Walking Up the Steps of Rental Flats in Singapore

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Went to a block of one-room rental flats to speak to the residents. Initially, some of them were hesitant and did not share the issues that they were facing. But as we spoke longer, they opened up.

An auntie shared how she has learnt to accept her fate that she has to be poor. But I explained to her that there is no reason why Singapore has so much money but there are still so many Singaporeans who have to be poor. Shared with her that the Reform Party has said that it would implement minimum wage to increase the wages of low- and middle-income Singaporeans, if it is the government.

Also met another elderly auntie who lives with her disabled son. The auntie is no longer able to work because of health reasons, but neither can her son. They rely only on a few hundred dollars of social assistance and her CPF. She told me that she hardly goes anywhere except to buy food from downstairs.

There was also another three-generation family of five who only relies on the daughter as the sole breadwinner. She only earns slightly more than $1,000. Her elderly parent has to go to the hospital every month and the bills can go up to more than a thousand dollars in some months. She is saddled with heavy debt.

These are some of the many lives of the low-income families in Singapore. There are many rental one- and two-room flats in Ang Mo Kio itself. I used to stay in a one- and then a two-room flat in Ang Mo Kio myself. But still, life seems to have gotten worse for the poor in Singapore today. And there are many more of these flats around Singapore, where many other low- and middle-income Singaporeans and their families live in.

Really, something is not right when the PAP ministers insist on paying themselves millions of dollars when low-income and even middle-income Singaporean households are struggling with only a few hundred dollars a month. And even then, it is very difficult to apply for social assistance. They have to apply every few months and have to submit a bundle of documents, which they have to submit over and over again each time.

One man asked me why the Resident’s Committee (RC) in his area keeps asking for the same documents even though they have submitted several times. In the end, many of these families choose not to apply for any assistance at all because it can be very demeaning for them. One elderly woman told me that she lives on only a few hundred dollars for herself and her child, and spends very carefully, spreading out her dollars and cents very thinly, because of this.

But why should this happen in Singapore? The photo here looks bleak because it can be very lonely for them. The good thing is that everyone looks out for one another here. A middle-aged man told me that the residents will check on how one another is doing, no matter the race and religion. It is heartwarming to know this.

No matter what, I shared with the residents that Singapore has a lot of money which the PAP government has taken from Singaporeans but doesn’t give back to us. I shared that we need to vote in a government which will increase wages and increase health and education spending, so that Singaporeans do not have to pay so much when they need to see a doctor and do not have to be scared if they need to see one, and so that all our children have a more equal chance at going to university.

And of course, so that the government will #ReturnOurCPF, by returning the interest earned on our CPF and coming out with a public pension scheme to supplement the CPF.

The truth is, when these residents have enough to use, they won’t need to have to keep asking for money. This will allow them to truly have dignity and live proudly. This is how Singapore can then truly be a home to all, and where Singaporeans will know we are taken care of, be happy and give back to our country.

This National Day, this is something for us to ponder about. After 50 years, has our country really improved or has things gotten more challenging over the last 10 years?

If so, it might be a good time to think about whether we need to give ourselves a chance to try something new, to let all Singaporeans have a fair stake in life, and for Singapore to once again be the country we can be proud of, and truly call our home.

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78 comments

  1. PAPer Tiger

    “‘Water is scarce, so conserve water while I ram the population up to 10 million’, said the horrible son of a horrible dictator of a tiny dictatorship.

    ‘Oh yes! Your royal natural aristocrat!’, cried 2 out of every 3 peasants obediently.

    Meanwhile, the other 1 out of every 3 peasants watch helplessly in horror as the dafts vote for everyone’s death…”

  2. Jay Ng

    Hi Roy,
    Rental flats dwellers is a good place to start and understand what really the ground is like which you’ll see many politician shy away from.
    Goods luck in your political career.

  3. wallansainiHardeep Saini

    Hi Roy,
    In Australia, candidates/volunteers will give out “how to vote pamphlets” to everyone who enters the polling booths.
    The how to pamphlet will already show an example of how to tick (say Reform Party) the candidate/party that you want the voter to vote for.
    It looks similar to the actual ballot paper to make it easy to understand.
    Is this practices, allowed in Singapore?

  4. Mike Zeng

    The pap will try their level best to disqualify you on Nominatin day on some ground. Pl be prepared for it and be ready to refute them.

