Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Help for parents with special needs children....

First an explanation of the issue. Several years ago, a group of parents with kids with speical needs met with then MYCS minister Vivian Balakrishnan to discuss the type of help govt can give to these parents. One of the biggest concerns for these parents is how their child will be cared for when they are no longer around.  The child with special needs may need various kind of care such as medication, some of them need help with their meals and so on. While the parents are still around, very often one of them will quit his or her job to take of the child (you can't really trust the maid who is not trained to do this). You can imagine the challenge even for higher income earniers. For low income families, they whose income is barely sufficient, they fall into poverty and need state help - state help isn't much, I showed a video some time back about a low income family cope with 2 disabled kids, the mother found it hard to go to govt agencies who insisted that she find work instead of getting financial aid from the govt [watch the video here]. If low income families find it hard to get help, middle income families will not get anything...these days with means testing, the last bit of subsidiy for special schools was removed for parents of these children.

These parents face enormous hardship caring for their children when they are alive - its a labor of love but very tough financially and emotionally. Concerned that nobody can care for their children properly when they are gone, they went to went to ask the govt for help. Perhaps they were hoping the govt set up good facilities and institutions where they can feel safe to leave their children when they are no longer around - since they have already spent their lifetime caring for their child. These caregivers know how tough it has been for them so they find it hard to ask relatives or siblings to do this when they are no longer around and some of them have nobody to turn to.

The govt response to the problem is this : while the parents a alive and working, set aside a part of their CPF (their own money) in a new Special Needs Savings Scheme. CPF will help to disburse this as a monthly instalment when the parents are no longer around. The Straits Times headlins for the article is "More CPF protection for children with special needs""

"The CPF Board is stepping in to help provide a measure of financial security for children with special needs, when their parents are no longer aaround to care for them" - Straits Times 22 Nov 2011.

All the govt is doing is administer some of your own CPF money to make out monthly instalments - thats all! Quite incredibly the article starts off saying the CPF Board "is stepping in to help provide a measure of financial security" as if the CPF is giving money to the child. What security is there for lower income parents who don't even have enough for themselves to retire?

To say the govt has fallen short and failed these parents is an understatement. In every developed country today, the govt get involved early to full support to parents because they are in such a tough situation. Here the parents have to make huge sacrifices when they are alive yet the govt is only willing to play administors to lock up their CPF funds in a special account and give it out in instalments.

There are very few Singaporeans who would oppose the govt doing more for these parents. The only people stopping the PAP from doing more is the PAP govt itself and its ideological preference not to help. This is a govt with the means to do it - it can give thousands of scholarships to school the children of foreigners but cannot do something for these children of men who served their NS.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm a Singaporean.
I believe the PAP and their lackeys will get their retribution in due time. We just have to wait.
(Nobody ever thought that Saddam and Qaddafi will ever fall.)

The lackeys will keep saying that Singapore is unique. Well, if the PAP continues its despicable policies, it's only a matter of time....

Anonymous said...

"This is a govt with the means to do it - it can give thousands of scholarships to school the children of foreigners but cannot do something for these children of men who served their NS."
Lucky Tan

Because PAP can still win 93% seats at elections. This is the short, to the point answer why cannot.

Actually I had thought that PAP would have lost at least its 2/3 (66%) majority seats in the last elections, given that the situation is so bad as Lucky has rightly pointed out.

But PAP didn't. And if this time they didn't, I think they will forever never lose. That's for sure.

Anonymous said...

Hello Anon 20:41

Saddam fall because of US air power and Gaddafi because of NATO air power. Because both Saddam and Gaddafi were not smart and offend these powers.

So if you don't know, don't anyhow talk about Saddam or Gaddafi in Singapore situation.

Anonymous said...

As long as PAP is in power, you can forget about help of any kind from them. I pity the poor, the retired, the elderly and the physically disabled living in our countries. The kind of people recruited into their party are all like-minded in thinking their job is to make sure the citizens must be trained to take care of themselves, any measures to make life better for the people is to spoil them. This job according to them requires such great talents that they must be paid super high salary.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Lucky

Didn't your Holy Cow already do a lot for the specials children? I mean ... He is endorsed by you so must have ... Whatever it was ...

Hey, out of the goodness of his heart, he had even decided not to lower the income level in the midst of financial crisis ... Surely he can help!

Anonymous said...

