Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Every so often, I get to read press releases of our highly exalted ministers' speeches. And it seems to me that either the election bug has sent them into fits of SARs-related fever, or that they simply have lost a few screws during the campaigning process.


The latest fracas, lately, have involved our elderly folks. Now, as we all know, the cornerstones of early Singapore, i.e our forefathers, have worked hard to establish our tiny island nation. During our nation's most difficult times, they slogged and rode out the rough times, in the hope of striving for a better way of life for themselves and their future generations.

Unfortunately, though, a slew of sudden retrenchments have completely upsetted the retirement plans of many a elderly folk, and many of them have had to contend with work in low-paying jobs, such as waitering in fast food restaurants,or cleaning toilets as janitors in their twilight years.

The more immobile folks are consigned to live out their remaining days in elderly homes, which, although spartan and well equipped with the bare necessities, constitutes an unwelcome fate to most of them.

Thus, instead of enjoying their twilight years in relative bliss, many of them have had to put up with the disappointment of no retirement packages, or sucuumbing to delibilating diseases and other disabilities to render their retirement years a torturous one.

It is horrid enough as it is that our elderly population has to put up with the ignominy of bearing the blunt of the difficult nation building years and recessions, but to even suggest putting them up in "retirement" villages in Batam, Bintan or Johore? Well, read on, ladies and gentlemen.

CNA (Channel News Asia)
(April 17 2006)

Government shortlists potential sites to build retirement village

SINGAPORE : The government has shortlisted a few potential sites for the construction of a retirement village, and the National Development Ministry is currently studying the details.

The sites are on a 30-year land lease.

And one of them will be picked to test market demand for such villages.

In an exclusive interview with MediaCorp's Channel 8, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in the past, the idea of building retirement villages was put on the back burner as Singapore's problem of an ageing population was not as serious as that in Europe and America.

The Singapore market was also too small for retirement villages to be commercially viable.

But the prospects have since changed.

With a rapidly ageing Singapore population, Mr Khaw said in five years' time, retirement villages will become economically viable.

One obstacle is the high costs of land in Singapore.

"My personal view is, our land is expensive. But we have nearby neighbours in Johore, Batam and Bintan. The elderly want to reach their doctors within half to one hour. So retirement villages in neighbouring countries is possible, barring the cross-border hassle. It is best to find cheap land on short leases," said Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

Well, well.

I have always had a niggling suspicion that our government is truly an efficient one, so efficient that it has the capability of finding a "solution" to get rid of our elderly folks!


Escalating medical fees, hefty land prices.....according to our philosophical health minister, Mr Khaw (Again), these are truly "viable" reasons why we should abandon our folks in some foreign "retirement villages" (Read: Gulags), to live out their last days in isolation in a foreign country.

Stuck in a foreign land, how will any authorities in Singapore be able to access the welfare of these folks? How in the world are they able to have assess to any insurance and CPF related grants if they are boat-rides away from their country who abandoned them? Are the authorities in the foreign nation going to ensure that these folks are not ill-treated, since these folks wouldn't necessarily fall under their jurisdiction?

What kind of a scumbug would even suggest dumping their fathers and mothers into some faraway elderly homes designated "retirement villages"?

More than 50 years ago, when Hitler found the Jews perfidious, he decided to make do with them by herding all of them into concentration camps in the nations Germany had assimilated.

Today, our Singapore government is suggesting that we herd them all to some "retirement villages" in some foreign country. Tomorrow, it will be our generation who will be herded out for the inevitable cull.

We own our elders a debt of honour; they were there when Singapore fell to the Japanese, they were there when our nation was at its doldrums. We own it to them that they live their remaining days with at least some dignity, not dump them in some island concentration camps.

Such suggestions are down-right disgusting, and I will not mince words here when I say that I am thoroughly disgusted with such a degrading proposal from the ruling incumbent.

The last thing I want is for Singapore to turn into a Gulag Hub.

"When the Nazis arrested the Communists,
I said nothing; after all, I was not a Communist.
When they locked up the Social Democrats,
I said nothing; after all, I was not a Social Democrat.
When they arrested the trade unionists,
I said nothing; after all, I was not a trade unionist.
When they arrested the Jews, I said nothing; after all, I was not a Jew.
When they arrested me, there was no longer anyone who could protest."

-Martin Niemöller (1892—1984), Protestant pastor and social activist


At 2:20 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger greenbean said...

highly exaggerating. u r a good story teller.

At 6:14 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger BEAST said...


Building concentration camps in other nations to dump our elders....... is that exaggerating?

At 9:57 PM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To PAP running dogs, their masters are infallible and can do no wrong. So any comparison to Nazi facism, no matter how many parallels there are to be drawn, is an 'exaggeration'.

At 11:43 AM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous a new and true republic said...

MM lee is a dead wood that is choking the river of freedom and progress. the wind of change is here in singapore now , like it or not it is here to stay.. no one can stop the time from moving forward.. period.. our great PM lee needs his 83 yrs old father to win election for him , ha ha .. so shameful .. a true man stand on his own two feet and fight his fight .

At 1:54 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger BEAST said...

The one particular minister I am particularly peeved with is the Health Minister.

He seems to be a little bit of a crackpot. He is often seen talking thrash at the worst possible times.

I seriously wonder if the idea of sending elderly folks to concentration camps was his idea, or the PAP's collective leadership.

In any case, I think this is a ridiculous, preposterous proposal, and it should lead to PAP losing votes from the elderly population.

At 1:12 PM, April 21, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beast, excellent post.I can't imagine anyone in govt. in any 1st world countries saying such nonsense about creating retirement villages for their senior citizens in other third world countries. Can you imagine if any of the U.S. congressman said that. They will be the laughing stock & the comedians will have a field day with that. Helloooo, knock, knock, is anyone home up there? I sure hope that the opposition parties win some seats in parliament in this election. I'm rooting for the opposition no matter what spin "they" put out about how ineffectual the opposition parties are.

At 2:49 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger BEAST said...


Glad you liked the post. I wrote it in a state of subdued anger.

I say subdued, because I was really, really, pissed off with what Mr Khaw suggested. Only morons of the highest order have the audacity to even utter such unspeakable nonsense.

Let's just not talk about America. Even the most backward of nations wouldn't even tolerate such talk.

At 1:10 PM, May 01, 2006, Anonymous Lee Thaksin said...

Wah Lau eh!! make thing going simple mah.

Just sending Lee Kuan Yew and a few PAP senior minister stay in Retirement Village
.... then asking them giving us some feedback.

If the result is so constructive, then we will support this proposal.

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Malaysia, My Second Home Programme is open to all citizens of countries recognised by Malaysia regardless of race, religion, gender, or age. Applicants are allowed to bring along their spouse and children (below 18 years old who is not married), dependents, one maid, and a car.

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