It’s tough to be poor in Singapore

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Shocked to see this needy family received a AMKTC bill attached with a letter of demand from a legal office for quite a small sum owed – $122.

The family lives in a 2-room rental flat in Ang Mo Kio and the breadwinner contracted cancer for the past few years plunging the whole family into financial crisis. He has since resigned to his illness without seeking for any medical treatment due to high transportation cost than anything else. The person can’t take public transportation and has to rely on Grab or cab for the frequent medical appointment.

We were there this afternoon trying to provide some small form of assistance to this family.

The total amount payable is $180 of which $32 goes to late payment fee and another $25.70 for legal fee. These two fees constitute almost 30% of the whole bill – something which weighs heavily on the poor family and probably swamped with many other monthly bills as well.

The S & C bill is a tricky one as failure to acknowledge the legal letter of demand will likely incur a warrant of arrest thereafter.

We have seen some poor families facing jail sentences when they appear in court and the hard bitter fact is that the S & C bill still need to be paid after the sentencing is served. Moreover, the person will then have to pay another additional $500 for court appearance fee compounding the problem further.

We are glad to say that a Good Samaritan has stepped forward to pay the bill and all is well for the family – for now.

But all this goes to show that it’s tough to be poor in Singapore.

 

Gilbert Goh

* The author is the founder of http://www.transitioning.org/, a support site for the unemployed.

 

 

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28 Responses to “It’s tough to be poor in Singapore”

  • PC Ong:

    Please lah, in Singapore, we are very lucky already. Look at the how many homeless people in UK, USA and even Japan. Here in Singapore, those who can’t afford food, medicine or shelter will always get government assistance. And most important, in Singapore, we have a very structured career path. Study hard and work hard and we will be ok. Never ever depend on handouts. For those who somehow still fall through the cracks, the government is always there to life a helping hand.

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  • Why must there be a legal fee?:

    Why must there be a legal letter and a legal fee?
    Why is a TC dependent on a legal letter to chase residents? Don’t they have enough power on their own?

    Or is the legal letter just a way for some selected lawyers to get rich at the expense of the very very poor?

    Something is very wrong and shameful in the Singapore system.

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  • No need to be loyal:

    Gilbert Goh – title should change to “It’s tough to be poor under the present PAP regime”.

    I am sure under People’s Voice or WP regime, lives for all would be 10X better and no GST for the essential items. Save tons of money.

    Actually Singaporeans don’t need to be partisan at all, practically speaking. Just squeeze maximum advantage from the ruling party by voting against them to receive more goodies, lesser tax, lower cost of living etc… In another words, “fix” them back.

    As someone said, “loyalty don’t pay” read comments in;

    http://www.tremeritus.net/2019/10/17/cipc-funding/

    So regulate their power by voting against them to receive maximum advantage. Don’t need to be loyal to any political parties.

    Vote Wisely Please:
    GST is taxing the Poor, while the rich literally escape with lower income tax as a result.

    They are literally in favor of foreign students [giving them almost 1 million dollars a single month]

    They are literally in favor of foreign FTs like the CECA, flooding in foreign degrees to displace the locals particularly the Diploma, A Level, ITE, tipping the balance of its own academic and work placements “System”, thus “back-stabbing”, so to speak, these poor peoples whom had been loyal to them and trusted them with their system.

    Tell me what are the above for? Any advantage or purpose for the citizens? What have you gained from it? What future are they bringing in for you and your children futures?

    So how is the Amaravati Project? Does it benefit you? Do you trust anyone with failed and problematic projects like the Suzhou Industrial Park?, the Amaravati Project? etc…

    Are the above sufficient proof that you have been “Played” and neglected of cares as citizens. Selling your harmony, your children futures, your quality of lives etc. What will they Sell next?

    Vote wisely please.

    Deny 2/3, otherwise this country will be flooding with 10M displacing own children future. We need to take serious action to tell them to stop it.

    Under the PAPi, literally no more loves, no more lives, have to steal lunch boxes, become gojek or hawkers and good paying jobs goes to FTs.

    How much are you paying to the GST? [based on 80% spent]

    Take Home Pay Last 5 Yrs @ 7% Next 5 Yrs @ 9% Total Lost
    $1,000—————–$4,095——————–$5,265————-$9,360
    $1,500—————–$6,142.5——————$7,897.5———-$14,040
    $2,000—————–$8,190——————–$10,530———–$18,720
    $2,500—————–$10,237.5—————–$13,162…

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  • No need to be loyal2:

    Under the PAPi, literally no more loves, no more lives, have to steal lunch boxes, become gojek or hawkers and good paying jobs goes to FTs.

    How much are you paying to the GST? [based on 80% spent]

    Take Home Pay Last 5 Yrs @ 7% Next 5 Yrs @ 9% Total Lost
    $1,000—————–$4,095——————–$5,265————-$9,360
    $1,500—————–$6,142.5——————$7,897.5———-$14,040
    $2,000—————–$8,190——————–$10,530———–$18,720
    $2,500—————–$10,237.5—————–$13,162.5———$23,400
    $3,000—————–$12,285——————-$15,795———–$28,080
    $4,000—————–$16,380——————-$21,060———–$37,440
    $5,000—————–$20,475——————-$26,325———–$46,800
    $6,000—————–$24,570——————-$31,590———–$56,160
    $7,000—————–$28,665——————-$36,855———–$65,520
    $8,000—————–$32,760——————-$42,120———–$74,880

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  • Michael:

    Well we have the gambling house and the money pot house in our cpf .next is to build a big brothel in Singapore where all the jobless can apply for jobs. What to you think ? You think this is impossible ?? Think again.

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  • Gilbert, ask them to vote OPPO:

    Gilbert, you are doing a good job.

    But, heart of hearts, since GE2015, we really don’t even lift a finger since by voting pap they need to expect pap to help them.

    Until New Government forms, we don’t expect any help from 70% sheep but neither will we help any of them.

    Who is 70% sheep? We don’t know so until we know we presume anyone needing help is 70% sheep. Too bad. That is our position since GE2015.

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  • Asd:

    This is not your own country it’s just a motel

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  • What is Wrong?:

    While they are collecting more money, the aged and elderly poor are collecting cardboard boxes!

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  • they will remain silent:

    Those multimillion-dollar salaried and bonused PAP leaders will pretend not to have seen or heard about such plight. Even less, to solve such problems. You will see they will remain silent.

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  • Samuel S:

    PC Ong said Study hard and work hard and we will be ok. But this case is about a person who contracted cancer. So by study hard and work hard you will not contract cancer?

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  • Pioneer heart aches:

    Felt so sorry or this family,wonder how multimillion dollar ministers sleep at night:bet you ministers kids go to school few hundred dollars in their pockets

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  • Harder Truths:

    Does not matter how needy you are – the servants of the government just do not care. Mostly FT work in government because they do the best Ah Long jobs.

    This is why there is no hope.

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  • a sad sad situation:

    did anyone in the family inform TC of their dire straits situation?
    if they had maybe they wouldnt have been sent such a compassionless letter.
    if they did and still rec’d this summons then our country’s public services are the PITS!

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  • Ministers Protect Themselves:

    Salaries are low for the working public but things are getting very expensive. However the government protect the Ministers and their cronies by giving them million dollar salaries so they will not be affected by the high price.

    As far as PAP is concerned, the public ‘You Die Your Business’.

    Do you still want to vote for the PAP to fiack you and your children future ?

    Think Hard.

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  • Homeless Cat:

    Samuel S:
    PC Ong said Study hard and work hard and we will be ok. But this case is about a person who contracted cancer. So by study hard and work hard you will not contract cancer?

    PC Ong is full of nonsense. Ignore him. He is in outer space, where the PAP are. The day he returns to earth and regains his senses is when he learns how badly he got sold out.

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  • PAP CLOSE DOWN:

    Some people get the retributiion they deserve from being evil.

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  • Boh Kia See:

    Just deny 2/3rd majority is not enough. The PAP should be tossed out completely.

    So long as the PAP remains in Government whether with a reduced number of seats or not, they are still in control. They can still refuse to let citizens know the amount in their Sovereign Wealth Fund. You still will not know Ho Jinx’s salary.

    All that can be done is to deny them the right to amend the constitution as they wish. The PAP may feel constrained in executive functions. But what is in place will remain in place. The PA will continue to be politicised; the Electoral Commission will still be under PMO.