  5. Return Our CPF $$$ & DIGNITY!

    1) National Tragedy after 50 years.
    2) Most upper floors with A/C “rented out” to FTs, PRs & Aliens at “market price” thru EMS Services (HDB subsidiary). Using subsidized public flats for the low income to house foreign aliens at higher rent is Lawful & Morally right @Dover, Toa Payoh, Bt Merah, Bt Ho Swee, Jalan Minyak etc under “interim rental”. How absurd:(
    3) Thank You Roy & Team for e “Wake Up” call on “Return Our CPF $$$ @55 and Why Low R.O.I?”. God bless

  6. jackfruit

    Hey Roy here’s a suggestion for you. .tomorrow get a national flag (with flag post) and protest at the NDP venue and shout your favourite RETURN OUR CPF. you will get full coverage for sure…hahaha!

      • jackfruit

        Hahaha if u can get every Singaporean do it, then I say u are good. But wallan eh (sorry not calling your name hor), that for sure will not happen.

        And did u say stadium ? It’s held at the padang hor. Did u guys go there to try to get “everyone” there to protest ? Hahaha! I agree you might have more brains than a jackfruit, but those little neurons are for blabbing rubbish and for imagining how great u guys are. Hahaha haha !

    • Rotten PAPayas

      @ jackfruit

      Thats probably the only practical suggestion from you so far: “protest at the NDP venue and shout RETURN OUR CPF”

      If everyone at the stadium today does that, I’ll be keen to see the awkward and shameful faces of the PAP minions.

      But i disagree with you on one thing: media coverage is not likely to report the facts on protest:

      • Ted

        Not true… Please go protest in front of every Singaporean during the parade… Wow even the president is there…
        I dare u…
        U still have an hour to do. Quick go there now

      • jackfruit

        I believe you guys are the same neuron so here’s the same reply to u.

        Hahaha if u can get every Singaporean do it, then I say u are good. But wallan eh (sorry not calling your name hor), that for sure will not happen.

        And did u say stadium ? It’s held at the padang hor. Did u guys go there to try to get “everyone” there to protest ? Hahaha! I agree you might have more brains than a jackfruit, but those little neurons are for blabbing rubbish and for imagining how great u guys are. Hahaha haha !

  7. Aidil

    Somebody cried in the court saying he didn’t meant to defame pm which he had apologized for. What a liar and a scum.

  8. Ted

    Singaporeans money is not just contributed by the poor but every Singaporeans. Dun make it sound like these ppl r the reasons that Singapore has money. The money r distributed to these poor ppl, do u know that these rental flats r highly subsidised, monthly assistance r given to them as well, job search assistance as well……
    What an idiotic Roy, trying to tempt the poor by asking them to take what does not belong to them….

    • wallansainiHardeep Saini

      YOU ARE AN IDIOT, Ted.
      In every developed country, the government uses taxpayers money for social security purposes, amongst other expenditures.
      The taxpayers money belongs to everyone, INCLUDING THE POOR.
      Roy is right in helping the poor.
      That is why he is now a candidate in the next election because the PAP is not helping the poor.
      Shame on the PAP for making themselves into multi-millionaires and some Singaporeans are struggling to make ends meet.
      IT DOES NOT BELONG TO THE PAP TO INVEST AND MAKE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS AND NOT WANT TO DISTRIBUTE AMONGST ALL SINGAPOREANS.
      Stupid idiot.
      Hope you get run over by a bus this week.
      Scumbag.

      • Ted

        The money made is to develop Singapore , u think infrastructure building and subsidies to poor no need money?
        U living in lalaland, is it?

      • wallansaini

        Stupid, stupid Ted.
        Did I not articulate that ” the government uses taxpayers money for social security purposes, amongst other expenditures”.
        “Amongst other expenditures” is what infrastructure building is used for too.
        If the government doesn’t spend enough to also use this money to help the disadvantaged in the community, then Singapore is just soulless.
        SINGAPORE IS NOT SPENDING ENOUGH TO HELP THE DISADVANTAGED PRESENTLY.
        If you can’t understand that than there is really no hope for you.
        It is people like you who are the true enemies of Singaporeans.
        When a country has such like minded people, it does not need to have external enemies.
        The internal enemies will do more harm to the social fabric of Singapore than any external enemy.

      • Ted

        The help given like subsidies and bursaries to these poor is no help? The help given in Job placement is also help… The allocation of subsidized rental flat is also help…
        What r u and Roy talkin about?
        Everything in this world needs money, allocation of funds to these poor r given and dispensed according to needs … As stated in our budget, the whole nation needs money to work…
        Btw, who cares what a foreign fucker like u think about…

      • wallansaini

        It is precisely because of Singaporean fuckers like you that a foreigner like me has to come to these forums to right your thinking.
        It is obvious that you will not use your intelligence to be informed about what is really going on in Singapore.
        You want to remain in denial, just like the PAP, IT’S YOUR GRAVE.
        The PAP will one day become obsolete.
        Hope you join them there.

