Sunday, June 24, 2007

'Sleepers' in Singapore....

"There are no homeless, destitute or starving people [in Singapore]…Poverty has been eradicated."
-Kishore Mahbubani, Singapore's permanent representative to the UN

"You go down New York, Broadway. You will see the beggars, people of the streets...Where are the beggars in Singapore? Show me."
-Lee Kuan Yew
"There are no homeless people in Singapore because they are called SLEEPERS. Singapore is ingenious we have gotten rid of homelessness without spending a single cent" - Lucky Tan

Everytime I work late and pass by the bus interchange near my place, I notice the growing number of homeless at the bus interchange. Each pillar at the bus interchange now as a permanent resident (PR). You ever wonder why the homeless sleep next to that the tired people coming back from work don't step on them when they sleep. Since every pillar is now occupied, I wondered where a new homeless person would go. The Sunday Times has the answer....

"Sleeping in the city is becoming popular...." - Sunday Times 24 June 2007.

"Sleeping in void decks, Changi beach, bus interchange is also very POPULAR especially among the poor..." - Lucky Tan

Some of you might have criticised the govt for building the extravagant Esplanade spending hundreds of millions tax payers money on a building that hosts operas, musicals and symphonies that only the richer citizens can afford. But you are wrong, while the rich get to watch "Les Misérables", the poor get to sleep in the underpass between Esplanade and the Citilink Mall at night. The Esplanade is indeed a very useful building both rich and poor people get to use it. It seems not all the 'sleepers' are jobless. Why do people with jobs need to sleep in those places? The answer is very simple and logical. The real wages of some workers are now so low that after the numerous bouts of utilities increase, transport fare increase, and rental increases, there is hardly any choice but to sleep on streets. I would do it too if I make $900 a month because I can save $100 on transport because I sleep close to where I work, another $200 on rental and $50-$100 of utilities other words I can save half my income, by sleeping in public places.

As Singapore heads for top 1st world status, the cost of living can only rise relative to the wages of low income workers. We can see greater utilisation of our public buildings, MRT stations, bus interchanges and 24hr MacDonald's outlets as they double up as sleeping areas for these sleepers. It is great that our beloved govt had such great foresight to invest so much money on these beautiful buildings such as the Esplanade we now know how much vision it took.....I really couldn't imagine that the Esplanade could be actually be that useful to everyone.


Anonymous said...

That old man just loathed everything ugly. Well, not all in his family has meant certain standards either. Sometimes, he just needs to piss to see his own reflections.

Anonymous said...

Funny, sometimes the truth really hurts.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the truth hurts.

Reminds me of a time when an arrogant leader in a talk at NUS challenged the audience to go train in Afghanistan.

Looks like its pay back time!

Someone has to eat his words now. Of course, as always twisting and turning, he can pretend it never happens or blame it on the poor sods themselves!

Just hope that the ST reporter doesn't get mrbrown'ed or sacked for this piece. Or is this published to get the cops (or Dept concerned)to hassle the poor homeless again?

Another Lucky One

zhixiang8787 said...

the audience stands for the upcoming F1 race course will be great for sleeping too!!

i stay in tampines and enlisting soon. if my camp is at jurong, i definitely sleep in the streets of jurong over the weekends!!

i feel so safe knowing that our police are working hard 24 hours round the clock. singapore's tropical weather is the best in the world. all i need is some newspapers for blanket.

i love being a homeless!!

Anonymous said...

The craft of States Times where Homeless becomes Sleepers. They will drop a little lower to 160th

Anonymous said...

Just as they have jobs rebranding, they hope that calling the 'homeless' as 'sleepers' will remove the stigma.

Anonymous said...

The Straits Times rivals the North Korea Times! Hurray!

Anonymous said...

Hi any one know where is that waterhose for bathing in fortcanning. my friend would also like to join the "sleepers" group soon, to cut down costs of living.

Anonymous said...

This is indeed uniquely Singapore.

We now have sleepers island wide and they are taking up all the cool spots!

I have to thank our govt for making this place SAFE, see people dont get robbed and they are always close to home as they can be evacuated to the nearest hospital if an emergency were to strike.

I guess the PAP is showing that they are living up to their post election mosquito

Anonymous said...

Not all cases of sleepers are locals, now that we have many visitors to Sgp. Of course, there will be locals who find it more convenient to sleep in open areas rather than their homes, which may not be the best of places.

sheryl said...

this so sad to no very nice blog

Singies said...

It is sad to read that there are so many homeless people in paradise island, the island I was born and educated. Although I had been away for the last few years, I can't remember seeing that many homeless. The recession is hitting the poor hard. It would be nice for the government to step in and help those unfortunate who had fallen on hard time, after all Singapore is fairly rich with budget surplus. Why not use those surpluses to help the homeless. It is their money as well too.

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