    So any benefit to the citizens will be minor. The crucial reason to oust the PAP is so that their edifice of control, like structures and processes, can be dismantled. That is what needs to be done. In order to do that, you need to get rid of the PAP–totally and completely.

    If not, their stench will continue to permeate the place and infect the opposition too.

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  • ntuc Cb and Lj profiteers:

    one day in ntuc one of us Lj mouthed about how tasty the mandarin oranges were.

    the ntuc Cb, just an employee in uniform said thank you for the feedback and immediately the next day price for that mandarin orange went up by S$0.50.

    ffff.

    ntuc is cooperative for 70% sheep or ntuc is S$m money making machine for pap rejects in GE?

    ntuc is pap S$m money making machine.

    that is why the same items made by the same manufacturers are so much cheaper across the causeway, a short hop away than in pap ntuc.

    70% sheep is ffffed in believing ntuc is cooperative for their sheep lives.

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  • robbing peter to pay paul:

    double n triple tier taxing the poor to pay the rich .

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  • never depend on handouts:

    //Here in Singapore, those who can’t afford food, medicine or shelter will always get government assistance.//

    i thought never depend on handouts ?

    //For those who somehow still fall through the cracks, the government is always there to life a helping hand.//

    don’t need phd lar ? going by what the white idiots are doing, there will be more cracks lar ? just that the cracks are not allowed to be seen (to be more visible) in sinkie land so as to hold true to our 151th ranking unlike “in UK, USA and even Japan” where homeless people can be more visible and not arrested lar ?

    //Study hard and work hard and we will be ok.//

    aiyoh. if study hard and work hard is the key ? why many chat-ba-lang (via sinkie land open-leg policy) still need to come to sinke land ? they cannot study and work hard in their own country meh ?

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  • Bad Boy:

    Many years back i accidently had a conservation with a 70+ barber who also kena cancer but recovered after surgery plus treatment. Still working today.

    什麼是人生 ?

    He replied simply in 2 sentences.
    人生就是你年輕的時候努力賺錢,
    你老了的時候就用你的錢買你的命.

    I guess its true , looking at the many real life examples and people i met.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/kknews.cc/entertainment/yby5m4j.amp
    賭王病危住院,天價醫療費曝光.

    Btw, china medical where got cheap. Go watch a medical journey 尋醫 yesterday or on toggle. I already ask 40+ prcs working or study in Sg.
    None say cheap.

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  • TruBlu:

    Yet,our NGOs are rushing to ask for donations to rush aid overseas as if EVERY singaPOORean is well-to-do.
    And,yes,PAPple say poor sgs are too greedy to be helped.
    All poor sg must work till drop dead.

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  • GST to Help Poor:

    They say GST is to help the poor? How? By issuing letter of demand, warrant of arrest and eviction notice? When one is fighting cancer and cannot afford transportation and medical treatment, the situation is dire. It is no help to put more pressure on the family.

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  • HDB flats depreciate to ZERO:

    The solution is regime change.

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  • Just don't vote pap:

    it is just amazing looking at the utter stupidity of 70% sheep in Singapore.

    median wage is S$3,500 pm GROSS yet the pap folks the stupid 70% sheep vote into power have the mindset S$600k pa is peanuts and S$1m pa is mediocre.

    median wage means half the wage earners. half the wage earners making less than S$3,500 GROSS pm. and they vote into power folks who say S$600k pa is peanuts and boast S$1m pa is mediocre.

    stupid is 70% sheep as car lite folks as cannot eat degree folks.

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  • A Sorry State:

    Grannies and grandpas toiling for $6/hr in menial jobs is Dirt Cheap labour exploitation in sky-high expensive Singapore. These obscenely paid government ministers have produced a nutcase economy with massive income inequality – without minimum wage laws and low median salaries hovering around $3000.

    Public housing & healthcare have been corporatised as avenues for massive revenue for the elitist government’s coffers at the poor sheeples’ expense. How do you think Oxfam rated Singapore at a low 49th out of 57 countries in terms of income distribution?

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  • Jman:

    It is tough to be poor anywhere in the world, including here.

    At the very least, the poor are not in such large numbers sleeping rough like many other countries.

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  • ExSingaporean:

    Dear Singaporeans

    It is sad that the poor have to face such difficulty.Under PAP life is difficult

    I came across a website http://www.yeocheowtong.com which I feel will convince more people to support the opposition

    Please take a look !

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