Thursday, February 12, 2009

Putting our old folks in Johor.

So this is life in Singapore, you spend your entire life working for money and when you're old the govt encourages your children to put you in a nursing home in Johor to save money. One might think it is worthwhile for the govt to set aside some land at low cost for such nursing homes so that Singaporeans can stay near their children when they are old. But this is economically not optimal for the PAP govt putting aside land which can be sold off to developers to build million$ condominiums for the rich or develop another money making XYZ hub. Setting aside land for nursing homes for the old who have contributed so much to the country is a no-no. Lets put them in Johor where it is cheaper so that we can eke out an extra 0.4% growth with the land.

I wonder at which point Singaporeans will in large numbers reject this notion of Singapore Inc - a nation set up for the main purpose of making money and pursuing GDP growth at all cost. We have land for golf courses...ah golf the favorite game of our elites and no land for our old. Tell me how can one not be disgusted with Khaw Boon Wan's idea - I thought we have burnt this idea once and for all during the last elections along with means testing. But these ideas are like zombies they cannot be killed as long as the PAP is in power - they will find ways and means to revive them with the help of Straits Times.

Tell me why...tell me why we can have so much land for golf yet we have to send our old folks to Johor???! Our old have to be sent to another country and separated from their families so that some of our elites can play this game of hitting a ball into a hole when they are not taking french cooking lessons.




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Live in nursing homes in JB?
SINGAPOREANS could consider living in nursing homes in neighbouring Johor Baru, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan suggested yesterday.
It would be cheaper, yet be near enough to Singapore for family members to visit and for residents to return for medical care if necessary, he said.
He told Parliament yesterday that he recently visited a site in Johor Baru where a Singaporean investor was planning to build a 200-bed nursing home.
He asked the investor about the costs involved, and was stunned at how low they were.
He said: 'It is mind-boggling. The cost of land and construction cost is so low that my cost of putting up just a polyclinic (in Singapore) is probably more than his cost of putting up a 200-bed nursing home (in Johor Baru).
'The monthly cost of keeping a resident in a private nursing home in Singapore, you can stretch it easily to pay at least 2-1/2 months of nursing home care in Johor Baru.'
If any medical problems cropped up, the elderly could be taken back to Singapore by ambulance, he said.
For most Singaporeans, visiting a relative in a Johor Baru nursing home would not pose significant difficulties, he said.
The investor, who is a nursing home chief executive, told him that many people visited their relatives weekly, even in nursing homes in Singapore.
Mr Khaw added: 'Of course many visit daily, but quite a significant number visit only during the weekends, so what is the difference in putting them in Johor Baru?'
LEE HUI CHIEH

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rightly said. I think a simple 9 hole golf course would be more than enough to build retirement homes (simple 4-storey walk up dormitory) enough for 30,000 persons.

This Khaw Boon Wan, who claimed to be a pious buddhist... PUIIII.. If he is really a good buddhist, I will give up my belief in Buddhism...

Anonymous said...

The first plot of land that is to be replaced with a nursing home would most probably be Hong Lim Park.

Suggesting an alternative nursing home in our neighboring country for our old parents is just so darn wrong.

I hope they lead by example.

Put their own parents there.

Singapore News Alternative said...

Why is it that have enough cheap land to build foreign workers dorm but not retirement homes for our elderlies? The explanation by Khaw is just pure bullshit.

Anonymous said...

The question is not what the Government or the children of the elderly think about the pros of putting the old folks in JB.

The question is, what does the elderly themselves think about being put into an old folks home in JB.

The Government just backs up its arguments by talking about the frequency of visits from children, ease of travelling to JB, the comparative costs of such a home in Singapore and JB. Are we to believe that the elderly do not deserve even a squeak or consideration in this matter themselves?

I know. It is always about how much land we can save, how much the Government will make if we sell the land to developers and how they can build big condos to sell to foreigners and elites. They need plenty of space for that.