I hope the PAP lackeys die a horrible death.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 21:04

I don't think Saddam and Qaddafi fell simply because of Western (air) power or pressure. Their people are just waiting for the opportunity to get rid of these despots.

If you think that Singapore will always remain a playground of the rich, you don't know how fast things can change when it's time for the despots to go. Let's see. In the meantime, enjoy your "prosperity" while it lasts.

Clear eyed said...

I truly marvel at the talents in the State Times. They have honed spinning into a fine art worthy of accolades. They are definitely worth their weight in gold to the regime in helping to keep the masses contented, trusting and reverential towards their masters. With their backing the Supreme Old Master is brazen to the point of calling the masses daft and need spurs to be stuck onto their hides.

Veritas said...

The miserable people in our society serves a good purpose to frighten everyone of us to work like slaves.

Don underestimate them.

If life is too good, will we stooge?

Anonymous said...

the PAP will NEVER step in to subsidize in any manner, the poor and the disadvantaged. this is because LKY has publicly stated, that he is a "social darwinist". i.e. he believes that the weak will be weeded out and the strong will persist. in other words, he truly believes the poor and the disadvantaged are probably of worser genetic stock and hence should be allowed to die off.

Anonymous said...

Useless Elitist President. What has his charity group raised and done for these disadvantageous? All he does is stay in his ivory istana.

People should bloody wake up with their eyes open!
All PAP is very capable of doing is administering from one pocket to another pocket. And and it depends on whose pocket.

Hang Seng Parasite said...

if i am not wrong, the payout only last a year right? if it is true, it is hardly a scheme. $250 a month for a year and after that, what next? Euth....

Come on! the govt surely could print some money to make the lives of this small group of people liveable!

Anonymous said...

They will not help unless it benefit them. If they want to help, they ask for this & that, means test etc. I learned my lesson never donate to charity. When they ask you give is easy, but when u need help, it is difficult. Blame myself supporting policy to have children, end up with "special force kid". Worst still spent over $15k+ for the process. Now what to do, depends on yourself to save and look for lobang to cover in case job is not safe.

Anonymous said...

Wah lau, CPF use for this and that, got enough meh?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know how many people are actually helped this way.

How many parents have enough to set aside this amount. Who is even eligible after the restrictions and exclusions.

This is policy from the head, not the heart. Calculated, if I may say so cynically, for political capital. Is this the Government's idea of leaving no one behind?

Anonymous said...

//I don't think Saddam and Qaddafi fell simply because of Western (air) power or pressure. Their people are just waiting for the opportunity to get rid of these despots.
Anon 22/11/11 21:33//


Many people not aware of during the 8-months war against Libya, NATO has conducted 9,634 attack sorties and killed and wounded an estimate of more than 150,000 Libyan people.


The mandate given by UN to NATO is to protect civilians of Libya. The best way to protect the civilians is to stop the civil war (which, according to a rebel leader, killed at least 30,000 people and wounded at least another 50,000) by imposing an immediate ceasefire and oversee the reform of Libya.

But NATO chose to do the opposite. NATO rejected repeatedly the ceasefire proposed by the African Union, which were accepted by Libya government. NATO chose to let the civil war expanded and provided arms and military training to the rebels.

As of 22 October 2011, after 219-Day War against Libya, NATO has conducted 26,233 sorties, of which 9,634 are attack sorties.

Attack sorties are missions flown to identified targets with the sole purpose of destroying them. Legitimate targets include, military hardware (tanks, air bases etc) communications, and command infrastructures, troop convoys, and as we have seen Gaddafi himself, his family and anyone else that happens to be near him (one of the attack killed 3 of the Gaddafi’s grandchildren age between 2 to 3).

Since June 2011, NATO became more desperate and started attacking non-combat buildings and basic infrastructures (for example, NATO airstrikes on the Tripoli headquarters of the state-owned national TV broadcaster Al-Jamahiriya and two of its installations on 30 July. Three journalists were killed and 21 others were wounded in the airstrikes). The attack at basic infrastructures has caused Tripoli residents having difficulties in getting water and electricity supplies.

During the last 3 months of NATO operation, the attack sorties were mainly aim at helping the rebels attack and capture those cities that do not support the rebels. It is worth noting that these cities were all either have been badly damaged or completely destroyed.

If each attack sorties fired only 2 missiles and each missile is capable of destroying a building, we can envisage that how much damage the 19,268 (2 x 9,634) missiles have been done to Libya. The total population in Libya is only about 6.4 millions.


