Close to a year has passed when the Social and Family Development Ministry revealed that there were 900 displaced individuals and families between 2013 and 2015.
Just where are these people now? How did they get into such dire straits? There has henceforth been no real answers to those questions.
While East Coast Park is where many Singaporeans go to unwind after work, it is also a temporary home for a small group of people, as are public places like void decks and sometimes in the wooded areas of northern Singapore.
“I’ve seen cases that come before me, to ask for rental flats for example,” Channel News Asia quoted Seah Kian Peng saying. “In some cases, our first line is always to make sure that you have no alternatives. In genuine cases, we certainly have to step in and make sure that they have a roof over their heads.”
The MP refers people who genuinely need help to the relevant authorities.
Most of the homeless could be described as Singapore’s growing underclass, a group of people hidden from public view and also from public scrutiny. Like their counterparts in other parts, many were left behind in the maddening rat race that has gripped Singapore since the early 1990s. Most who live without a roof over their head found themselves in the situation either owing to addiction problems, were divorced or simply could not explain why and how they landed on the fringes of society. Some were longtime drifters who after having had left prison just became clueless on how to get back into society.
Is Singapore in the developed nation syndrome? It seems like it is.
Though we do not hear of all these heart-wrenching stories often, of these destitutes and semi-destitutes as appear faceless in our continually and rapidly modernizing city of gleaming skyscrappers, finely manicured streets, lawns and hedges and not the least of all, the obscene salaries our top bankers and executives talk about in the newspapers.
It is now time to turn the other cheek and look at who we left behind in the our race to get to the bank first.
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