Lawyer and activist Lim Tean highlighted the plight of the elderly in Singapore, posting a Reuters video that showed people in their 70s who are still working.
The video narrates that almost a third of Singaporeans over the age of 60 are working and that the employment rate for seniors has gone up by 15 percent over the last decade.
The narrator says “Singapore, which is also one of the wealthiest nations in the world, is often seen as a testbed for how governments can tackle their aging population.”
The first man featured in the video, 71-year-old Philip Sing, who works in security for Alliance Française, said that he has chosen to keep working in order to be “active and independent.”
But the video also draws attention to others who have a different experience, who have to keep on working in a society with a high cost of living, and one of the highest life expectancies around the globe.
“Many older workers look for jobs after retirement because they simply cannot afford otherwise,” the narrator says. “71-year old Mary Lim says that the government’s retirement scheme does not provide her with enough money.”
The older woman is seen on the video saying, “I have to keep on working for the rest of my life. What to do? No choice. I have to struggle for it.”
The narrator goes on to say that Lim’s “biggest fear is that one day she won’t have any strength to do her job.”
Lim Tean had scathing words for the current scheme, as he sees that the elderly are victims of the system. He wrote:
Even the Bangkok Post has highlighted the startling phenomenon of Singaporean elderlies who cannot afford to retire and have to work into the winter of their lives in order just to survive.
We have a broken CPF System which must be completely overhauled in order to give dignity to our old and elderly. Ask yourself this question on this the first day of the Lunar New Year. Is this the society and the home we desire for ourselves and our children, or can we do much better ?
Singapore deserves Better
Many Singaporeans seem to agree with him, and his post has been shared more than 200 times in the last 12 hours.