      • Ted

        I came from a poor family in rental flats … Who r u to tell me what it takes to get out of poverty?
        In fact, I may be richer and more educated than u becos I worked hard to get out of poverty…
        U speak like a fool… I’ve worked with many highly educated foreigners who admire Singapore’s success and zero tolerance for corruption… and also the way our govt help the poor and give equal opportunities for all Singaporeans

      • jackfruit

        Wallan eh ..don’t curse people lah..if he really die after your curse, will u feel good ? We have different opinions, can insult each other bit why curse people ? Will someone’s death bring happiness to u ?

        Curse me if u wish. But I’ve seen many people kenna double the curse when they do so.

    • Ted

      Isn’t the poor being helped, all the subsidies they r given and help in looking for jobs and their children no need to pay anything after bursaries and such…
      If these r not help then what is help in ur opinion…

      • wallansaini

        Read this BBC report and it will be clear to you.
        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26349689
        It is all on the WWW if you care to read and be informed.
        It is obvious that you do not care about your fellow Singaporeans who are disadvantaged.
        You can remain in denial but the problems facing Singapore, thanks to the PAPs short term policies, will not go away.
        THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY THE PAPs SHARE OF THE VOTES HAS BEEN STEADILY DROPPING THE PAST FEW ELECTIONS.
        You need to ask yourself why this is happening instead of blindly following the PAP lies.
        Show some intelligence, mate.
        Use your grey matter.
        The PAP is lying to you.
        Wake up.

      • mishkakabam

        Dear Wallansaini, what lies have the PAP told? Please let me know! I am so curious. You say you are a foreigner, yet you can keep track of lies? Come come, please enlighten. oh ya, remember not to defame okay. Defamation is wrong. Unless got evidence, don’t anyhow say hor. I am helping you by reminding you to be careful. You don’t wanna be sued and look like a fool right? ahahahahaha.
        But if you got solid proof of the lies, then please share. i really would love it.

      • wallansaini

        You have my sympathies if you don’t already know.
        I hope that you are a very young kid who lack maturity in all things political.
        If not, you have been brainwashed by the media and the PAP.
        TRY TO READ ALTERNATIVE NEWS MEDIA SITES TO GAIN THE INFORMATION THAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR.
        Roys web site is one such site.
        You can refuse to believe what he writes, to your own detriment.
        But be aware that by so doing you are in danger of being forever ignorant.
        Or do you prefer to be in denial of the facts ( that you choose to ignore).
        Do not rely on me, or anyone else, to do research for you.
        Learn to do it yourself instead of being spoon-fed all the time.

      • mishkakabam

        wow. I’m laughing like crazy. Alternative news websites are evidence? Wow. I hope you are an adult with a functioning brain! I can come up with bullshit conspiracies and pea brained people like you will believe in it. This is hilarious. Perhaps, pea brained “politicians” do attract pea brained supporters. Laughing til my stomach aches! Thanks for your entertainment. Woohoo! Never mind if I lack maturity. At least I don’t believe whatever is said in the Internet. Still laughing. Oh my. you are one hilarious person! Joker sia!

  9. Ted

    I care and I always call the hotline to help these poor ppl in need and I also call the police when there r foriegn beggars begging for money in Singapore…
    UK has many poor ppl living in squatters and unlivable conditions compared to Singapore… Keep ur own country in order before u comment on ours,

    • wallansaini

      You are a lying bastard, aren’t you.
      From your previous post it is apparent that you have no empathy for the disadvantaged.
      Now you are saying that you call the “hotline”.
      You are not discussing these issues with a kid.
      So don’t kid yourself.

      • Ted

        Real empathy is to give perpetual help to the poor.. To get them a job, allow their children to get schooled and get out of the vicious cycle….
        So best way is to give the poor ppl avenues to get out of such situations. And the best way is to get help from the authorities which the govt is already asking ppl to call them…

    • wallansaini

      Hi Ted.
      I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to you for calling you names.
      I must have got out from the wrong side of the bed this morning.
      This is not the way to discuss issues.
      I admit that I was wrong in my responses.
      Shall we just agree to disagree?

  10. The Reality

    Always couple factual presentations with a one-liner ethical/moral stance. It’s impactful. What’s lacking in our politics is no one is take a moral stand. Best regards.

