Kok Ming Cheang, a Shadow Cabinet Member in People’s Voice Party (PVP), pointed out the social gaps of people who fall through the cracks, and asked if Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong planned to deliver what he promised during his New Year Speech.
On Monday (Jan 6) on social media, Mr Kok shared a photo of an elderly man and an elderly woman in a wheelchair. He wrote that they were trying to sell some small items at the exit of an MRT station. “The elderly uncle stood in the same spot beside a wheelchair-bound elderly aunty for some 3 hours”, he added.
Quoting PM Lee’s New Year message where he said, “Here, we will uplift the most vulnerable amongst us, and leave nobody behind whatever the vicissitudes of life”, Mr Kok asked if that elderly couple qualified as the “most vulnerable” because they appeared to need money for living expenses.
“Mind you, most probably, this elderly aunty in wheelchair won’t qualify for financial assistance under the ElderShield Insurance scheme which requires an applicant to be “severely disabled” to qualify. “Severe disability” is the inability of an individual to perform three or more Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) independently, with or without mobility aids, which means he must require the physical assistance of a person for the ADL”, he wrote.
Adding that though there are many schemes in place to help the financially needy, he said passing tests such as the Means Test and many administrative rules prove to be so difficult that many elderly people without income and the unemployed needy citizens will not qualify and fall through the cracks.
He asked: “Is PM Lee’s New Year Speech a signal of better days to come or just a repeat of all the standard Narratives that the PAP government is fond of airing to gain support and win votes?”
Unpacking PM Lee’s speech, Mr Kok also pointed out, “there are still many people left behind in poverty and we must hold the PAP government responsible for the inequality in our society”.
“I am touched by this Narrative most but unfortunately, MOE could not show empathy for a PSLE girl whose parents owed $156 school fees”, he added, referring to the PSLE results slip being withheld from a student because her parents had S$156 in arrears.
Mr Kok’s post was widely shared by 305 people. /TISG
Read his full post here: