ?


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  • LIONS:

    Yep,the POOR in Sg are too greedy to be offered help from govt;ONLY THE RICH N POWERFUL deserve to be helped as they are not greedy???

    I say screw you!

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  • HarderTruths:

    Blaming the poor for being poor.
    This is the motto of the $G ruling class.
    By voting for them the 70% are agreeing with their own insults.

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  • Tricks Of Perpetual Thieves:

    Sinkies should learn to ignore and not read to much into the arguments of greedy hypocrites. They claimed that resources are scarce, yet they paid themselves obscenely for messing up the country.
    CPF monies stolen. HDB asset stolen. Reserves squandered.
    This country is flooded with third world cheap labours and government linked companies are leading those exploitation of workers.

    Sinkies should remind themselves constantly why they voted for a government and what a government is for.

    If the government is not serving the needs of the citizens, then it should be replaced.

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