Now I am beginning to see that in Singapore, when you are old, you cannot be seen, heard or tolerated. You have to be put far away from home. And better still, stay forgotten.

Lost Citizen

Anonymous said...

Lost Citizen @4:58PM :- "Now I am beginning to see that in Singapore, when you are old, you cannot be seen, heard or tolerated. You have to be put far away from home. And better still, stay forgotten."

But you know, there are exceptions, like our MM and President.

Anonymous said...

I am absolutely appalled and speechless.

Singaporeans risk life and limb, and lose 2 years of their precious prime years serving NS to protect the country only to have this PAP minister from MALAYSIA tell us go JB and die when we're old and no longer contributing to the economy.

Anonymous said...

""I hope they lead by example.

Put their own parents there.""

Perhaps some ex-Malaysians have left their parents behind in Malaysia... haha

Anonymous said...

This was a succinct response by Miss Tan Li Feng. I think she is a Government scholar. Lucky, the video was very touching and so appropriate to this discussion.

"'Spending one's golden years institutionalised in another country is a great blow to one's self-worth and dignity.'

MISS TAN LI FENG: 'Though the economics of the suggestion are not lost on me, there are greater social costs involved. Such a move further entrenches the idea that, once the elderly become sick and infirm, they are liabilities best chucked in a corner (read: institution), out of sight and out of mind. There are many senior citizens who have been abandoned or are infrequently visited in homes for the elderly in Singapore. The geographical distance between Singapore and Johor Baru, coupled with clogged checkpoints, will further discourage families from paying that weekly visit, if at all, to their elderly relatives. Spending one's golden years institutionalised in another country is a great blow to one's self-worth and dignity. The elderly have spent their lifetime contributing to their families and the community and should be valued as any other citizen. The Government is essentially passing a value judgment on a person's worth by suggesting that resources be conserved for those who have outlived their economic productivity and utility. Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan defended this suggestion by saying it is merely a way to open more options to middle-income families. While families face real monetary constraints, we as a society must draw certain lines on the extent we will go for economic gain."

Anonymous said...

I used to wonder how the Govt came up with the ideal population of 6.5m residents, given that Singapore citizens number abt 3.1m.

Now I know - its a ONE FOR ONE REPLACEMENT!

Anonymous said...

The Govt's values seem to be that ordinary Singaporeans (excluding the Elites) are RESOURCES, not assets.

What does a Corporation u do with RESOURCES? Why, EXPLOIT them to get every bit of value before discarding them and moving on. Just like how a gold mining company would treat a gold mine...

A NATION regards its citizens as assets- valuable, to be preservd, protected and enhanced becos the asset will in time generate its own contribution to the nation.

Now just check for yourself to see which term/word the Govt Ministers & elites use to describe Singaporeans....

Deity of Cannons said...

That is the Irony.
20 years ago, the media shamed people who abadoned the parents after they made big.

Now is gahman who did just that and they control the media who in turn will try to encourage people to dump the parents now.

Asian value? My Posterior end!
You wrote and made this Asian value as you go along!

Sooner or later, you will telling us surrender our sons and daughters to arcane rituals for lengthening your rule! And it is Asian value to honour the gods!!!
And you are the gods, right?

We are just mortals......who can't understand......

The L337 has sunk so low that even a K9 would not find them fit to be peed on!

Taishan said...

It also means government is not paying for it portion of health care cost.

Onlooker said...

Can leave LKY and wooden goh there or not?
Will visit every millennium.

Anonymous said...

one day we will see 5 millions old folk walking in johor! it is like an invasion! this is unacceptable. m'sia not stupid to let their land used by neighbour country.

Anonymous said...

I think I posted somewhere previously when KBW mentioned about old folks home in Batam. This likely has has been debated at the top levels of gov by the scholars and a policy paper put up. Apparently this has not died out with the last uproar and it is so impt that it merited another mention, in parliament no less. Seems like it is going to happen, somehow, until the next election that it....

Anonymous said...

they should reserve a bed in johor for our minister mentor..

Anonymous said...

Interesting isn't it.

If we don't pay them million dollars salaries, our women will have to go overseas to work as maid.

But after paying them million dollars salaries, they want to sent our old folks overseas to wait for death.

As far as they are concerned, if you don't have any economic value, you have no place in S'pore Inc.

And kudos to MISS TAN LI FENG. Well said.

yamizi said...

I have always against the game of golf. It is nothing constructive in nature. Waste of land in our already land scarse country. The workout level is not as high as other sports. A literal recreation for the higher castes in our society.

With all these mugging, robberies happening in JB, do you still have the heart to dump your parents at JB nursing home?

In our local nursing home, the children may not visiting them regularly already. Let alone speaking about putting them in JB.

yamizi said...

anon @ 4:31pm,

Don't get mad. Buddhism is the religion that is easily used as a guise by many.

Nothing wrong with the Buddha's teachings, it's the people who fail to read, comprehend, realise and practice.

pumpkin said...

Some years back, some Japanese wanted to build a retirement home in Gold Coast, Australia. The reason was that it was cheaper to live in Australia. The proposal was abandoned because the local residents of Gold Coast protested. They did not like the old and infirm foreigners living among their midst.

Anonymous said...

This is Singapore INC - a cold, calculating, unfeeling entity, not Singapore as a nation of people. The entire nation of people has been misled and cheated over the past forty over years, conned out of our constitutional rights and stripped of our dignities to live our lives as decent beings into retirement and death, and now lead by nincompoops and incompetent sycophants in this sham of a parliament.

How someone can be this callous and insensitive to conceive of this hare-brain ploy to deport old and sickly citizens to another country to live out their old age is quite beyond me. Where is the compassion as a fellow citizen and what nerve to even bring this up? Surely, not every policy is to be calculated in terms of returns in dollars and cents.

For the enlightened folks, we have become no more than mere economic digits - bits and nibbles of statistics for their wanton manipulation, anytime and anywhere and in any format.

他们这些人面兽心的恶魔更本没有把我们当人看。

Anonymous said...

I thought its been clear all along: In Singapore, if you cannot contribute to the economy, you either leave or die.

This is just another manifestation of that policy. So why are you all so surprised or disgusted?

Anonymous said...

JB is in West Malaysia. Correct?
This means CPF money is still locked up until 85 as if the oldies are still in SG. How convenient to who you know!!

Anonymous said...

So if it becomes too expensive to built nursing homes in Singapore, the solution is not to lower the cost eg. subsidise the building of such homes etc, the solution is to send the elderly off to a foreign land for the rest of their lives.

The Reservist said...

I find the Minister's suggestion, and his manner of putting it, thoroughly repulsive and repugnant. Unintentionally, it brought out the overarching imperative of the government and very neatly exposed the lie that no Singaporean would be left behind.

Singapore Inc has turned each and every ministry into a maximum revenue, minimum cost centre. Any wonder that despite this once-in-a-lifetime economic crisis, not a single one of them is talking about reducing cost of public service. For them, every day's a Sunday in Lalaland.

So lets not talk about sacrifice for the country because there was none in the first place. There is no soul and compassion here, only dollars and cents. If our leaders believe in paying themselves to the hilt for their services, then we citizens should be no less mercenary. Give us back what is rightly ours when we are old - our CPF and our share of the reserves.

You reap what you sow.

Deity of Cannon said...

I wouldn't suprised if Singapore is the first country to be listed in the SGX, NYSE, London Stock Exchange and so on.......

Anonymous said...

Humility is lost to those,
who have lost their humanity.

Anonymous said...

Talk is cheap. Let our actions do the talking during the next GE.

Anonymous said...

Enough is enough. We need to vote them out.

Anonymous said...

sg probably should re-merge with malaysia to solve these problems? this clearly is not a sustainable living for a human being.