I dare to say that NATO is the main contributor to the dead and injury to the more than 80,000 Libyan (the figure could be much more as the rebel leader don’t have much information from Gaddafi controlled areas). So far, not much information about the casualties suffered by Gaddafi’s side, because almost every time after the attack, NATO and the western media will issues the standard clause “mission completed successfully and targets destroyed, any casualties arise from the attack could not be verified”. But if we based on the 2 incidents of “friendly fire” which killed 13 civilians and 5 rebels’ fighters and wounded many more others,(“friendly fire’ is defined as NATO mistook the rebels as Gaddafi people. That is, NATO has the intention to kill those people!). The 9,634 attack sorties could have killed and wounded an estimate of more than 150,000 people. [(13+5) x 9,634 = 173,412]
If we divide these figures by 219, we will have an average of 44 attack sorties and more than 685 casualties every day for the past 219 days.

Many of the innocent people like the Gaddafi’s 3 grandchildren (age between 2 to 3) and the 3 journalists from the TV’s headquarter, were killed not at the battle field or war zone, they were killed by the well planned NATO attack sorties at their residential area or work place.

Anonymous said...

Tripoli residents have difficulties in getting water and electricity supplies is also the results of NATO well planned attacks at the basic infrastructures of Libya. How many civilians get killed when NATO attacking these basic infrastructures? In fact Tripoli is not the city at war, why is it received the most attack from NATO?

The parties benefited from the expanded war are the NATO’s arms manufacturing companies and the defense related industrials. NATO’s construction industrials will have many big contracts when participating in the reconstruction of Libya (Libya is rich and can afford to pay for the rebuilding). Also, NATO’s petrol companies will benefit from the oil rich Libya if the rebel has the control of the country.


With the killing and damages inflicted by the 19,268 missiles and the 160 cruise missiles and also the hardship caused by the many months of embargo imposed, it is hard to believe that majority of Libyan (except those residents from Benghazi, the rebel stronghold city) are grateful to the NATO’s action. For your information the total population in Libya is about 6.4 millions and the population in Tripoli is 1.8 millions and Benghazi is 650,000.

Anonymous said...

Tripoli residents have difficulties in getting water and electricity supplies is also the results of NATO well planned attacks at the basic infrastructures of Libya. How many civilians get killed when NATO attacking these basic infrastructures? In fact Tripoli is not the city at war, why is it received the most attack from NATO?

The parties benefited from the expanded war are the NATO’s arms manufacturing companies and the defense related industrials. NATO’s construction industrials will have many big contracts when participating in the reconstruction of Libya (Libya is rich and can afford to pay for the rebuilding). Also, NATO’s petrol companies will benefit from the oil rich Libya if the rebel has the control of the country.


With the killing and damages inflicted by the 19,268 missiles and the 160 cruise missiles and also the hardship caused by the many months of embargo imposed, it is hard to believe that majority of Libyan (except those residents from Benghazi, the rebel stronghold city) are grateful to the NATO’s action. For your information the total population in Libya is about 6.4 millions and the population in Tripoli is 1.8 millions and Benghazi is 650,000.

Anonymous said...

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150408220473057

There are various types of 'special needs' children that need help. Get real recently covered a story about children/adults with mild retardation or mental understanding of why they are committing crimes. For the most part, this country/society has left this group of people & the parents/family outcasted.

In a freaking land of 5m population that calls itself a first world developed country, they couldn't even dedicate specialist or enough resources to rehabilitate and house them. I bet the numbers are not small, perhaps easily in the thousands. We have heard of tragic father story told by Dr Lee Wei Ling, and many other untold (perhaps suicdies etc) that this govt has turned a blind eyes to for the last 4-5 decades.

What have they done to assist or at least offer to help these group of people with compassion? They are considered the unproductive outcast and a waste of resources. This is No Country for Old Men or Disadvantaged People. Shame on you PAP. Go back to school and learn what humane and humanity is all about. Or go to Heng Swee Keat and ask him to tailor a lesson plans for your refresher course.

Anonymous said...

""The CPF Board is stepping in to help provide a measure of financial security for children with special needs, when their parents are no longer aaround to care for them" - Straits Times 22 Nov 2011. "

Observe the way the English is written here. It gives the illusion that the government is helping you; when all it's about is that they have created another account in your CPF where you dump your cash there for your child.

