An affluent society like Singapore seems to have no problem giving be it Huang Na, Nepalese twins ....there seem to be plenty for everyone except people like Girish (see article below). Even an American sex offender was given $6000 by Muis (New Paper).
The problem is Girish is she comes from a low income Singapore family earning less than $1K. There are about 100,000 such households in Singapore. Based on govt policy, it is important not to give such families too much help because it will make them lazy and dependent.
Girish has qualified for NUS but his results does not qualify him to be an elite scholar. Elite scholars are of course sent to overseas Universities such as MIT, Stanford or Cambridge at a cost of $250K-$300k per head. This is part of meritocratic system, which is not restricted to Singaporeans, the Singapore govt gives out thousands of scholarship to help foreign students find places in Singapore universities. I think this system is excellent, it gives foreigners the impression that Singapore is an affluent society that they can benefit from.
As for poor Singaporeans, the govt does little for them for their own good. They have to learn to be self reliant, independent and work hardworkinging. We are so lucky to have the PAP as our govt....it is always doing things for our own good.
The Straits Times
Sept 30, 2005
I am a student of the National University of Singapore and have just matriculated two months ago. What is very displeasing to me are the subsidies and the financial aid to help me pay my school fees.
My family's income is only $1,000 a month and paying $3,000 for each semester (there are eight semesters) is totally impossible for me.
SINDA did not help me when I approached it for financial assistance. SINDA told me there is no policy for Indian tertiary students to receive financial help.
It is very unfair because two of my Muslim friends who approached Mendaki for help have had their entire education fees sponsored. The full amount comes close to $25,000.
All their school fees have been taken care of, and unlike me their families' incomes are below $2,000 but well above $1,000.
How can I swallow that? Well, I decided to take a loan from NUS. But taking the loan is not solving the root cause of my problem. It is just piling up the debts with the bank when I graduate.
Why do I deserve to be put in this situation when other students can receive financial aid so easily?
The few bursaries that I had applied for in NUS did not get any attention. The Registar's office kept telling me the results would only be known at a 'certain date', and when I called to ask, it pushed the date further back.
As an eye opener to those who are unaware of it, the bursaries are only $1,500 a year and they don't cover me for each semester. So that is really not much of a help.
Worse still, the bursaries are not given throughout the course of study but only once. What's the point then?
How is this situation affecting me? Simple. It is literally impossible for me to concentrate on my studies when deep down inside, I feel I am being deprived of any help at all.
I and my family are making sacrifices to make ends meet.
NUS is among the top 20 universities in the world. But there is nothing to brag about when you can't even help your own students realise their dreams.
Girish s/o Ahsin Thannabal