"r" said...

why dont we put old harry in JB for a start? then we will all follow the LEADER!

ly said...

Khaw Boon Wan could check himself in JB for a start. Or he could be insinuating LHL could check his daddy in JB. hor hor...

facts actually said...

I remembered that once my grandma was critically ill and subsequently had to put up at the nursing home to receive medical attention for quite a period. To our horror, the bills chalked up to a few thousands every month and obviously not gonna work out for the long run.

With a stroke of luck, we found out that the contract of the pinoy nurse who was taking care of my granny was due, and she was looking for a job as well. It worked out to be much cheaper for her to be our live-in nurse! Almost a third of the cost! This option provided my granny 24-hour 1-to-1 professional nursing assistance as well as immediate proximity to us. Previously, traveling to and fro frequently from the nursing home and back can get very exhausting.

For those who are facing problems with elderly care can consider this option as there are a lot of Filipino nurses looking for jobs as well. Weekly or monthly house calls are also available for regular check-ups to monitor any medical conditions. Much more affordable as well, maybe even cheaper than the JB option!

Our Government does see the rising cost issues in Singapore but what is disappointing is that they always address them with insensitive and incomprehensible solutions, almost in a condescending manner.

Anonymous said...

SERANGOON GARDENS FOR FOREIGN WORKERS.
JOHOR BAHRU FOR ELDERLY SINGAPOREANS

Anonymous said...

What's the point of serving NS?

Anonymous said...

"You know, the cure for all this talk is really a good dose of incompetent government. You get that alternative and you'll never put Singapore together again: Humpty Dumpty cannot be put together again... and your asset values will disappear, your apartment will be worth a fraction of what it is, your jobs will be in peril, your security will be at risk and our women will become maids in other people's countries, foreign workers."

... and your own parents will be placed in nursing homes in other people's countries.

Anonymous said...

I understand, due to cost, there are some Arab countries who send their citizens to Thailand for medical care fully paid for by their governments, if the SG's PAP government is willing to pay for the citizen's stay in nursing home in Johor, I don't mind.

That said, wouldn't we be spending our own CPF money? Our National Reserve is possibly Zero at the moment. If even citizen had $80,000 retained in the CPF;

3.2 million CPF accounts works out to be SGD256 billions, which is what the KY claimed to be our national reserve.

Disgusted said...

i guess for a person who chose to leave his country and take up citizenship of another one FOR PERSONAL GAINS, it shldn't be surprising that he shld suggest this sort of stuff.

it's all $$$, stupid!

Psychiatrist said...

It's totally appalling and madness for this Malaysian Cow to suggest putting our old folks in JB.Our old folks are the gems of yester years. Without them, you think LKY can build his empire?
No where else in the world will you hear of a minister suggesting to leave their own elderly folks in another country! Mr. Cow, are you of sound mind?

Anonymous said...

G.O.L.F = Game Of Lazy Fools

Anonymous said...

I think we should leave religion out of the discussion. The man is at fault, so blame not his religion.

Lost Citizen

Anonymous said...

Please stop suggesting sending our old politicians to stay in JB, You know they have millions, even possibly billions SIN Dollars. They can stay in palaces or castles when alive.

The Health Minister believes that unfilial children will be send to the deepest level of Hell. And like him, I think sinful leaders should live in bigger hell.

And lastly, tell them to go hell for their irresponsible, insensitive and sinful plan.

patriot

Anonymous said...

KNNB, what we need now is a complete overhaul of our government. I cannot wait until the next election to cast my vote. I call upon all Singaporeans to vote for a caring government with a heart.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of a Chinese folk tale I read when I was young.
A little boy was watching his father weave a large bamboo basket. Curious as to what would hold, he asked, "Father, what do you plan to put in this big basket?"
Without stopping his work, his father replied, " Well, grandpa is old. When he really cannot handle his chores anymore, I shall put him in this basket and take him up the mountain and leave him there."