Did the government gave you any support? Zero!

And this sort of writing has been going on in the Straits Times for decades.

And the people are buying it; riding on the elusive assuarance that the PAP goverment is taking care of them.

I don't understand why Singaporeans accept fear as a way of life in this country.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it: We have a mediocre government that is overpriced and does nothing for its citizens except during election time. That's the only time it does something for its citizens. It buys their votes.

Singaporeans only matter during election time.

Anonymous said...

PAP is an uncaring lousy govt. What else is there to say.

Anonymous said...

It is one thing to be seen helping.
It is quite another to be actually helping.

People hear what you say,
People see what you do.

Anonymous said...

I think after reading Straits Times, the 60% will think that PAP and CPF will give lifetime pension to those disabled whose parents join this "new scheme".

The 60% will say "Wah! Now govt so good. Your kid disabled PAP will look after him/her when you're gone."

That's why those who are able or with guts, immediately migrate overseas if their babies are diagnosed with some disability.

Even if you have to take up blue-collar jobs overseas, at least their countries will help with your disabled kids and help them become as normal adults as possible, plus disability benefits. Even as blue-collar workers, you can still afford house and car.

If remain in Singapore, unless you're in the top 10% income bracket, your disabled kids will forever be in poverty and outcasts and will probably die before age 40.

Good example of Sinkies who made the choice to go overseas is LAURENTIA TAN family. The only thing I have against her is that she should have represented UK, her adopted country, in the Paralympics instead of S'pore which has done absolutely nothing for her.

Too bad with the debt crisis, the choice of overseas countries have shrunk. US, UK and many European countries will be out. Resource-rich countries like Australia and Canada will still be good choices, especially since english is the main language.

wtf said...

As expected- wayang by the government.

While our ministers are scholars, they all get F9 when it comes to social conscience.

This is why they can still sleep soundly at night with the millions in salaries.

Anonymous said...

The sad story is ppl didnt read carefully enough and "assumed" govt will take care of them "FoREvER".......that why they will be in power even 2016 Election cos they keep pumping more FT in our country. DPM says although our city is more populated, "we still can have quality of life"......^-^

Anonymous said...

They can say what they like lah.

But if you suffer, you will still suffer. If you are rich, then you are rich.

So no matter what they say, nothing change for you, right?

Unless you change yourself lah.

Anonymous said...

our grand master was trained by the japs in WW2. he does not have any compassion for the poor, sick, old and weak even if countryman. lbs pleaded for less torturing but he still died horribly. he continues to use ns as a tool for him to conquer just like the jap emperor.

Anonymous said...

eingThat's why now SPH is using Yahoo! Because they know at least Yahoo! are reporting news like it is..not some flowery propaganda. Maybe now that Temasek cannot buy Yahoo! they decide to sue them.

I feel very sad for SG Press.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Tan,

Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akVL7QY0S8A

Anonymous said...

When i read the ST article. i was saddened and angry. my son is mildly autistic and i am middle income with a good salary and yet, me and my wife is barely surviving. What is needed is financial help from the goverment not 'take your cpf and set aside for ur kid'. Actually, the SG garment has the means to provide help but they chose not to do it. Well, next year i am packing up for canada. i feel sad for the parents of special needs kids who cannot break out of sg....sad sad sad.

Winking Doll said...

To Anonymous at 24/11/11 02:47:

Welcome to Canada! According to some local Canadians that I've met, there is an increasing number of Singaporeans migrating here.

http://canadianimmigrant.ca/settling-in-canada/a-newcomer’s-checklist/

Anonymous said...

Do not under-estimate your Opponent.

You guys are fighting against the "Party Against People".

These politicians are people who don't like people.
They don't like Singaporeans.
They do not respect Singaporeans.
They don't care if Singaporeans suffer.

But every 5 years, they want to represent and lead us. You need to ask - Why?

You will not win unless you are equally stubborn, determined and are able to recruit believers into your cause.

Anonymous said...

What type of irresponsible behaviour is this?

Encourage Singaporeans to have more children.

Then if child is off-specification, immediately it's "you die your business hor"

If child meets specification, then its "This is my home, truly"

Can't believe still got 60% so stupid. LKY is right. Daft and definitely can absorb more spurs from the government.

Anonymous said...

The Straits Times delude Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

Winking Doll,

Thank you for that link. May God bless you.