  11. WP

    Wallansaini, you are the biggest idiotic bastard that I have come across after reading this blog for more than 2 years. Please fuck off from here u fucking foreigner. Do not comment on SG politics. FUCK YOU BASTARD.

    • wallansainiHardeep Saini

      Ha! ha.
      Love it when the truth gets to you guys.
      Getting angry with me or hurling abusive words is not going to change the facts as follows:
      1. PAP is going to lose more than 40% of votes this election.
      2. Some of the top calibre ministers are already leaving, plus a few idiotic ones too (rats jumping off ship).
      3. The ground is very sweet for the opposition.
      4. I hope the PAP will lose it’s two thirds majority in parliament.
      5. The PAP is so worried that it needs to use the dead man to try to drum up support.
      6. My family and friends are very happy that the PAP is going to get hammered good and proper this time.

      There will be no 10% GST, no 10 million population and no 10 million dollars salary for LHL.
      So go FUCK YOURSELF WITH YOUR MICRO DICK.

      Ha! ha, ha, ha, ha,………….

      • R

        Roy supporters agreed wholeheartedly foreigner (ex WEE Wee) calling Singaporeans stupid, idoits.

  12. Singapore Citizen Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)

    Subtle Denial of Medical Treatment by the Singapore Government for Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)

    Subtle Denial of Medical Treatment by the Singapore Government for Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)

  13. mishkakabam

    “And even then, it is very difficult to apply for social assistance. They have to apply every few months and have to submit a bundle of documents, which they have to submit over and over again each time. “‘
    >>> Please do explain the difficulties in applying for social assistance. If it is the same documents each time, shouldn’t it be a easy and predictable process?

    “One man asked me why the Resident’s Committee (RC) in his area keeps asking for the same documents even though they ”
    have submitted several times. In the end, many of these families choose not to apply for any assistance at all because it can be very demeaning for them.”
    >> Assistance is available, but if one chooses not to apply for it, why is this now the government’s fault? When i was in living Australia, at one point, i was eligible for financial help from the Australian Government. Was it demeaning to apply for assistance with the social welfare? Of course not! In fact, i was grateful that help existed. But such benefits come at a cost. Do you know how high the income tax rates are in Australia? And do you know how some misuse this benefit by gambling the money away?

    Yes, hospital bills are expensive, but the government hospitals does provide support from social workers. It is not as though there is NO HELP given. And, if you cannot pay your bills, it is not like the hospital insists on you paying right here right now , neither do they deny you of healthcare.

    Point is, the government does provide sufficient assistance to those in need. At least the low income do not need to live in CAGES, the way some do in Hong Kong. So, Dear Roy, visiting a few people and generalizing, and making it seem as though the government does little to none, is just LOW.

    You talk about how the government should be spending more on this or that , but have you talked about where the government should get that money from? Before anyone talks about Singapore’s reserves, well, of course we need it. Singapore is a small and vulnerable country, and those reserves are necessary in crucial times of need. It’s not to be spent on people who feel self-entitled and because they want more money, more luxuries or more convenience in their lives,

    I know of people who grew up in rental flats and have managed to earn a decent living. This clearly shows that with hard work and dedication, you can move out of the poverty cycle. And yes, times were hard, but they survived.

    If you want higher wages, work harder. Simple as that. Please don’t expect handouts like Roy, who feels he is entitled for people to fight his battles for him.

    • wallansainiHardeep Saini

      Where Roy is coming from and why he is trying to highlight this problem is real.
      Do not listen and believe the PAP propaganda.
      If you do, you will be sorely misled.
      Why attack Roy?
      He is not doing this for himself.
      He is telling people that there are problems.
      These problems need to be addressed.
      He has nothing to gain from it.
      For anyone to attack Roy for this is wrong and only shows that these people have been brainwashed by the media and the PAP.
      Start using your intelligence to find out why Roy is so passionate about these things and try to find the information that he is trying to tell people, instead of just saying that he is wrong.

  14. mishkakabam

    Perhaps, you should not be brainwashed by Roy. Btw, what is right and what is wrong? It is relative. Anyways, whatever Roy says it “right” in your eyes. I am providing my opinion and I never said whether I was right or wrong. My point is, that I do know of people who have benefited from the system. And that is my point of view. All Roy does is complain about what he feels is not good enough and bla bla bla. But he never comes up with any solutions. All he says, is to spend more. a Dumbass also provide that as a solution la. I here to brainwash people, don’t believe in Roy. The government has done some great work too. They do have their flaws but nobody is perfect.

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