The little boy proceeded to take scraps of bamboo and began to weave too.
It was his father's turn to be curious so he asked, "And son, what do you plan to put in the basket you are weaving?"
Without batting an eyelid, his son replied," O, this basket I am weaving is for you. When you get old, I will also put you in the basket and take you up the mountain and leave you there".

The heart of the problem is not only in the proposals of the Singapore leaders. It is in the people themselves. I scanned all the 43 comments and only saw one smart filial lady who decided it was cheaper to take care of granny themselves with the help of a Filipina nurse maid at their own home. To point one finger at another requires three fingers back at oneself.

So, when people ask me how can you & your husband take care of your 96 yr old Alzheimer bed-bound mother -in-law who is otherwise healthy for all our 30 yrs of marriage?

I reply - it is all in your attitude and values. If we approach the care of the elderly by thinking, "We will give it a try, and if things don't work out, at least we've tried," we will FAIL. This is because we will mentally chalk up all the difficulties and hold on to grudges for the elderly gradually get more grumpy and frustrated with their own inabilities and physical aches and pains.

If we approach the problems by having an attitude of CHOICE. "This is my life. I chose it. Good or bad, we will take care of those who took care of us, directly or indirectly," we will SUCCEED. We will make the best of the situation, always looking for ways to make the day more pleasant, forgive failing minds and harsh words and ingratitude. It really helps to be prayerful too

Incidentally, my brother and sister-in-law are caring for our 83 yr old mother who is happily playing the role of great grandmother looking after the great grandchildren in their extended family home.

As people who are Pro-Life, we happily have more generous siblings to count on to share tasks of caring for our loved ones.

Incidentally, it sends a message to our own spouse that no matter what, for good or bad, richer or poorer, we have chosen and will live the promises we took at marriage and will take care of each other to the best of our abilities when we are both old and need extra support.

It is not where nursing homes are built which is the question only, it is where is our heart and humanity? Whether the nursing home is down the road or far away, if children's hearts are not attuned to their parents, they will not visit or care.

In the West, they are asking for Physician Assisted Suicides or euthanasia. The old have a "duty to die".

We all are born without a choice for we were all created by a higher loving being. We should leave this world when it is our time to go, not because we become an economic burden. The mark of our humanity is measured not in how much we made in the eyes of others but "whatsoever you do for the least of My brethren, you have done it for Me.... the hallmark of a follower of Christ.

Even other religions would agree this is a good goal to aim for.

Anonymous said...

I believe that while our people have a right to make their own decisions on whether to relocate to JB, it is highly inappropriate for a politician to make such a suggestion.

Anonymous said...

Although I totally agree that such a comment by a politician is totally uncalled for and inappropriate... there is another side to the issue as it is with all things...

Most people criticise the money-mindedness policies of the government, but are all of us really prepared to face the consequences of increase welfare from the govt in exchange for lower economic progress or less shopping centres, cars, MRT and perhaps aircon buses...

The future impact of a non-economic driven policy is of course highly debatable and nobody will know for sure but definitely there will be trade-offs.

I totally abhor the huge salary that our top civil servants and government officials are being paid and consider it an exhorbitant amount. But reducing their salary probably means we are going to lose some of the top talents from the government... are we really prepared to have that?

I am prepared for the implications of these non-economic policies and would love to see it put through. However the more important message is for everybody to serious see all aspects of a situation before deciding or putting up a criticism.

I am not proposing that all comments are made without serious pondering but just a reminder for all...

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Anonymous said...

Aiya, when the government decided to raise the population to 6.5M, they already calculated the number of singaporeans that will vote against them... do you really think those cheenas and ah nehs are going to vote against PAP when they just received their precious citizenship?? if only we can swop citizenships, i don't mind taking out all my CPF money and buy a house with it.

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jbnursinghomeclover said...

sometimes, they have more relatives over the causeway who can visit their elderly more often and provide more emotional support at the jb nursing home